A Leica 0 Series No. 122 has sold for 2.4 million euros (2 million hammer price plus surcharge) via Westlicht auction, a new record price for a camera at auction.The Leica 0 series was produced by Leitz in 1923, two years before the commercial launch of the first Leica. Leitz produced 25 test cameras, of which three are left in their original condition.The previous record holder, another Leica O Series, was auctioned by Westlicht in 2012 for 2,160,000 euros. No word on whether Amelia Earhart owned either of them.
Also auctioned were a Leica MP-89 for 456,000 Euros from the collection of Jim Jannard (the founder of Oakley, if that maters), and an Leica MP-2 for 432,000 Euros.
For my money, the most interesting Leica offered was a Leica MP, serial number MP-310 with all original features, (e.g. body without self-timer and with early strap lugs, matching back door, double stroke advance), with matching chrome Leicavit MP and Summarit 5cm 1.5 #1515004, in beautiful condition. Final hammer price 54,000 Euro ($57,000), which in this day and age of astronomical vintage Leica prices, almost seems cheap.
How much Leica itself benefits directly isn’t clear, but with oldies gaining in value, could be seen that buying is money in the bank, so folks may probably keep the gig rolling for that alone, if not for much else.
But, as with all investments, don’t place more than you can afford to drop.
One thing I would add, though, is that that MP is really a beautiful object in its own right. Just as is the Rolex Submariner, totally capable of inspiring instant, life-long love simply for what it is.
You can divide that price by 1000 and buy a working replica. The lens will be coated and you can experience what it was to shoot these little gems. I would certainly like to try that for a week-end.
I suppose that one would be rather worried about wearing that somewhat expensive bit of old tech. on a strap around one’s neck out in public. Imagine being mugged…
Maybe best enjoyed in private like any other delightful little vice. Or would private defeat the point of ownership? So many problems associated with wealth.