Leica Monté en Sarre: Only 500 Pieces Built in the Saarland

Dec 16, 2020  By Jim Lager

The Leica Monté en Sarre was manufactured in the Saarland after World War II. At that time the Saarland was still under French occupation, and made it possible for the Leitz company to get better access to the French market.

Monté en Sarre means: assembled or manufactured in the Saa- rland. After the Second World War, German companies were only allowed to export photographic cameras to France under very high customs. Ernst Leitz, Wetzlar granted a license to build the Leica to Saroptico, a company based in the Saarland. This allowed Leitz to legally circumvent existing regulations, and the Leica could then be sold in France without high duties.

The Saroptico production facility in St. Ingbert was managed by Walter Kluck. He later went to Canada (in 1952) as a sales manager to set up the Ernst Leitz branch in Midland, Ontario together with other colleagues.

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