Leica M3 chrome no.700005
A milestone in camera history
This is the fifth produced Leica M camera. It is one of the earliest known to exist in 100% original condition and for sure the best preserved one! Leitz reserved the numbers from 700001 on for the new M3 in 1953. Some books list no.700000 as the first M3, in fact the original and very first M camera is no.700001 finished in September/October 1953 (a camera with number 700000 was a presentation camera given to Prof. Kruckenhauser in 1955 and doesn't have the early features).
The camera no.700005 has never been restored and it got all the early features. It is in beautiful, original condition and – after 66 years now – still in perfect working order. The chassis number (Guss Nummer) is 181, (the first M3 no.700001, also sold in our auction has got the chassis number 178). Included with the camera is a very early collapsible Summicron 2/5cm no.1041619 in near mint condition.
The camera has never been sold to any customer - it has been a private camera of Willi Stein (a chief engineer of Leica and a co-developer of the M3!), later it has been given as a gift to the family of the current owner and it has been in private hands for over 40 years! It never was on the market before – it is a sensational discovery from the history of Leica! We've had the honour to offer the M3 cameras nos. 700000, 700001, 700004, 700006 and 700007 in our auction history.