In 1994, Leica celebrated no fewer than three anniversaries: the M6 entered its tenth year of production; the M series (which started with the M3 in 1954) turned forty, and the Leica Camera brand had been in existence for exactly eighty years.
In honour of these landmark occasions, Leica released the special-edition M6J. While the standard M6 had been based on the M4-P, the new M6J was built into the camera body of the M3. Its illuminated framelines were borrowed from the M4, with the viewfinder being adapted to the focal lengths of 35, 50, 90 and 135 mm. The M6J's viewfinder magnification was increased to 0.85x – bringing it very close to the 0.91x magnification of the popular viewfinder of the M3.
Intrinsically, the M6J was a homage to the M3, the first model of the M series. The special edition, produced in the anniversary year of 1994, consisted of 1,640 models, 40 cameras for each year of the 40 years of M production.