Leica, the marquis German camera maker, has a history stretching back to 1914, when Oskar Barnack created the Ur-Leica, and the brand quickly revolutionized small scale photography. In recent decades, the label has become synonymous with what might be termed luxury photography. It’s a relatively small market segment, but there are always those who want a Rolex when a Timex is perfectly adequate. Leica isn’t just about glitz though; it’s kept an old world devotion to crafstmanship that isn’t justified in the budgets of the major players in photography. Nor has Leica ignored the march of technology, releasing it’s first digital camera in 1998. And another sign that Leica is paying attention, it has released a small number of co-branded cameras with a discriminating selection of the best luxury and lifestyle brands, including an Hermes M7. The latest is this BMW co-branded example of the X1 camera, which combines a pleasingly solid retro metal body with a fully functional Elmarit 24mm f2.8 ASPH lens and a CMOS image sensor. The Leica X1 corresponds to the new BMW X1, a sport utility crossover aimed at the urban driver, and which combines cargo capacity with a low center of gravity and BMW’s xDrive technology. On the camera, BMW gets a subtly engraved logo on the base of the body, and the camera comes with a molded leather case and leather strap. Although the BMW branding is extremely subtle, it’s enough to upset many Leica purists – which is part of the success of any collaboration that re-imagines something pristine. Limited to just 600 examples, one of which is available now on eBay. Check out images after the jump.