Where did the idea of celebrating 99 years of Leica Camera instead of the traditional 100 years come from?
A: Leica seems to have more than a close connection with the number 9. On 09/09/09 there were 9 products shown and released to the public, which was a significant milestone in the development of Leica on the path towards success. Especially with the introduction of the Leica M9, one of the products introduced on this date and another nod to the number 9.
By accident we became acquainted with a publishing house called 99 pages (no joke), which creates books with 99 pages. After a few seconds, the idea crossed my mind that we should also do a 99 pages book for 99 years of Leica! During the realization of the project, we discovered that we could create about 10 books filled with 99 pages with all the history Leica has. Therefore, we decided to do a bigger edition in order to generate a real coffee-table book that can be read chapter by chapter, can be read over and over again and where the reader can discover new details about Leica and its development. And honestly I am very proud of the result.
The Ninety Nine Years Leica book is available also on Amazon.
Here is the official press release from Leica:
LEICA CAMERA CELEBRATES 99 YEARS
Special edition book recounts the path to becoming a living legend
Allendale, NJ (December 6, 2012) – For nearly a century, Leica cameras have captured fleeting moments and transformed them into stories brimming with the lifeblood of true human experience. The iconic image of the end of WWII as displayed by the sailor and nurse in Times Square embodies the excitement and relief felt in the U.S. on V-J Day, an immortal message not of love, but of spontaneous joie de vivre. As a stark contrast, yet just as intense, the palpable fear on Napalm Girl’s face reaches beyond the picture as she runs screaming from the wreckage that was formerly her home, announcing to the world that war also, and above all, affects the most innocent people: children. Now, the story of passion and inspiration synonymous with Leica Camera comes to life in “Ninety Nine Years Leica,” a 300-page tribute to the intensely emotive and legendary images that have become a part of our lives. It sheds an emotional spotlight on 99 years of enthusiasm for a small camera developed by Oskar Barnack in 1913.
Part history lesson, part compilation of personal anecdotes, part pop culture retrospective, “Ninety Nine Years Leica,” ushers readers into an undiscovered “Leica Universe.” A unique, fun and enlightening combination of compelling images and expressive texts tells the story behind a brand well on the way to becoming a living legend. Throughout the book, it becomes evident that not only has Leica played an active role in the world’s celebrations, sadness, relief and hope but also in the lives of its camera owners. The result of a close collaboration between Leica and the multiple-award-winning publisher 99pages - under the creative direction of Ansgar Pudenz, Rainer Schillings and Till Schaffarczyk - “Ninety Nine Years Leica” takes readers on a trail of photographic discovery blazed by legendary Leica photographers such as Henri Cartier Bresson, Robert Capa and Elliott Erwitt.
“Ninety Nine Years Leica” debuted at the photokina 2012 trade show to rave reviews. In North America, fewer than 1,500 English copies are now available exclusively through the Leica Stores, Boutiques and Dealers.