Finished in pure, sandblasted brass, with a vintage round lens hood, the Leica M10-P SC Asset Limited Edition has created its fair share of buzz amongst vintage camera enthusiasts. With only 30 pieces available in the market, it isn’t difficult to understand the love.
The ultra-limited edition comes with Leica’s quietest mechanical shutter ever — that, coupled with a minimal design devoid of the brand’s usual big red dot, and you have a model that’s snazzy enough to make any avid collector swoon. What comes as a surprise, then, is the fact that it was created in collaboration with a property developer — real estate mogul SC Asset, to be exact.
We sat down with the charismatic CEO of SC Asset Corp Nuttaphong “Pong” Kunakornwong, at 28 Chidlom by SC Asset, to talk about how this collaboration came about, the difficulties of combining a camera and a home, and celebrating 17 years of success. Here’s what he shared.
The camera wasn’t a goal, but a result.
When asked why he decided to merge camera and home, Pong explains that the camera was never a specific goal, but rather, the result of a partnership based on a passion. “Instead of asking, ‘why a camera’, I think it’s better to ask ‘why Leica?’” he responds simply. “Every two to three years, I would invite my team to work with other world-class brands, to find new ways of sharing our philosophy.
We pick brands with similar values — Leica, for example, has always had a passion for quality and innovation.” Danai Sorakraikitikul, Managing Director of Leica Camera Thailand, agrees. “Leica and SC Asset share very similar beliefs and goals,” he tells us, “and this partnership is a means of emphasising Leica’s creative spirit through a work of exquisite craftsmanship.”
For SC Asset and Leica, the customer comes first — always.
A key aspect that appealed to Pong, was Leica’s focus on user experience. He describes their partnership as one driven by ‘human-centric services’. “All Leica cameras are innovative, but the user experience always comes first. Technology never dominates the camera design — rather, the design focuses on the user’s needs, while the technology complements that.”
The same can be said of SC Asset’s luxury homes. “Our residents are always most important,” Pong tells us, “It’s not about how many gimmicks you have installed. We build our homes based on what people really need to live their lives. In a way, we consider ourselves to be a ‘Living Solution’ — some solutions require a lot of technology to make things more convenient, while others don’t.”
Pong drew the camera himself, on a two-hour flight back from Singapore.
Pong jokingly recalls personally sketching the first draft by hand. “Limited edition cameras are usually bought to be kept, but I when I designed this camera, I wanted it to be used.” He points to the brass elements on the model, “The original Leica M10-P isn’t made out of brass, but we used brass because if you leave it out for a while, it starts to oxidate, and you get this layer that builds up called patina. The sandblasted colour becomes very pretty once the patina appears.”
Pong has a camera that’s 80 years old.
An avid collector of vintage cameras himself, Pong tells us that his cameras date back to around 1960 — his oldest is from 80 years ago. “A camera fulfils its purpose once its been used to capture memories”, Pong explains. “People love vintage items because they are durable and last a long time, and at the same time are full of special details that make them unique. With this model, after using it for a while, every person’s camera is different — the parts you hold more will have a stronger patina, so the camera becomes truly one-of-a-kind. The same is true of a home. The longer you live in your home, the more it becomes your space — you might plant more trees, and so on.”
When we ask Danai for his thoughts on the resulting model, he draws attention to the details. “If you look closely, you’ll notice all these little things, like how brass is used in every element, including the shutter release, and the way the lens has been designed to express vintage styling.”
Pong tells us to also make note of the leather. While classic Leica models come in black leather, the limited edition model comes in a beautiful charcoal green. “When black leather has gone through hundreds of years, it changes colour,” he tells us, “I wanted to express this idea of time passing — that black has faded to green.”
Branding is like a networking event.
While the limited edition model wows with tantalising specifications — cue Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH lens — it’s the details that really catch the eye. Etched onto the camera’s surface are a series of axonometric lines, a clever nod to SC Asset’s roots in property development. The camera’s details — for instance, a serial number ranging from 1 to 30 — are displayed in the isometric perspective used to draw houses, and it is through these subtle elements that the SC Asset brand rings loud and clear.
“The isometric perspective lines are a big part of the camera’s design, and take inspiration from architectural drawings,” Danai tells us. “It’s through elements like this that we really emphasise the quality craftsmanship both brands strive to represent.”
“For an organisation to successfully move ahead, it should be able to share its philosophies and values,” Pong tells us, “the question is how that story is told. This collaboration is a way of generating new conversations — similar to a networking event. At SC Asset, we have our own network of people who buy and sell homes. With Leica, they have a different network — one that might also be interested in our product. Through this partnership, what we get is the opportunity to take the conversation we’ve been having in our network, and creating this discourse amongst a new group of people.”
So, how does a camera relate to a home? Through “life” and “craftsmanship”.
According to Pong, “In life you have a past, present, and future. The camera symbolises the past — we use it to capture moments in life. The home, however, represents the present and the future.” To strengthen the idea, a short film will be released as part of the collaborative campaign. Titled ‘17 Years of Passion’, the film depicts the relationship between living a life, and keeping good memories.
Pong tells us that the relationship between home and camera has come up before. “When we were working on the project, we once sat down and discussed that, if we took a camera and a home and put them together, people might not be able to understand the connection. But if you take the brand values and philosophies, and connect those instead, what you end up with is craftsmanship.”
We’ve seen Pong’s dream camera. His dream home, on the other hand, is one that’s “worry-free”.
When asked what he believes lies at the root of his company, Pong tells us his dream is to provide “worry-free homes”. “We are an organisation that puts our customers first. My goal has always been to provide a home where our residents can be energised, and then they can go out and live their lives without worrying, because their homes can sustain themselves. We like to use the expression “for good mornings”, where everything we do is to make sure you have a great day ahead. Because of this, we have multiple services, such as our platform ‘Baan Roo Jai’, which gives our residents the chance to subscribe for various services, such as gardening, laundry, or even hairdressing.”
It’s not about who you are, it’s what you are doing.
When asked about what he thinks SC Asset is, specifically, however, Pong believes the question is no longer an applicable one. “I feel like the world is changing so fast that ‘who you are’ is no longer important — that could change by tomorrow. Instead, what is important is what you are doing, and who you are doing that for. What problems are you offering solutions to? What impact do you have?”
Experience the Leica M10-P SC Asset Limited Edition first-hand at Leica Stores in Gaysorn and Emquartier. Find out more about SC Asset at scasset.com.