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Kanji translation help

Aeroseer777

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This is on a watch I think it belonged to an imperial officer, but I could be wrong
Effect_20160601_000326.jpg
Effect_20160601_002616.jpg
Effect_20160601_000511.jpg
 

Mike Cash

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That's a device for measuring distance, calibrated in kilometers. Made by Seiko, it seems.
 

lincstreff

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In @Aeroseer777 's defense, I think he/she wasn't seeking a second opinion about what the device was, but rather just a line-by-line translation of all the text.

Here is my attempt at that:
距離計 range finder
探信儀用 for use with passive sonar
單位(粁) Units: kilometers
精 工 舍 Seiko House (what later became Seiko Corporation)
横 horizontal
第275號 #275
 

Mike Cash

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In @Aeroseer777 's defense, I think he/she wasn't seeking a second opinion about what the device was, but rather just a line-by-line translation of all the text.

Here is my attempt at that:
距離計 range finder
探信儀用 for use with passive sonar
單位(粁) Units: kilometers
精 工 舍 Seiko House (what later became Seiko Corporation)
横 horizontal
第275號 #275
I get what he wanted. I didn't care for the dismissive tone.

You don't get ranges from passive sonar, only bearings. The range can be worked out over time, but not on anything that can be mistaken for a watch. For active sonar, perhaps.

The 横 almost certainly refers to Yokosuka Naval Base
 
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Majestic

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Mike Cash

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Picture of the thing here. (The guy who posted the picture to the blog isn't quite sure of the nature of the thing himself). I mean, it is unclear how the watch is used as a range-finder. Maybe the OP's watch is intact, and it's intended use is more obvious.

海軍用?距離計 探信儀用 秒時計? ( その他趣味 ) - アンティークウォッチ を探して 東西南北 - Yahoo!ブログ

The only plausible use that suggests itself is that it was used for active sonar pinging. Probably had a stopwatch mechanism and the dial was calibrated to give a direct readout based on the time between the ping going out and coming back. The speed of sound through water is pretty much a constant and the time of a roundtrip ping would be something the operator could clickety-click and get a degree of accuracy at least good enough for the tactics and weapons of the day. (It reads in 50m increments). It couldn't possibly be for radar, as the radio signal pings travel at the speed of light and there's no way on earth a human could manually click that on and off fast enough. Those displayed range directly readable from an oscilloscope anyway. It couldn't be for visual ranging as those worked off of measuring parallax angles and also had direct readout.

If anybody has some other idea I'd love to hear it.
 

Mike Cash

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Or maybe they used them to track torpedos fired and their expected time to impact, using distance traveled instead of time remaining. Or timed depth charge attacks, since sonar becomes useless in the final moments.
 
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