Here is a very well equipped, collectable and highly usable example of an iconic 1960s technical microscope in excellent original condition - a retro Watson Bactil-60 binocular model from 1962. It appears to have been well looked after by former custodians and comes together with some nice accessories more of which later in the listing. If you are not familiar with Watson's Bactil-60 model, it's quite distinct from its sibling the standard Bactil model in that the Bactil 60 entered service around 1960 and took Watson in a new direction - it has concentric coarse/fine focus that moves the frame & stage, it's non-incliable and the binocular unit can be swapped and re-fitted rotated by 180 degrees. This model often found its way into NHS and educational establishments because of its sheer capability and robustness, so lab technicians or students from the 1960s/70s will probably recognise its unmistakable silhouette.It's also a heavy well-made instrument as well as being very capable technically, so please read on if you're interested in this substantial and rather nice vintage technical instrument. It's has got a comprehensive technical configuration with a good compliment of period objective lenses offering a very useful magnification range. The construction is really solid with much use of heavy metals such as iron and brass. The off-white painted finish is in generally good condition with only a couple of areas showing minor chipping here and there which is in keeping with light use over the last 60 years.
The bright-work components are all nickel/chrome plated and have polished up well. The Watson Bactil-60 has concentric main and fine focusing with the thumb-wheels located at the bottom of the frame - the coarse focus has some resistance to prevent the heavy frame slipping whereas in contrast the fine focus is very light to the touch since the mechanism is just carrying the weight of the stage.This example is supplied with a pair of 10x Watson eyepieces - these therefore scale up to 15x magnification taking into account the +1.5x provided by the binocular unit. There's also a pair of Reichert 12.5x Plan eyepieces which therefore scale up to 18.75x magnification. The Bactil-60's vintage binocular eyepiece unit is adjustable for focus by turning the right hand eyepiece tube and eyepiece separation via a central knurled thumb-wheel adjuster. The binocular unit works very well with no colimation issues evident and generally good vintage optics.
The binocular unit can also be removed and re-fitted by rotating it by 180 degrees giving useful options for orientation of the instrument. The instrument is fixed and does not tilt for inclined viewing. This example is fitted with a rotating Watson quadruple nose-piece which clicks into position positively as each objective is rotated to its viewing position and comes supplied with progressive magnification period objective lenses, as follows.Watson para - 25mm - 6x - Watson para 16mm - 10x. Watson para 4mm - 40x. Watson para 2mm - 100x - oil immersion. There's therefore an effective magnification range with all the supplied optics of around 90x to a theoretical 1,875x with the use of very good illumination and oil immersion. The fully mechanical rectangular specimen stage is a well-engineered feature of the instrument that has rack & pinion and helical screw systems that move both the x-axis and y-axis fairly smoothly if with a little drag on occasion.
There's also silvered vernier measurement scales on the axes. The stage-clip system for holding slides in place during viewing comprises a sprung clip system on a quick release mount held in place with a single thumb-screw. It works very well and can easily be adjusted to accommodate different sizes of slide.
There's very little evidence of wear to the black painted finish on the stage surface - an indicator of fairly light use. Below stage there is a Watson Universal No.1 NA 1.0 condenser with a working iris for controlling lighting levels that moves freely. The whole condenser assembly is on a rack and pinion mount for vertical adjustment with twin-sided thumb-wheels to adjust the height. There's also a 32mm swing-out filter holder below the condenser for adding coloured, opaque, neutral density or dark-field filters. The condenser is in a quick-release mount with centering and can be removed in seconds for maintenance or swapping for a different type of condenser. The height adjustment gives adequate reach to allow the condenser to be oiled to the back of a slide for high magnification applications. This example is fitted with a bespoke Watson Bactilite electric illumination system comprising cable and connector, 6V 18W bulb carrier, lamp-house with iris and flip in/out diffuser and field illuminator with internal lenses and a flip over additional lens. All in all the Bactilite illuminator is a quality piece of kit which slots into a bespoke recess in the instrument's base and is held in position by three small tabs. The Bactilite works really well and for testing I was using a correct period Watson Light Control Unit (power supply) which was perfect for powering the illuminator - please note that the power supply is not part of this listing and was being used for testing purposes only. A suitable power supply unit will be required in order to use this instrument. I've also got a 2 inch plano-concave mirror illuminator in a gimbal mount that sits on a stand-alone base unit that I will supply with the instrument as a useful alternative to the Bactilite illuminator - see final listing photo. There is a hairline crack to the plano side, but it works very well as a stand-alone illuminator. All-in-all this is a rather nice, highly original and well specified example of a retro Watson Bactil-60 binocular model with its comprehensive technical set-up, period look and excellent cosmetic condition with just the right level of patination to its paintwork for a 1960s example. This instrument will make a great usable addition to a collection as well as making a spectacular and imposing retro display item. If you've been looking for a vintage Watson Bactil-60 for a while, this example definitely merits a really close look.
Please note that there is also a correct storage case with internal drawer, original leather carry-handle and working lock with key. There's a set of neutral density filters, a blue filter as well as the extra set of Reichert eyepieces in the drawer. Thanks for looking - please check out my other listings if you get a chance. This item is in the category "Antiques\Science/Medicine\Scientific Instruments".The seller is "arcboutant" and is located in this country: GB. This item can be shipped to United Kingdom, Antigua and Barbuda, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Republic of 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, Bahrain, Canada, Brazil, Japan, New Zealand, Israel, Hong Kong, Norway, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Bangladesh, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Barbados, Brunei Darussalam, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Ecuador, Egypt, Guernsey, Gibraltar, Guadeloupe, Grenada, French Guiana, Iceland, Jersey, Jordan, Cambodia, Saint Kitts-Nevis, Saint Lucia, Liechtenstein, Sri Lanka, Macau, Monaco, Maldives, Montserrat, Martinique, Nicaragua, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Paraguay, Reunion, Turks and Caicos Islands, Aruba, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Chile, Bahamas, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Kuwait, Panama, Philippines, Qatar, Trinidad and Tobago, Vietnam, Dominican Republic, El Salvador.