Here we have a lovely collectable Service microscope by W. Watson & Sons Limited of London. This example dates to 1929 based on the sequential Watson production number of 44867 which is engraved onto the main tube and there's also the Watson guarantee card in the case which confirms the date as 4 October 1929, which is a nice touch and increasingly hard to find. This example is in all-original condition and has been incredibly well looked after by its former custodians, presenting a great opportunity to acquire a usable vintage instrument that's in fantastic condition.It's perfectly usable and ideal for transmitted light microscopy applications and of course display. The Service model was the mid-size model of Watson's range of microscope offerings and the back-bone of its microscope range, first appearing in the Watson catalogue around 1919 and remaining in production right up until the mid 1960s - first as the Service (this example), then Service I Research and Service II Student's model (these both had a more streamlined shape) and then finally the Watson Barnet Service. So, this model essentially had quite a long production run of nearly 50 years - initially in brass like this example, them from from the late 1940s onwards in nickel/chrome finish. This long production run giving us a firm steer about how capable this model of microscope was in its heyday, so much so that this model often found its way into hospitals and educational establishments. This example though in this sort of exceptional condition has clearly been in private ownership its entire life and is a really good find - definitely one for the Watson collector with a space in their collection for an early brass Service. This example also benefits from a set of original period lenses and it's also got really good brass-work such as thumb-wheels which are showing only very minor signs of age-related tarnishing (actually none that I can detect) and the instrument has in general cleaned up exceptionally well. The Service is essentially an excellent piece of British quality optical engineering showing its quality in every component, based on the right materials, solid construction and great design. Feel the weight of it for one, despite being a mid-size vintage microscope it's still quite heavy with all that steel and brass. This is a sturdy good quality Service microscope in excellent original condition, fully working, with no real signs of wear and no chipping to the painted surfaces. It's got a great look and no real signs of age for a 1920s brass example, making it a perfect proposition for a collector.
Turning to the optics, this Watson is fitted with a brass eyepiece draw-tube with graduation markings. The main tube is also in brass with coarse focus via rack and pinion with a nice smooth action, with the main tube holding in position as it should. Fine focus is a vernier screw/cam arrangement which also moves smoothly with the right level of resistance to the touch and has just been lightly lubricated. The instrument is supplied with two appropriate vintage 6x and 10x magnification eyepieces by Watson and Leitz that with good illumination produces nice sharp images. 2/3rds inch - Watson Para -10x.
1/6th inch - Watson Para - 40x - 1/12th inch - Otto Seibert - 100x oil immersion (all objectives have their correct period storage canisters). Overall, the range of magnification provided by this Watson therefore runs from about 60x to around 1,000x with good illumination and of course oil immersion when using the Seibert 1/12th inch objective. The instrument tilts for inclined viewing, holding in position as it should. The stage is a standard Watson ebonite stage that's fitted with a pair of original brass stage-clips which are fine for holding a slide steady especially when using inclined viewing.
Turning to the sub-stage, we have a Watson Abbe-type condenser in a brass mount with helical screw height adjustment and a swing-out capability which I've tried to demonstrate in the listing photos. There's also a smooth working iris and a 35mm swing-out filter carrier. Lighting is via a plano-concave mirror on an adjustable brass support arm and gimbal with very good silvering to both sides. This is a really good visual and also an excellent working example of Watson's Service model in highly original condition with good period optics and it's essentially very much a collectable instrument especially in view of the near-perect cosmetics and its gleaming brass-work.There is also the correct storage case with this example, with internal lens rack, leather-covered carry-handle and a working lock with key currently missing and I will endeavour to source a replacement key for it in the near future. Thanks for looking - please also check out my other listings if you get a chance.