Here is a highly collectable example of an iconic technical microscope in extremely good original condition - a retro Watson Bactil binocular model from 1960. The Watson Bactil is a large heavyweight instrument, the largest that Watson produced in this era. To get a sense of the sheer scale and solidity of this model of microscope take a look at the size disparity between the objective lenses and the instrument itself, that gives you a good idea of the size and presence that the Bactil instrument commands.
It's a bit like the v-bomber of the microscope world from that time in the 1950s and 60s when British engineering was often at the cutting-edge of innovation. If you've never owned one of these heavyweight Watson Bactil instruments, well maybe this pristine late example is your chance. This example is serial number 127044 which dates its manufacture to 1960 and after the original optical manufacturing company of W. Watson & Sons had changed their trading name to Watson Barnet.
It's got a comprehensive technical configuration and a usable compliment of period Watson objective lenses offering a useful magnification capability. The construction is really solid with much use of heavy metals such as iron and brass. The black painted finish is in generally good condition with only very few areas showing chipping and the odd minor blemish.
The bright-work components are all nickel/chrome plated and were in such good condition that they didn't even need much polishing to bring out their natural shine. This Watson Bactil has rack and pinion main and thumb-wheel fine focusing, both of which move smoothly with little obvious wear. This example is supplied with an original set of Watson 8x compensating eyepieces - these therefore scale up to 12x magnification at the eyepieces taking into account the +1.5x provided by the binocular unit.This example is fitted with a rotating Watson triple nose-piece which clicks into position positively as each objective is rotated to its viewing position and comes supplied with a range of progressive magnification period Watson objective lenses as follows. Watson parachromatic - 10x - Watson parachromatic - 40x. Watson parachromatic - 100x - oil immersion There's therefore an effective magnification range with all the supplied optics of 120x to 1,200x when using oil immersion techniques and very bright illumination. All the objective lenses have their correct Watson period canisters and there's also a pair of eyepiece dust covers with the Watson logo. The fully mechanical rectangular specimen stage set-up is a really well-engineered feature that has a rack and pinion/helical screw systems that move both the x-axis and y-axis fairly smoothly.
It's also fitted with silvered vernier measurement scales for both axes. The sprung stage-clip system for holding slides in place during viewing is present and is ideal for holding a slide in place while the x and y-axes are being moved around and if you're using inclined viewing. There's some fairly minor evidence of wear to the black painted finish on the frame and stage surface but that's in keeping with this example's use over the years.
Below stage there's a Watson condenser with centering adjustment and fully working iris on a rack and pinion mount for vertical adjustment. There's also a double swing-out filter holder assembly below the condenser for adding coloured, opaque or dark-field filters. The condenser lens fitted in the listing photos is a Watson Holos paraboloid; there's also a second condenser lens for dark-field illumination.I've tried swapping the lenses over - they can be changed quite easily simply by unscrewing from the condenser body and replacing with the alternate lens - giving the option for both bright-field and dark-field illumination. There's a surface scratch on the dark-field lens, but that doesn't appear to disturb the dark-field performance of this alternate condenser configuration. There's also an over-size double-sided plano-concave mirror for illumination which is on an adjustable arm and gimbal, with good silvering to both sides. And last but not least, the binocular eyepiece unit - it's adjustable for both focus and eyepiece separation via a central thumb-wheel which has got a slightly notchy action, but is still functional when used carefuly to vary the inter-ocular separation. All-in-all an example of a retro Watson Bactil binocular model that presents really well, with its comprehensive technical set-up, period look. This example will make a nice usable addition to a collection as well as making a spectacular and imposing retro display instrument. If you've been looking for a vintage Watson Bactil for a while, this example definitely merits a look. There's also a correct original Watson storage case for this example in a light wood finish with double internal racking for the lenses and also a sundries box together with a working lock and key. Thanks for looking - please check out my other listings if you get a chance. The item "Vintage Watson Bactil High-Power Binocular Microscope circa 1960, Cased" is in sale since Friday, May 7, 2021. This item is in the category "Antiques\Science/Medicine\Scientific Instruments". The seller is "arcboutant" and is located in Glasgow. This item can be shipped to United Kingdom, Antigua and barbuda, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Australia, United States, Bahrain, Canada, Brazil, Japan, New Zealand, China, Israel, Hong Kong, Norway, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Bangladesh, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Barbados, Brunei darussalam, Cayman islands, Dominica, Ecuador, Egypt, Guernsey, Gibraltar, Guadeloupe, Grenada, French guiana, Iceland, Jersey, Jordan, Cambodia, Saint kitts and nevis, Saint lucia, Liechtenstein, Sri lanka, Macao, Monaco, Maldives, Montserrat, Martinique, Nicaragua, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Paraguay, Reunion, Turks and caicos islands, Aruba, Saudi arabia, South africa, United arab emirates, Ukraine, Chile, Bahamas, Colombia, Costa rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Kuwait, Panama, Philippines, Qatar, Trinidad and tobago, Uruguay, Viet nam.