Ducati BIMAR Kriegsmarine 10 X 80 Binoculars.
A pair of German ex-Navy observation binoculars mounted on a modern aluminium cradle and gimble with vintage adjustable wooden tripod. The tripod manufactured by Wild, Heerbrugg, Switzerland. The binoculars with 20º incline eyepieces so were predominately used for viewing the horizon and up to a 30 degree limit, but were also used to direct fire from the guns. These are marked 'D.F. 10 X 80, m.schr.Einbl 20°, -0.1 atü, mlr, 00403'. mlr is the secret manufacturing code assigned to Ducati (Società Scientifica Radiobrevetti Ducati (SSRD)) by the German Army Ordnance Department. And yes this is the same Italian firm that later became the renowned motor bike manufacturer. There were three main manufacturers of the Kriegsmarine 10 x 80 binoculars, Carl Zeiss of Germany (blc), Optical Precision Work of Poland (eug) and Ducati of Italy (mlr). In 1942 the Kriegsmarine initially ordered around1900 units of the 20° inclined 10x80 binoculars from Ducati who named them Bimar (BInocolo MARino or sea binoculars) in its files. Ducati supplied around 450 BIMAR to Germany in the 1940's but continued to make around 150 more after WWII assembled from parts in storage and sold on the civilian market. The eyepieces can be adjusted for focus by the levers on the eyepieces and the interocular distance adjustment is achieved with a side knob on the right-hand side (Augenabstand). There is a wrap round black rubber brow rest with horizontal movement for the Interpupillary distance, a small secondary brow rest would also have been fitted under the main one. The optical quality of the lenses is remarkable giving a stunning view equal to any similar modern binocular. These are physically larger and heavier than most 10 X 80, fitted with 20° inclined eyepieces and manufactured for the German Navy (Kriegsmarine). The 80mm object glasses fitted with large rain guards with sea water drainage holes. The colour lenses (Farbylaswechsler) have night & day (Nacht & Tag) filter adjustment, a yellow contrast enhance filter and a neutral density filter for sunlight or search light glare. Two desiccator cartridges are present; these would be filled with gel to absorb moisture. There is also an air drying system where dry air can be past through the rear of the binoculars and vented out the front. Also fitted is an open framed range finder and a port for the reticule illuminator (left hand side).
This is a very fine pair of 1940's Italian binoculars with a highly polished finish, giving it a sculptural look.
The measurements are without the tripod.
Manfred Schotten Antiques
109 High Street, Burford, Oxfordshire. OX18 4RG, United Kingdom.
Tel: 01993 822 302