Foreword about the Watson Service Model Microscope. For much of the 20th century Watson's Service model was the backbone model of their range of technical microscopes.
1919 to about 1950 - the original classic Service model usually in black finish with brass details with some later examples in chrome. 1950 to end of production - updated Service II model in black with nickel plated finish with more streamlined chunkier look and feel. 1963 to 1966 only - Service III model introduced with complete re-design and internal low-voltage lighting option. So the Service III (or 3) was only in production for a short period of time, as a consequence there are relatively few examples out there compared to the other Service models. The Service 3 model has a very different look and feel when compared to its predecessor Service and Service II models and almost has a kind of 1950s "Forbidden Planet" look about it - you could almost picture Robbie the Robot in the background!When launched it must have seemed quite revolutionary and was probabaly mainly aimed at institutions such as universities and hospitals, with it offering similar capability to the bigger Watson Bactil model microscope at a lower price point. The Service 3 also came with the option of an internal lighting system and integral power supply, both useful features at the time, avoiding the need for a separate power supply unit. This example is serial number 138956 and we can date it's manufacture to around 1963; it's from the period when the original optical manufacturing company of Watson & Sons had changed their trading name to Watson Barnet. This specific microscope is ex Glasgow Royal Infirmary where it was used until around 1998-99 in one of the pathology labs - I was advised by a technician who used this particular microscope that it was used to assist with diagnosis for certain conditions to detect the formation of crystalline deposits in biopsy samples - an interesting back story for this particular instrument. This Service 3 has a comprehensive technical configuration with a set of lenses that mirrors what it would have been fitted with originally. The overall construction is very solid with much use of heavy metals and cast alloy with base, stage and upper all of heavy construction. This model is painted in a black enamel finish and the paintwork is in pretty good shape, with a few chips and marks and some minor evidence of flaking, as one would expect for a used vintage piece of technical equipment. The bright-work components have also polished up quite well. This Watson Service 3 has rack and pinion main and vernier fine focusing via separate thumb-wheels at the base of the frame, both of which move reasonably smoothly with some signs of wear but still perfectly functional. Interestingly, the main coarse focus moves the frame (limb) in a vertical plane, whereas the fine focus moves the stage.
This example comes with two different eyepiece lens options for its monocular head - a 7x magnification Watson eyepiece and my preferred option - a very bright wide-aperture Nikon 10x magnification eyepiece with integral rubber eye-cup. The Nikon eyepiece also has its own focus capability. This microscope is fitted with a quadruple nose-piece and comes supplied with four quality objective lenses with progressive magnification, as follows.4x Watson 40mm para with extender tube. 100x Vickers - oil immersion (not tested with oil).
The effective magnification range available from a combination of all supplied lenses is therefore pretty good being around 28x to 1,000x when using oil immersion techniques. The specimen stage has a mechanical over-stage fitted with x-axis and y-axis controls offering good control during specimen viewing - the over-stage attaches via two thumb-screws located under-stage. This over-stage also has a stage-clip system for holding slides in place for viewing purposes.There is some evidence of wear to the painted finish on the stage surface but this is fairly minor and in keeping. Below stage there is a Watson Abbe-type condenser with fully working iris on an unusual twist mount that gives the condenser some height adjustment - it's also fitted with a filter holder for coloured or dark-field filters.
There is an integral electric sub-stage illuminator for lighting, which works really well and is located within the microscope's base unit, containing an on/off switch, rheostat, power supply, bulb carrier and opaque glass lens. During testing this lighting set-up produced brilliant diffuse illumination effectively acting like a kohler source, which is also variable in intensity via the rheostat control located on the rear of the base unit. In summary, a really interesting example of a relatively scarce-to-market Watson Barnet Service 3 model with its comprehensive technical set-up, period retro look and good cosmetic condition - probably an example suitable for an enthusiast or collector of quality vintage Watson microscopes.
This very capable Watson example from a bygone era will make a sound addition to any collection - it's also a microscope with an interesting known history. Please note that there is no storage case with this example. With all that metal it's also a really heavyweight piece and will be over 10kg packed weight, so will be partially dismantled, well wrapped and sent by insured courier upon receipt of cleared funds. Thanks for looking - please check out my other listings - mainly eclectic artworks and vintage optics, plus some other cool stuff. The item "Vintage Watson Service 3 Monocular Microscope, ex Glasgow Royal Infirmary, c1963" is in sale since Tuesday, May 5, 2020.
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, 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, Bolivia, Brunei darussalam, Dominica, Ecuador, Egypt, Guernsey, Gibraltar, Guadeloupe, Grenada, French guiana, Iceland, Jersey, Cambodia, Saint kitts and nevis, Liechtenstein, Macao, Monaco, Martinique, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Peru, Paraguay, Turks and caicos islands, Aruba, Saudi arabia, United arab emirates, Chile, Bahamas, Costa rica, Dominican republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Kuwait, Panama, Philippines, Qatar, El salvador, Trinidad and tobago, Uruguay, Viet nam.