A previously unknown prototype Leica M camera was sold for a whopping $700,000 at auction

An experimental, prototype square-format Leica M camera from 1954 has managed to fetch an astonishing 687,500 euros (around $670,000) at the recently concluded Wetzlar Camera Auction (WCA). Some incredibly rare and collectible cameras and lenses were up for grabs at this year’s sale which included a total of 256 lots, a majority of which were Leica cameras. Interestingly, the Leica M Prototype 24x24mm camera was estimated to be valued between 8,000 and 10,000 euros, but it ended up selling for €550,000 (excluding the buyer’s premium). What makes this particular Leica camera truly special is that it’s an experimental model of an M camera which was previously unknown to exist.

According to the official description of the camera, the model was designed without a built-in viewfinder or rangefinder. Estimated to have been made between 1954 and 1966, the camera holds 52 exposures in a square, 24 by 24mm image format. Furthermore, the top plate with four holding screws combines the design features of the later Leica MD and MDa versions. Although the camera’s condition was listed as a “B”, which means it has not been preserved in the best of conditions, the rare Leica camera easily eclipsed the more collectible and headlines-grabbing items sold at the auction.

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Sayan Chakravarty, a Senior Writer at Luxurylaunches, brings over 10 years of automotive journalism expertise. He provides insightful coverage of the latest cars and motorcycles across American and European markets, while also highlighting luxury yachts, high-end watches, and gadgets. An authentic automobile aficionado, his commitment shines through in educating readers about the automotive world. When the keyboard rests, Sayan feeds his wanderlust, traversing the world on his motorcycle.