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New member
United States
Hello I recently bought a pair of vintage binoculars in an antique shop in LA. They are a pair of Hensoldt Weltzar binoculars, they are 8x24. They are also marked Wacht and Germany 52210. I only found a pair on eBay that were around $40 but they had problems w/ one optics. I guess I am really just trying to find out some history, perhaps if they from WW1 or WW2. Thank you very much


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Well-known member
United States
Interesting find. That design looks early 1900s so I'd opine that was made before or after WWI. (Most wartime production shifted to the military) Since it's a center focus, it likely wasn't military issue...but might have been privately purchased by an officer. That wasn't uncommon long ago. Good find. BTW the case will benefit from some shoe polish. Don't expect too much improvement but it will look better and the thirsty leather will thank you for it.

John A Roberts

Well-known member
Hi VF.

Looking at Peter Abrahams listing of Hensoldt binoculars:
a) The Abbe-Koenig prism logo must date from 1905 at the earliest, when Hensoldt introduced A-K prism binoculars (on the Dialyt line), and
b) The logo changed from 'Wacht' in the A-K prism to 'Hensoldt Wetzlar' in the prism in 1920.
See the attached copy from: http://home.europa.com/~telscope/hensoldt.txt
So your unit should date from between 1905 and 1920.

Also from the listing:
a) The first Porro Type I prism binoculars date from just after WWI, and this includes the 8x24, and;
b) Both entries are qualified as '1919?'. *
So seemingly your unit is immediate post-WWI production from 1919-1920.
Hopefully someone can provide more detail.


* In contrast, Frank (aka LPT here on BirdForum) indicates that Hensoldt did produce Porro prism binoculars prior to WWI.
See his comments in relation to Zeiss taking legal action against Hensoldt for alleged patent violation at: https://flic.kr/p/238y6i4


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Well-known member
The binocular in question is a civilian model and was likely made circa 1919 - earlier 1920’s. Hensoldt did make some Porro I binoculars with widely spaced objectives between about 1900-1905 in violation of the Zeiss patent which would not expire until 1908 (see Seeger blue book pages 378-378), but the subject binocular is not one of these. I’ve attached a photograph of the one in my collection. From about 1897 - about 1905 Hensoldt also made a series of roof prismed pentaprism binoculars with widely spaced objective lenses which closely resemble Porro I models and are easily mistaken for Porro I’s. The picture that John attached is actually one of these.

The europa.com Hensoldt listing is excellent, but it is not comprehensive.


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