Carl Zeiss 12 x 60 Observation Binoculars, Second World War

These are exceptional 20th century WWII German 12x60 observation binoculars, presented on an adjustable wooden tripod. The binoculars were manufactured by the company Carl Zeiss. Carl Zeiss is a German manufacturer of optical systems, founded in Jena, Germany in 1846 by optician Carl Zeiss. These binoculars were used for long-watch land and sky observation by German forces between 1939 and 1945.

The binoculars were ruggedly constructed to withstand the rigors of field service. They were used for various tasks, including daylight observation of enemy troop movements, directing fire from artillery toward advancing enemy troops and armor, directing fire at enemy aircraft, and night observation. The angle of the binoculars allowed the observer to sustain watch for long periods of time. The angle also permitted a necessary versatility, as the watchman was able to perform both higher aerial observation and observation of enemy troops on the same visual plane as the watchman.

The wartime code for this binocular, “blc”, is engraved on the side of the binocular.  “blc” is the secret manufacturing code assigned to Zeiss by the German Army Ordnance Department. The use of the “blc” code instead of the company’s normal logo on the side was a precautionary one, to ensure the secrecy of factory production should the binocular fall into enemy hands.

World War II binoculars were true military weapons, designed for defense and reconnaissance. They were never designed for civilian use, and were constructed without cost in mind, as the reliability of the optics far outweighed the monetary cost.  The eyepieces can be adjusted for focus and the distance between your eyes with a turn of a knob, as can the shade settings for the lenses. This particular binocular also possesses sun filters. It was a known military tactic to fly in line with the sunlight and filters helped to cut the glare of the sun to increase plane and bomber tracking.

This stunning antique binocular is a perfect addition to any serious WWII, military, or optics collection.


German military Zeiss 12x60 observation binocular mounted on a modern aluminum cradle and gimble, with adjustable wooden tripod.  The binoculars are marked 'blc’, Rm.-F. 12 X 60, für, Em 4m R40' and are made by Carl Zeiss. Adjustment of the interocular distance is by a lever under the left-hand ocular that causes rotation of a circular plate, in which it is eccentrically mounted. When these WW2 binoculars were in operation, connectors for the desiccating apparatus could be fitted on the sides 'Trocken - luft' (dry air).

Binocular is in very good condition, functional and internally clean. Glass is original with no cracks and minimal cloudiness. The optics give outstanding visual clarity. The rubber brow rest (eye rest) can be folded sideways or upwards. 

Dimensions: 49" H x 17" W x 16 1/2" D.

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