A brief introduction on LEICA M6 Platinum Schmidt Group 1896~1996 100 Years / Centenary Edition, 1996 - MIR Image Library

LEICA M6 Platinum Schmidt Group 1896~1996 100 Years / Centenary Edition, 1996  Poster scan
Schmidt Corporate Logo

LEICA M6 Platinum
Schmidt Group 1896~1996 100 Years / Centenary Edition, 1996

To those LEICA enthusiasts in Asia Pacific Rim region, Schmidt is a familiar name. The Company is an active LEICA representative and/or main distributor in many countries (which includes the Schmidt Marketing Sdn . Bhd. in Malaysia). To certain extend, Schmidt has gained certain level of exposure in the West as well partly because they were the one who had instrumented a series of LEICA special editions during the '90 which include familiar Leica M6 collectibles such as
M6 ROOSTER '93, M6 GOLD DRAGON 95, M6 TTL Green Paint Millennium Hong Kong Edition, 2000, M6 TTL BLACK DRAGON 2001 etc. Schmidt was also involved in more recent Leica such as the very well spec/configured 500 units of LEICA MP Classic black lacquered Outfit.

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The Schmidt Group was founded in 1896. Over 110 years experience in distribution industry, strong historical background strengthen the 3 main businesses (Electronic, BioMedical and Marketing). They were also the first who brought LEICA into Japan via Schmidt Shoten. After Y2K, the Schmidt Group had streamlined into 3 independent Business Enterprises:-

Schmidt Electronics Group Asia Ltd.
Schmidt BioMedTech Asia Ltd
Schmidt Marketing Asia Ltd. Web/URL:
Official Site of Schmidt Marketing Asia

As an independent Group of Schmidt, Schmidt Marketing has established a network of companies which covers the Asian region. Today, Schmidt Marketing has a total over 60 employees servicing a distribution network which covers China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. I didn't go into the details of other than LEICA, what other business supplies are Schmidt involving. But this serves as a brief introduction for the Company as it relates to the issuance of this LEICA M6 rangefinder model.

The collectible LEICA M6 Platinum Schmidt Group 1896~1996 100 Years / Centenary Edition, 1996 with ELMAR-M 1:2.8/50mm

In 1996, after Schmidt had successfully releasing two LEICA Special Limited Edition (M6 of ROOSTER and GOLD DRAGON), the year actually coincided with 100 years (1896~1996) of Schmidt establishing as well as creating their first presence in Asia Pacific region; to commemorate such a rare occasion, the Company had orchestrated 150 units of LEICA M6 Special Edition model to commemorate their Centenary. The M6 was referred as LEICA M6 Platinum Centenary '96. It was one out of the six known LEICA M6 that has a Platinum outfit.

The camera uses the same basis of a conventional LEICA M6 body chassis with a Platinum plating and fitted with a LEICA ELMAR-M 1:2.8/50mm. Frankly, the LEICA M6 Schmidt Centenary '96 virtually shares the same configuration with another LEICA M6 Platinum issued at the same year 1996 i.e.
LEICA M6 Platinum Anton Bruckner 1824~1896. The uncustomary grayesi blue leather work and use of a matching platinum-plated ELMAR 50/2.8 were similar except for their respective theme of release used, others details such as engravings and the bundled accessories.

LEICA M6 Platinum ANTON Bruckner edition LINK
LEICA M6 PLATINUM ANTON BRUCKNER 1996

 

LEICA M6 Platinum Small thumbnail on Schimdt Edition, Hong kong


LEICA M6 Platinum Schmidt Group 1896~1996 100 Years / Centenary Edition front view with ELMAR-M 50mm f/2.8
So, technically in 1996 Leica collectors actually had two series of LEICA M6 PLATINUM bodies to choose from where both were actually originated from one source. The Austrian Leica distributor who had a hand in the release of the LEICA M6 Anton Bruckner 1924~1896 Edition had chosen an issued theme of a Musician / Composer of their origin while the oriental Schmidt's alternative was an more of an anniversary commemorative edition. Although the Austrian M6 Platin Edition seemingly had a universal appeal but it will expect either a Classic Music lover and/or European root to generate sentimental course.

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In comparison, the Schmidt M6 Platin Edition has a localized theme behind its issuance. Because out of the traditional boundaries, one may feel less affectionate with a M6 special edition released with a touch of individual motto. I guess it was more of less were basing on expectation of their deeply rooted influence and network built all these years. Frankly, if not because of the rarity factor, a very well thought out specification in body/lens configuration; which both were aided with a strong Schmidt distribution network, the edition may present itself with a slight weakness as a justified collectible M6. It is something similar to, say Texxs Instruments, Dxll Computer or Gxneral Motor has released a M6 to commemorate Silver, Golden or Diamond Jubilee establishment of their Company(ies), would you feel anything or will be getting too excited about such a release ? I guess not except for Employees, business associates and/or big fans of IT, passionate antique car collectors and/or investors who had made a big fortune earlier from Share sales.

The presentation box with Schmidt group 100 years emblem for LEICA M6 Platinum Schmidt Group 1896~1996 100 Years / Centenary Edition

The emblem of 100 years Schmidt Group of Companies on a LEICA M6 Platinum

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Side view, LEICA M6 Platinum Schmidt Group 1896~1996 100 Years / Centenary Edition
Well, to conclude the LEICA M6 Platinum Schmidt Centenary Edition in such manner wasn't fair either. Firstly, as I said there were not too many of M6 PLATINUM collectible edition available. Secondly, other than usual extremely high built quality, Schmidt has smartly bundled the camera with a collapsible ELMAR-M 1:2.8/50mm which had collectors so excited about when it was first used with the LEICA M6J in 1994. So, the body/lens combination was quite unique in the sense it was the first in such a Platin/Elmar combination.

Thirdly, to suit local Chinese custom and belief, Schmidt had smartly / intentionally eliminated most of the units with numbered "4" within the 151 edition. Why ? "4" in Cantonese (not Mandarin) where Hong Kong primary local dialect sounds like "DEAD" or "DEATH" such as 14 (sure dead), 24 (die easily), 34 (50/50 either your will be dead or alive), 44 (dead + dead = DEATH) etc. That was why the Serial Number in the entire series of the LEICA M6 PLATINUM SCHMIDT CENTENARY EDITION exceeds 151 and numbered from 1~ 188. Superstitious, but in Hong Kong or most Chinese who speaks Cantonese, this means something and everyone who owns the M6 Platin Schmidt Centenary can avoid a "bad" numerals with their investment.

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ELMAR-M 50mm f/2.8 special Schimdt Group 100 years edition with special engravings

The LEICA M6 Platinum Schmidt Group 1896~1996 100 Years / Centenary Edition front view with ELMAR-M 50mm f/2.8 with Veneer wooden presentation box

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The Serial Number for the Edition maintains the usual dual numberings as found on most M6 Special Edition Models. i.e. a Leica production number with another Edition Serial Numbering. In this case, the numbering for this edition starts with "SC" and follows by the coding such as SC xxx. The SC may either mean Schmidt Centenary or shorts for SCHMIDT. Both the S/N are engraved at each side of the accessory shoe. The collapsible ELMAR-M 1:2.8/50mm also was engraved with a matching serial number as found on the camera body. It engraves as SC xxx/188. with the total quantity of the Edition (188 units) follows after the code. The Elmar-M lens was supplied with a metal lens hood as well as a lens cap with old style Leica word at the front. The lens has an exacting spec with the edition issued with the LEICA M6 J.
   


Photo Showcase of LEICA M6 Platinum Schmidt Group 1896~1996 100 Years/Centenary Edition w/ELMAR-M 50mm f/2.8/Accessories by www. BANDO.Co.KR
Bando Leica M6 Platinum Schmidt Group edition 1 Bando Leica M6 Platinum Schmidt Group edition 2 Bando Leica M6 Platinum Schmidt Group edition 3 Bando Leica M6 Platinum Schmidt Group edition 4
Bando Leica M6 Platinum Schmidt Group edition 5 Bando Leica M6 Platinum Schmidt Group edition 6 Bando Leica M6 Platinum Schmidt Group edition 7
Picture showcase of LEICA M6 Platinum Schmidt Group 1896~1996 100 Years / Centenary Edition front view with ELMAR-M 50mm f/2.8
Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the LEICA M6 PLATINUM SCHMIDT CENTENARY Edition in 1996 was the 100 Years Golden outlines Emblem for Schmidt Group of Companies which is engraved at the top, left section of the top plate. It uses an old graphical layout with Olive tree branch (Kotinos) at each side protecting the SCHMIDT corporate logo which has a Pagoda the centre with a big "S" running across within a circle. The Centenary year 1996~1996 was at the bottom of the Pagoda. It serves as a raw oriental foremost appearance as used in the old days. One way or another, it is an image that shows a merger between eastern/western ways of thinking/culture. It is a nice emblem design which looks like a form of Arms.

At the rear section, there was a engraved line which reads "Limited Edition of Units for Schmidt Group" in gold outlines. The leather work used was Karung-liked (But some sources said it was IGUANA skinned hand dyed leatherette). It has a specially made presentation box in veneer with very nice wood texture. A fairly large chrome plate with the same Emblem appeared on the top of camera is engraved onto. The lock device is a push button type for the case, the same with the presentation box for the Year of Rooster Edition except the wood texture is more prominent.

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Regardless, the LEICA M6 PLATINUM SCHMIDT CENTENARY Edition in 1996 were easily being taken up by LEICA enthusiasts worldwide. As I said the camera has an extremely well configured body and even the Platinum was just Platinum-plated (there was NONE in pure platinum made in a LEICA so far), it has projected a sheer elegant and along with the beautifully designed emblem in gold outlines, the entire setup is very presentable and inviting. I was told it was easily being taken up by the LEICA collectors when it was released. This Schmidt Centenary Edition seldom surfaces in the collectors and/or used equipment market where I think most owners really treasure their possessions.

Schmidt Centenary Logo

Other related LEICA M6 camera models issued in the same Platinum Finishing:-
Leica M6 Platinum Dummy Set, 1989 | Leica M6 PLATINUM '150/75 Jahre', 1989
Leica
M6 Platinum Sultan of Brunei Silver Jubilee Edition, 1992 | Leica M6 Sultan of Brunei Special 50th Birthday Edition, Platinum w/diamond, 1995
Leica M6 "Anton Bruckner" (1824~1996) Platinum Edition, 1996 | Leica M6 Schmidt Platinum Centenary (100 Years), 1996
Leica M6 Platinum Henri Cartier Bresson / Louis Vuitton One unit Special Edition, 1998
Leica M6 Platinum "150 jahre Optik" Wetzlar Optisches Institute Edition, 1999

Main Index Page - Leica M6-series models / Main Index Page - Leica-M Rangefinder camera Models

Nomenclature / Main Reference Map for Leica M6 Standard Model(s) applicable to this M6 Classic Platinum Schmidt Centenary Edition
Instruction Manuals:-
Leica M6 Classic in PDF (3.8mb) applicable to this M6 Classic Platinum Schmidt Centenary Edition by Niels H. S. Nielsen

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Credit:- Images courtesy of BANDO@Korea®. Some of the Image(s) appeared herein courtesy of J-Camera ® KOREA. The group also operates live auction active, popular trading place, some of the listed photos of the Leica JAGUAR XK50 was also by J-camera. Images Copyright © 2008. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.