Leica II(D) 1932-48
Following the great success of the Leica I models that were introduced beginning in 1926, a decision was made to produce a model incorporating a coupled rangefinder in the top housing. The Leica II was also known as the Model D in the United States and the Couplex Leica in France, and carried the code LYKAN. It was produced from early 1932 through 1947/48. Few people are aware that Leitz in New York produced a few Leica II cameras after WWII using Leica III bodies. There were about 200 built with what may seem to be war time serial numbers.
In 1932, the Leica II was available only in black lacquer with nickel plated elements, whereas a chrome version appeared later in 1933. The example shown here is one of the earliest Leica II(D) model produced by Leitz in 1932.
Please see Leica inlaid engraving for more on the special Wismut inlaid engraving technique used by Leitz on these early black lacquered models.
The earliest Model II(D) cameras can be identified by several characteristics. One is what has been called the "lavatory seat" design of the upper housing beneath the shutter speed dial. This was soon changed to the conventional flat angular design after a few months of production in 1932 which then remained the standard design for the top housing of Leica cameras for the next 25 years.