More than 500 guests and hosts traversed the red carpet to Leica Camera’s “Das Wesentliche” (The Essential) event this evening in Berlin’s historic C/O center, a former royal post office (hence c/o, and its additional curatorial/obligations).
We were treated to an encore performance of selected works by the Berlin Philharmonic’s magnificent 12 cellists, including “The Man with the Harmonica” Ennio Morricone’s haunting composition for Sergio Leone’s “Once Upon a Time in the West,” (1968) followed by Till Brönner on the horn (and 12 cellists).
After introductions by Andreas Kaufmann, Chairman of the Leica Camera Supervisory Board, Alfred Schopf, Leica Camera Managing Director, a welcome from Stefan Erfurt, C/O Director, an award to photojournalist Barbara Klemm, a presentation on black and white work by Danish Magnum photographer Jacob Aue Sobol, Dr. Kaufmann got down to business and held aloft a new Leica M Monochrom with 50 mm Apo-Summicron-M f/2 Asph lens.
The Black and White Leica was quickly followed by the Hermès Leica, designed by Walter de Silva and festooned with “Veau Swift” in “Ocre” color, matching Hermès luggage and tie not included. Judging by the astounding number of rare limited edition Leicas snapping away in the hall, there will be no shortage of enthusiasts for this one.
Next up: the eagerly awaited Leica X2, with its APS-C sensor in a compact body. Earlier, Alfred Schopf explained that one reason so many new products were being unveiled this evening was because they were ready 4 months ahead of schedule (Photokina being 4 months from now).