Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/09/21

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Subject: [Leica] How are the serial numbers structured?
From: Bud Cook <>
Date: Mon, 21 Sep 1998 18:19:04 -0500

Generally lenses are grouped by date whereas bodies have groups
of serial numbers by date.

For example, there was one group of numbers for the M1's manufactured in
1961 while there was a different group of numbers for the M3's
manufactured in 1961.   Every year and every body type within a year had
it's own set of numbers that were unique.

At least up through 1988, all lenses shared a group of serial numbers
for a specific year.  As an example, range 3 422 891 to 3 455 870
applies to all lenses manufactured in 1987.

No two lenses could have the same serial number.

Of course there could be exceptions for various reasons such as
commemorative items.


"Andrew M. Moore" wrote:

> How are the Leica serial numbers structured?
> The obvious answer is "just add one"!  But that's not what I mean.
> Does each Leica lens "model" have its own set of serial numbers, or are
> the numbers truly unique amongst *all* the lenses (and all focal
> lengths, all generations, etc.) that Leica has ever produced?  Asked
> another way, can there be a 50/2 Summicron-M with #3701234 and also a
> 35/2 with the same number?
> And how about the bodies -- do bodies and lenses also share (or not) the
> same pool of numbers?
> Has this numbering scheme changed at any point in Leica's history?
> Andrew