King Nerd’s Engraved Elegance: The Planet Earth Leica Camera

John Dowell, the artistic genius known as King Nerd, has once again etched his name in the annals of design. Renowned for his original engravings and coveted handmade creations, Dowell has lent his creative touch to esteemed collaborations with iconic brands like Harley-Davidson, Jaeger LeCoultre, G-SHOCK, and Bamford London. Now, he has struck gold at the prestigious Leitz Auction with his latest masterpiece: the extraordinary “Planet Earth” Leica MP camera.


Originally valued at €20,000 EUR, this remarkable 35 mm film camera surpassed all expectations, selling for an impressive €72,000 EUR to an anonymous collector. Adorned with Dowell’s intricate gold engravings, the camera serves as a visual testament, capturing the world and its inherent flaws. Within its design, we find poignant illustrations of raised protest fists, suffocating factory smoke, entangled turtles, endangered African forest elephants, and melting polar ice caps. Yet, amidst these somber images, a glimmer of hope emerges as lush foliage surrounds them, symbolizing nature’s resilience and our planet’s capacity for healing.

When asked about his motivation behind documenting the world with a Leica camera, Dowell eloquently expressed, “Leica cameras are instrumental in immortalizing our world through the lens of countless photographers. It was my aspiration to forever capture the vastness of outer space and the beauty of planet Earth on a Leica camera. When I shared my designs and concepts, the folks at Leica were captivated by my drawings, granting me the opportunity to bring this vision to life.”


Following the resounding success of the collaborative camera at auction, Dowell’s creative journey with Leica continues to unfold. Two exciting projects lie on the horizon, promising further enchantment for art and photography enthusiasts alike. Notably, a second camera collaboration will grace the auction block this November, igniting anticipation and capturing the imagination of collectors and connoisseurs.