Here we have a lovely vintage Service model microscope by W. Watson & Sons Limited of London in brass with chrome-plated finish. This example dates to around 1939 based on the sequential Watson production number of 68142 which is engraved onto the main optical tube (note: the last few digits of the serial number are obscured).This example is in all-original condition and has been well looked after by its former custodians. The Service model was essentially 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 the Service II (more streamlined shape) and then the Watson Barnet Service. So, this model essentially had quite a long production run of nearly 50 years - initially in a lacquered brass finish, then. From the late 1930s onwards in nickel/chrome plated finish.
This long production run giving us a firm steer about how capable this microscope was in its heyday. Lovely bright-work details such as thumb-wheels which are showing virtually no signs of age-related tarnishing and in the main have polished up really well. An excellent piece of British inter-war optical engineering showing its quality in every component, based on the right materials, solid construction, great design and skilled craftsmanship - no wonder it was a staple optical instrument in universities and schools right up to the 1960s.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 Service microscope in pretty good original condition, fully working, with few signs of wear, just a small amount of paint bubbling and hardly any chipping to the black painted surfaces.
It's got a great look and patina and presents as a perfect. Collectable example of the period. Baker - 10x parachromatic by Watson - 40x parachromatic by Watson - 90x apochromatic oil immersion by Leitz. Overall, the range of magnification provided by this Watson Service is therefore 50x right up to 900x when using oil immersion and very bright illumination.
The microscope stage is a standard Watson ebonite with metal core item for the Service model, but it's fitted with a fine example of the Watson mechanical over-stage, which locates through the holes in the stage where standard stage-clips fit and is tightened into position with two thumb-screws from below. The mechanical stage is a delight and works really well, with smooth-running x/y adjusters located to the right-hand side and two arms for holding slides steady, with the right-hand sprung armature providing just the right resistance to hold a slide firmly. There's also two small spring-steel clips to provide additional support for slides when the x and y axes are being moved around - these are also in good condition, even exhibiting some of the original factory bluing.
Turning to the sub-stage, we have an Abbe-style condenser by Watson on a height adjustable rack and pinion mount which also has a working iris to control lighting levels and there's also a swing-out holder allowing coloured, opaque or dark-field filters to be inserted. Lighting is via a plano-concave mirror on an adjustable brass support arm and gimbal with good functional silvering to both sides. All controls have been given a light lubrication and now operate reasonably smoothly including focus, fine-focus, eyepiece draw-tube, mechanical over-stage, condenser and plano-concave mirror.
This example also has a period-correct Watson storage case in hardwood. The case is in pretty good condition, with some shrinkage cracking to the rear, internal lens rack, a rather nice original leather carry-handle and is just missing its lock and key.This is a rather good visual and working example of Watson's classic Service model in highly original condition with a very useful over-stage upgrade and good optics; it's essentially in excellent usable condition and will also make a fantastic display centerpiece, especially with its gleaming chrome detailing. Thanks for looking - please also check out my other listings if you get a chance. The item "Vintage Watson Service Microscope with Mechanical Over-stage, circa 1939, Cased" is in sale since Saturday, July 3, 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.