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6x42 in Swedish service

Started by Robert Forslund, August 16, 2020, 03:20:28 pm

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Robert Forslund

Dear colleges.
In my book "Swedish military binoculars" from 2009, on page 14, I wrote about Swedish navy binoculars:
"One notable observation is that the binoculars Zeiss 12x50 (Abbe König) and 6x42 from Zeiss and Voigtländer respectively were well known to the officers. One suspects that these binoculars had seen use in the Swedish navy, but there is no definite evidence. Until now none of these binoculars have been found with Swedish markings."
I have now in my collection a Voigtländer 6x42 with Swedish army markings. A big crown and an A for artillery. (See pictures)
There is a standard army graticule on the right side.
My friend and fellow BHS member Joakim has two of these binoculars. One exactly as mine and one originaly marked by Kaiserliche Marine and with Swedish markings added later.
All of these 6x42 are made by Voigtländer.
This leads me to speculate if there really were Swedish issued Zeiss 6x42 or if my statement was wrong.
Does anyone on this forum have 6x42 Zeiss binoculars with Swedish markings?


Niall McLaren

Great find Robert - the Voigtländer 6x42 is one of my favourite Ww1 navy binos but I've never seen non Kaiserliche Marine versions.
"A little bit of something beats a whole lot of nothing." - Little Richard

Peter De Laet

Dear Robert,

Not in my collection unfortunately...
"Wer schaffen will, muss fröhlich sein!" Theodor Fontane, 1819-1898.

Winfried Tuerk

Hello Robert, very important find! Be kind and tell me the serial number.
All the best - Winfried
living without binoculars is possible but senseless - paraphrasing Loriot "living without puc is possible ..."

Robert Forslund

Thank you all!
Winfried the serial No. is 83067.
Can you give an estimate when the binocular was made?

Winfried Tuerk

Hello Robert, thanks for the serial number. My Voigtländer database is unfortunately still very small, and we do not know whether Voigtländer has numbered their binoculars accordingly. If that was the case, then your very nice Navy glass was produced 1919 or - more likely - 1920.

Binoculars made by Voigtländer before or during the first third of the Great War were charactericed by the extensive use of brass. They have serial numbers between 20000 and 40000. Between 40000 and about 77000 my database has a lot of entries of glasses intended for military use with zinc plates and steel tightening knobs.

After World War I, binoculars manufacturers begun to use brass again for plates, eyepieces, knobs and other parts.

But that's just my two cents opinion... ;)
living without binoculars is possible but senseless - paraphrasing Loriot "living without puc is possible ..."

Robert Forslund

The binocular is really heavy.
I think your theory about the metal used post war seams to fit.
This also confirms your dating of when the binocular was made.
Thank you!

Zbig Fiema

My own model has zinc plates and the serial number is 66036. So probably made during the later part of WW1, as you suggested, Winfried. Seems to have the Lion of Braunschweig on the right side. Since no kaiserliche Marine markings, probably used by the Army?

Niall McLaren

Weren't the army ones marked Dienstglas or DF? My two 10x50's are but I can't remember the serials although I know they're later war zinc plated. Maybe a private purchase Zbig?
"A little bit of something beats a whole lot of nothing." - Little Richard

Zbig Fiema

Yes, Niall. Private purchase is a strong possibility. Unfortunately, the right plate is so much corroded but there might have been DF or Dienstglas marking there, I suppose.

Niall McLaren

Indeed - damn their zinc plates! >:(
"A little bit of something beats a whole lot of nothing." - Little Richard