Here’s the opportuity to get a Jony Ive and Marc Newson designed one-of-a-kind Leica M Digital Rangefinder Camera with Leica APO-Summicron–M 50mm f/2 ASPH lens.
It’s part of the (RED) Auction at Sotheby’s New York this Saturday, November 23. Public viewing is open all week, 10a – 5p and on Saturday 10a – 1p. Sotheby’s is at 1334 York Avenue (at 72th Street) in New York — a mere 11 blocks from Film and Digital Times’ global headquarters.
Sir Jonathan Ive, KBE, Senior Vice President of Design at Apple, and Marc Newson, CBE collaborated with musician and philanthropist Bono to organize the (RED) Auction — a worthy charity and celebration of design and innovation. They have planned the collection for over a year and a half; it includes objects designed for space travel, lighting, contemporary art, rare automobiles, and the Leica camera. The theme is excellence and innovation. Proceeds from the auction at Sotheby’s New York will benefit The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
The Leica M and lens are one of two items designed entirely by Ive and Newson.
561 models and nearly 1000 prototype parts were made during the 85 days it took to create this unique Leica M for (RED). The camera body is milled from a solid block of aluminum. The distinctive pattern has been created by laser etching more than 21,000 hemispheres onto the anodized surface.
All 5 sides of the camera body (except the bottom) have been sculpted from one solid piece aluminum. Furthermore, the signature Leica leather trim, which normally hides screws and seams, has been eschewed in favor of clean-line design esthetics. I can only imagine the reaction in Solms when the Leica assembly team learned that the only way to install the camera’s internal parts would be through the bottom or lens cavity. Parts had to be re-engineered to fit the new housing.
The guts (full-format CMOS sensor, high performance processor) are original Leica M Type 240 (24 Megapixel) parts. The accompanying Leica APO-Summicron–M 50mm f/2 ASPH lens retains the same optical elements, with a newly machined barrels and exterior.
Jony Ive said, “Leica represents the confluence of precision engineering, world-class lens technology and design principles which elevate both function and form. Designing this very special camera for the (RED) Auction has been a privilege for myself and Marc, and its sale on November 23rd will generate funds so critical to the fight to end AIDS.”
Marc Newson said, “The winning bidder will own a piece of exquisite imaging history. The attention to each and every detail of this camera – from its outer shell to the magnificent optics – will delight a collector who appreciates the absolute pinnacle of craftsmanship.”
Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, Chairman of Leica, said, “We loved the collaboration with Jony and Marc. Their design sets a new and unprecedented standard in modern photography. As the only one ever to be produced, and boasting an unrivaled aesthetic, this Leica camera will truly create its own historic category when it goes under the hammer this winter.” We trust the metaphor will be appreciated and the priceless camera will not be directly under the striking zone of said hammer.
Bono said, “When you think of Jony and Marc, you think of design which is both iconic and sublime. Those two words can be applied to the unique collection of objects on the auction block this November. Each bang of that hammer will be raising critical dollars to fight AIDS… by getting medication to mothers with HIV which means they will not pass the virus on to their newborns.”
In case you are outbidded on the Leica M, other leading-edge designs await: a new red Mac Pro, Lambretta scooter from the film “Quadrophenia,” George Lucas signed Stormtrooper helmet from “Star Wars,” Louboutin boots, Flying Merkel motorcycle, and Jolly car :