1950s Cold War espionage device disguised as a watch to be auctioned for a surprisingly low sum; someone could end up spying a bargain and something akin to what Jack Ruby even once owned.
FBI informant and ‘assassin’s assassin’ Jack Ruby – the man whom fatally shot Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin of John F. Kennedy in November 1963 – supposedly owned a Protona microphone wrist watch, but these German devices were primarily used in Europe during the Cold War by police and intelligence organisations.
Now, an opportunity to buy a Protona in an online auction has arisen for what seems a surprisingly low price. The item concerned appears to the eye as a 40mm chronograph stainless steel wrist watch, but it also has an insert where a wire can be attached and hidden under the sleeve of the clothing of the person wearing it. That wire would then connect to a portable recording device concealed over their shoulder that could pick up audio for upto one hour.
Remarking of the quirky item her firm is set to sell, Laura Bishop, watch manager at Fellows auction house, commented:
“This is the perfect opportunity to own a fascinating piece of espionage and an intriguing watch combined. I can only imagine some of the conversations that this device might have recorded. We have been unable to gain access to the movement of the watch to find out its exact condition, however the dial is intact with no visible marks. History and watch enthusiasts alike won’t want to miss this one. I’m sure it will fly above its estimate.”
Fellows have set an estimate of £140 to £200 ($187 to $267, €157 to €224 or درهم687 to درهم982) and will sell it online on 8th December whilst elsewhere on eBay, another example is for sale along with a case full of extras for a far more punchy £897.50 ($1,199, €1,007 or درهم4,406).