Jony Ive’s fingerprints are all over Apple’s aesthetic, but the famed designer also found time for other charitable projects outside of his main gig before dipping to form his own agency. One of those notable diversions was a one-off Leica M camera Ive designed in collaboration with his friend (and fellow designer) Marc Newson, which fetched $1.8 million at auction in 2013. As it turns out, a rare prototype of the device is going under the hammer in June, as spotted by The Verge. Bidding for the camera starts from €100,000 ($118,000) and it’s estimated to command between €200,000 and €250,000 ($235,000 to $295,000).
Ive and Newson — who is known for his celebrated designs of mass market products including furniture and jewelry — originally created the Leica M for the Product (Red) charity brand co-founded by U2 frontman Bono. The German camera maker reportedly manufactured 561 models with nearly 1,000 prototype parts. According to the Leitz Auction house, this model marked “the final development step when the camera took its final shape.” The device is listed as being in B+ condition and features a smoother aluminium body with a matching Apo-Summicron 2/50 mm ASPH. lens.
Ive and Newson spent more than a year and a half curating the 40 auction items for the Red collection that eventually sold for over $12.8 million in 2013. Other products included an 18 carat rose gold pair of Apple EarPods, a limited edition 2012 Range Rover and a Steinway & Sons piano. Ive left Apple in 2019 to start his own design agency, LoveFrom, with his clients including his former employer and Airbnb.