January 1 - The World Trade Organization was established to replace the General Agreement
on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).
February 23 - The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 4,003.33 -- the Dow's first
ever close above 4,000.
March 1 - Yahoo! is founded in Santa Clara, California.
April 19 - Oklahoma City bombing: 168 people were killed. Timothy McVeigh and Terry
Nichols both US citizen, set off the bomb.
June 29 - STS-71: Space Shuttle Atlantis docked with the Russian MIR space station
for the first time.
July 17 - The Nasdaq Composite index closed above the 1,000 mark for the first time.
July 21st Third Taiwan Strait Crisis: The People's Liberation Army fired missiles
into the waters north of Taiwan.
August 24 - Microsoft released Windows 95.
November 4 - Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated at a peace rally
in Tel Aviv.
November 21 - The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 5,023.55, its first close
who took over from the late Teng Xiao Peng (1904~1997) was still firmly held as General Secretary
of the Communist Party of China
On the other hand, Bill Clinton and the Democrats were still having US Politic in
control; the Balkan War was still ongoing; the World population was approx. 5,674,380,000
with Asian region alone amounting to 3,430,052,000. The People Republic of China
alone, took up slightly more than 1/3 of this figure. Although SIZE doesn't matter
but when you have economical figures such as these (refer to table below) to back
the SIZE, then it is really matter. For Companies which had global presence all along,
ignoring a country with such tremendous growth rate would be a big mistake. German
like auto maker Volkswagen (VM) etc., was the first who went into China at very early
stage and had been ridden along with the growth and enjoyed tremendous success.
||GDP Index in real terms
||GDP Rmb billion at current prices
||GDP per head Rmb
||Real annual growth rate (%)
LEICA M6 chrome Gold Dragon Edition, 1995
Before, during WWII and post war period, German had already having a fragile
but early presence in mainland China with Contax /Carl Zeiss JENA products landed
earlier than the Leica. Many of the export version of Contax cameras were still to
be seen today in the used equipment market. LEICA cameras were mostly Japanese and
even in limited series of local copies as well as more commonly, the Russian copies.
In 1993, Leica AG had worked in conjunction with Schmidt Group Hong Kong released
a Limited Edition LEICA M6 Year of the Rooster
with an unique Chinese calligraphy engravings on both camera body and Summicron lens
was easily being snapped up. In 1995, Leica was already on its way for a planned
IPO in 1996 and obviously, China market with such a robust economic growth couldn't
be ignored as it would be a big potential to enhance future corporate profit in coming
In 1995, LEICA AG has released a special edition of
300 units* LEICA M6 Gold Dragon Edition with a matching 1:2/50mm Summicron-M to
mark official entry (or appropriately, as re-entry) into China market. I was
told active Leica distributors, Schmidt Hong Kong again had a hand into the release of this planned special
edition where the accompanying accessories as well as the design had a very strong
oriental favor. The packaging for this M6 started with a rosewood presentation box
with an uncommon way of word carving at the top, something like all those antique
|To some collectors, using a Dragon as symbol on a camera
may sounds or even looks comical or mythical. But to Chinese, there is an old belief
that we are all descendants of dragon. In Chinese Zodiac, horoscope or astrology,
dragons are associated with strength, health, harmony, and good luck, each cycle
(12 rotations), a year of dragon is directly linked to individual elemental sign.
In China, the Dragon is the sign of the Emperor of China or the male element Yang;
in short, Dragon is the symbol of power and wealth. Refer here for Chinese Zodiac on Dragon.
The leather work / body covering of these two pitures
below of the M6 Gold Dragon at specific section cropped with uneven patterns indicates
it couldn't be an artificial leatherette. It was identical appearance with the 1989's
M6 Platinum 150 Jahre Photography/75 jahre Leica Photographie model where karung skinned leatherette could be the raw material
used for all the units.
||The karung leatherette has been hand dyed to orange
and more leaning to red. The only complaint here is, it was a little too striking
and could had been dyed to black, dark gray or other neutral color.
NOTE: - Quiet a number of photos of this model as shown on few of the showcased sale
units on the internet were a little not true to its original colour. It is actutally
something like the picture as shown at the left hand side (the photo one above was
very accurate but it should be adjusted to a little pinkish. CLICK to ENLARGE
|The dragon symbol used here in the Leica
M6 Gold Dragon was outlined in gold paint work; within the sketchy outlines, there
was a hidden word of "China". Well, I always thought whoever had this designed
could had do a better job and given a more modern design to neutralize the comical
touch as used in this edition. Anyway, I think originally this special release was
intended to serve the Chinese Leica user community; it may not please a Westerner
but the use of such symbol would be well received by the Chinese who resides around
the globe and even the Korean as well as Japanese Leica users as all share common
After all, there were only 300 units* were being issued which actually doesn't directly
distributed in main land China, instead, majority of the edition had been distributed
around the globe. In Stephan Gandy site which addressed the edition was ordered by local distributor in Kuala
Lumpur; not quite true. Probably what he originally meant was (or being mislead to
think many years ago) the showcased unit in his site was came from Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia. In actual fact, as long as you are a Leica user who may be interested in
any specific edition, you can just ask the local distributor to get hold of a unit
for you.Don't argue with me, I am right now preparing this article right
in the heart of Kuala Lumpur City centre (KLCC) area and I do my work, double checked and confirmed as well.
Dual Serial Numbers present. One as
Leica standard production reference while another engraved with the specific unit
issued within the 300. i.e. xxx/300*
<<<-- Another hidden feature on the lens was a gold colored
head of a dragon on the built-in lens hood.
The matching lens for this edition used was an old time
classic Summicron-M 1:2/50mm in silver chrome finish. It has special engraving of
xxx/300* after the Leica lens production code. An unusual design was the silver
chrome front lens data ring.
From a Leica collector's point of view, it can be quite
difficult to determine the collector value of the LEICA M6 Gold Dragon Edition because
technically, it was also a localized edition. To those who may be residing in the
West, it probably has less associated value due to geographical location. But this
may not be the case for Chinese LEICA collectors as generally anything that issued
with an element that has string tied to their origin, it can become overly affectionate
and can be very sentimental. The LEICA M6 Gold Dragon was a produce during a transitional
change for China who started to emerge as one of the economic power in the world
trade arena. Even if it is less appealing to collectors in the West, it can find
a room within the Chinese collectors community. This edition issued back in 1995
was restricted in issuance of 300* units only and most are believed to be in the hands of collectors
who are residing outside Mainland China (Leica AG has allocated the unit with special
Serial Number 001/300 and presented to the influential 4,600-strong members of Chinese Photographers Association
("CPA") during the First ever China/International Photographic Equipment
Exchange Exhibition held in 1995.
A mini showcase,
courtesy of various active online Leica specialist, click for explosive views.
* NOTE:- The issued quantity was marked as 300 units; but
from some unverified sources it claimed the actual quantity produced were only 267
units. This was because inline with Chinese belief where those units which carries
a sensitive "4" (may mean "dead, death or bad luck) had been eliminated
or skipped (meaning ? exported to other parts of the markets
as proven by one of the showcased unit here in this site which carries a Serial Number
1x4/300). Typical Hong Kong styles...hehe.
In the Millennium year 2000, it coincided
with a new cycle of Year of the Dragon; Leica again had released a commemorative
camera dubbed as LEICA M6 TTL Dragon in black paint finish (commonly referred as
M6 Black Dragon or M6 Dragon Y2K/2000). This time around, the entire issued quantity
was 500 units, reflecting a more confidence Leica AG with Chinese Market.
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LEICA M6 TTL Black Dragon / M6 TTL Dragon Y2K
Main Index Page
- Leica M6-series models / Main Index Page - Leica-M Rangefinder
Nomenclature / Main Reference Map for Leica M6 Standard Model(s) applicable to this M6 Classic Gold Dragon Edition
Instruction Manuals:- Leica M6 Classic in PDF (3.8mb) applicable to this M6 Gold Dragon Edition by Niels
H. S. Nielsen
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