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THE LAST LEICA M3 #1164865 CHROME 10150 CAMERA +BOX +PAPERS NEVER USED AMAZING!

Leica

  • $550,000.00

SKU: 25322
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The last Leica M3 and "Newest" Leica M3 made. Production serial No. 1164865. UNIQUE, RARE, OUTSTANDING and SPECTACULAR in every respect!

From the last and smallest batch of 20 cameras made in 1966, this being the FINAL and LAST camera of the production line and the final termination of THE GREATEST RANGEFINDER camera EVER MADE if not THE GREATEST CAMERA ever made.
A true historical find and in NEW condition, NEVER USED, IN NEW condition as it left the factory more than 60 YEARS ago!
 
With the original matching serial No. service card and (red + white ) rope that came with the camera, box, foam fittings, caps and all
NEW! condition with the original untouhed "L" seal.
Along with letters of authenticity from Leica, special order request, original matching order # from the original owner in 1968, receipt and additional letter from Leica to reiterate the authenticity of this camera. Really a magnificent piece of history
 
The Leica M3 was a revolution in its time and still is to this day. Originally introduced in production in 1954 with # 700000. The camera was produced in quantities over of over 226,178 and finally ceasing in 1966 with this camera # 1164865. 
The camera was the first production BAYONET mount camera for fast lens changing. The viewfinder and rangefinder system was integrated together into one large eyepiece. Having built in framelines for 50mm, 90mm and 135mm with automatic parallax correction. 

Also a revelation was the rapid film advance lever with two quick short stokes to wind the film and advance the shutter. Automated film counter when the spool was removed and a hinged back door plate for ease of film loading. There was an automatic flash sync, and one separate for bulb flash.

And finally the shutter speed dial from 1sec to 1/1000sec was incorporated into a single, non rotating dial. 

There were some changes and improvements along the way with the single stroke mechanism over the double stoke film and shutter lever at serial # 915 251. The back door internal plate changed from glass to metal at serial # 844001 and the shutter speeds were changed to incorporate what we know today as standard shutter speeds progression at serial No. 854001. 

Finally the lugs were changed from the rabbit ear to the common round lug and some other small details as a larger eyepiece and rangefinder changes.
 
 
Cosmetics 
-Like new condition. The camera was never used and kept in its original box since 1966.
-You can still feel the texture on the top plate silver chrome from not being handled.
-The paint is still shinny and rich lustre from also being kept new!
 
Mechanics
-Mechanically amazing that this is still working well. Shutter speeds, rangefinder and all.
 
Optics 
- Rangefinder is clean and clear. 

Even more special, this camera comes with documentation from Leica, the special order letter from the original owner who specifically reserved the camera from Leica directly with Order #37090, also included with matching order #37090 paper receipt when purchasing the from Leica London, and acknowledgement from Leica to acknowledge that the FINAL Leica M3 is reserved for the new owner...Mr. T.C March in 1968. 

Paperwork reading:

SOLD TO:

T.C March 
Wragby Rd. 
Sudbrooke, LINCOLN, UK
 
On March 8, 1968
From Leitz LONDON, UK
Order No. 37090
Order date Feb 19, 1968
 
Letter on March 8, 1968
 
(First paragraph regarding a Leica 1 camera and the order of a case for it)
 
***** Second Paragraph reading *****
 
" I am very glad to inform you that my friend in Wetzlar has been successful in reserving for you the final and highest serial-numbered Leica M3 body. The enclosed acknowledgement of order No. 37090 shows the serial number to be 1164865 and, although there is nothing particularly glamorous about this, I can assure you that it is genuinely the last of the line. We are now sending a special order for it to our works and we shall pass the camera on to you as soon as it comes to hand.
Your Truly L. J. Parmiter
 
***** Along with the order: ******
 
1 Qty. Code. No. 10150  Description Leica M-3 Serial No. 1164865
 
 
***** Then on July 21, 1983 a follow up letter from Leica to Mr. T.C. March *****
 
Dear Mr. March,
 
Thank you very much for your letter dated 1st July 1983.
We can confirm the statement made by Mr. Parmiter that the camera with serial No. 1164865 is the latest produced LEICA M3.
We are glad to learn that you are the LEICA owner and user for such a long time.
Thanks for being a part of the LEICA family
Sincerely yours,
ERNST LEITZ WETZLAR GMBH
T. Karl  and E. Kuhne   ( SIGNED )
 
***** Then on Dec 17th, 1986 ( 20 years later ) A letter to: *****
 
Desmond M Steer 
24, Southwell Road
Widey Court, Plymouth
Devon, PL6 5BE
England
 
Dear Mr. Steer,
Thank you very much for your letter.
According to our record it indeed looks like that your camera was the last LEICA M3 that was manufactured and was sold on the 14th of March, 1968, to London. Unfortunately, no further information are available on the exact address.
 
(The there is another paragraph on the warranty card for a 50mm f2 Summicron.)
 
Sincerly yours,
Ernst Leitz Wetzlar GmbH
E. Kuhne ( SIGNED) 
 
 
In November 2012, at Westlicht auction in Austria ( now owned by Leica Camera Inc ), in the same NEW condition, the FIRST Leica M3 700001 sold for 900,000 EURO ( approx. $1,150,000 USD$ )

There are few historic production Leica M3 camera. The 1st, which was sold and discussed above, Along with serial No. 1000000 which was also sold for 840,000 EURO on March 2013. 
Then, there is THIS camera. The LAST and FINAL camera.
 
This is a phenomenal discovery and a spectacular camera. Known to be the finest rangefinder if not THE finest camera of all time. "THE LAST and FINAL Leica M3". The documentation is incredible to confirm its history and existence. A great story of how it was purchased with all paperwork to accompany the camera. Incredible how it was kept in NEW condition for over 60 years.

If you have further questions about this special camera, please feel free to contact us directly via our contact page,  e-mail at contact@setadelstudios.com, or phone at +1 647 344 7616.