The Olympus M-1 was launched in 1971 and only produced for one year before being renamed the OM-1. Evidently Leica was so concerned about the impact to the Leica M1 that they objected to the name. Seriously, what them were likely reacting to was the fact that Olympus had just introduced an SLR that was the size of a Leica M rangefinder. Plus, the use of the M-System name was hitting a bit close to home.
There seems to be some confusion about how many M-1 were produced before the switch to OM-1. I have read as low as 5,000 (the number to quote when selling) to over 50,000 (the number to site if you are buying). I have no idea what the actual number was but they do carry a premium due to collectability. That is especially true if it included the M-System lens.
Everything I recently said about the OM-1 goes for the M-1. Plus the cool history! But for me the history was not enough in this case. This camera came to me from someone wanting to sell it and wanting to get a collector premium price. Cosmetically it looks great, mechanically it seemed fine, but look in the view finder or into the lens and you see fungus/mold. Not much, just enough to put me off wanting it. I did put a test roll though and the growth did not seem to impact the images yet.
It may just be me being aware of it more but, Olympus cameras and especially lens of this era seem to be more prone to mold. Or it seems that way from the listing I have seen. Anyone know why? Did the Olympus plant share a building with a cheese factor? Were Olympus owners more drawn to damp areas? Maybe people selling Olympus gear are just more honest about the issue. Not to worry there are still plenty of clean ones out there. After all they made them by the thousands ... or was it by the tens of thousands?
At the end of the day it is am OM-1. So if your a collector get the M-1 (especially high price in black), if you want a fantastic travel shooter, get the OM-1.
Lens: Olympus M-System G.Zuiko Auto-S 50mm 1.4
Film: FujiColor 100