Introduced in 1954, over 225,000 Leica M3s were built over the following 12 years. This one just happens to be the last. Serial no. 1164865 was the final M3 to come off the line when production ended in 1966. And it can be yours for $595,000.
Leica‘s legendary M3 model hasn’t been produced since 1966, and thus has slipped into the realm of collector’s items, especially considering that the M3 was the German brand’s first-ever M mount camera. Unlike virtually all of its predecessors, this Leica M3 was never used. It arrives in its original box, with the special order letter from the original owner, the original paper receipt from Leica London, and a letter from Leica stating that it is indeed the last M3 manufactured.
“You can still feel the texture on the top plate silver chrome from not being handled,” the store writes. “The paint is still shiny and rich luster from also being kept new!” The Leica M3 is described in the listing as “the greatest rangefinder camera ever made if not the greatest camera ever made.”
“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 reservation letter reads. “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.” A follow-up letter from Leica dated to 1983 confirms that the serial number was the last one produced.
“We can confirm the statement made by Mr. Parmiter that the camera with serial No. 1164865 is the latest produced LEICA M3,” Leica wrote. “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.”
If you’re interested in owning the newest Leica M3 on Earth, you can find more details over in the eBay listing. The first production M3 ever made was sold in 2012 for about $1.17 million. So this is really quite a bargain.