It was March 16th, 1981, one year after the introduction of the Pentax LX. The ten-millionth Pentax SLR photo camera, an LX, came out of AOC’s main plant in Mashiko and was given to the chief designer, then chairman of Asahi Opt. Co. Ltd. Minoru Suzuki. In order to celebrate this 10 million event, on August 25th, 1981 a limited edition "LX Gold" was introduced. It was 18 carat gold plated with brown leather (also-called lizard skin or snake skin) and was equipped with an SMC Pentax f/1.2 50mm lens also with brown leather and gold finish. All dark details of the LX Gold are dark-brown instead of black, including the front lens ring and film chamber, with only the film pressure plate and the small watch curtain in black. Of course, the natural titanium shutter curtains remain unchanged. Also a brown lens cap and everready case were provided with the LX Gold. The package included a wooden box with red lining and white silk gloves to handle the camera without leaving fingerprints on the sensitive gold plating. Both the photo camera and the case are provided with golden carton boxes sporting 10million logo and 1981 lettering.
Only 300 pieces of the LX Gold were manufactured, 200pcs for the Japanese home market and 100pcs for the international market. Serial numbers for the LX Gold ranged from XM001 to XM300 (XM meaning ten million). Sales started in November 1981 at 850,000 Yen, but not all of them, were sold, as some were either given to Pentax importers worldwide or became prizes for photo contests. In 1983, Mr. Greg Peck won an LX Gold as first prize in a photo contest held by British magazine Camera Weekly. Mr. Peck was already a Pentax LX user and member of the Pentax Club UK. As far as I know, today in Italy there are only three LX Gold cameras, two of them being owned by AOHC members and the third one gifted by Api to a sales representative on occasion of his retirement after many years of service with them. The LX Gold XM028 was also shown at 5th Pentax Day. An American friend of mine owns another one (XM011). Apparently, the LX Gold for the US market had a different type of leather, maybe for import laws about leather of endangered species.
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