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Has anyone seen one of these?
The seller of this item identified it as a gun camera timepiece, which is possible. There are no military markings on the watch or the bracket. It doesn’t look like anything it my books.
The painted disk on the left can be removed by taking out two screws. The code on the thick disk is interesting. Whatever the code stands for is a key to the purpose of this item. Only a guess on my part, but the 2nd line, “f=303,56” could refer to a .303 caliber machinegun, which were used on British aircraft. But who knows? It could also stand for an industrial operation from a long lost factory? The lower left corner of the identification disk mount is clipped which was done, I suppose, so that it cannot be replaced in the wrong position.
The wristwatch size timepiece can be taken out of the bracket after removing four screws. There is a felt backing to keep it from rattling around. The movement is marked “Review” and appears to have 15 jewels. The snap fit case back has no markings on the outside. It still works and keeps time.
The f = 303,56 reminds me of a focal length number in the European system of using a , for a decimal place marking.
I did a bit of looking on the web and came up with a couple of references on the development of aerial cameras and mentioning the model BC4 where the BC stands for Ballistic Camera:
1952 The BC4 Ballistic Camera for ballistic measurements and satellite triangulation goes into production, and the A7 and A8 Autograph are shown at the 7th International Photogrammetric Congress in Washington.
1954 The RC8 Aerial Camera with the Aviogon fens goes into production and the first BC4 Camera is sold.
The name of the company is changed to the now universally-known "Wild Heerbrugg Ltd."
"Wild of Canada Ltd." is founded in Ottawa.
and on another website - this one being a National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration one:
A modified BC-4 satellite triangulation camera used in the world-wide triangulation program. The original BC-4 had a 350 mm focal length while the modified camera used in the program had a 450mm focal length.
The instrument system used in the satellite triangulation program. The large instrument consol on the left is the electronic synchronization unit while the modified BC-4 camera used for observations is on the right.
And from a Russion Ebay auction with the title 'Wild Heerbrugg Aerial Camera BC4 with Astrotar 2,6/304mm (format 18 x18cm)' the f stop number would match the one on your plaque. Here is what that one looks like:
From this information I would say that this is not a military timepiece, but rather a part of a scientific instrument from the 1950s or later.
Many thanks for the research Jim! This timepiece has been a part of an interesting instrument.
Happy to help, Greg. I am not sure exactly how this instrument works but I would guess the timepiece is placed in a way that the dial shows up on the film to mark the time the photo is taken.
The time piece is from a Wild Heerbrugg BC4 satellite tracking camera serial number 262.
The lens was a 303mm Astrotar working at f5.6 for that particular photograph. If anyone knows the whereabouts of this time piece them please let me know.
Hello David Sears and welcome to the forum.
Thank you very much for identifying this little instrument clock. Do you have any idea how old it is?
Anyway, I still have this clock in my collection if there is anything else you would like to know.
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