Leica M3 chrome, 1954

Leica M3 chrome, 1954
Leica M3 chrome, 1954 — Photo credit: © WestLicht Photographica

Serial production of Leica M3 started at serial number 700001. All 800 cameras from the first series (up to 700800) are special inasmuch as they represent the initial production run. If the back door is opened, the shutter crate shows two circular shaped rails as a film guide – a detail not seen on later M3s. Even within this initial series, some particularly interesting cameras exist, which are those with the so-called “cornered” top plate: the shape of the top plate front exhibits a sharp, linear and non-rounded contour. Within approximately the first 100 serial numbers, even top plates with two such corners – on front and back side – were occasionally used.
The camera offered here is the 45th Leica M3 produced, sporting such a double-cornered top plate. Another interesting feature is the glass pressure-plate, which in the case of this camera shows horizontally aligned groves, a detail never seen on any other Leica M3 – for sure this camera was still used for experimental purposes. The camera is in 100% original and very fine condition with all early features, the shutter crate engraved “700045“.