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Instruments of Science & Technology / A RARE SYSTEM BEYER KRYPTO POCKET WATCH CIPHER, DANISH, CIRCA 1933,

Lot 22
*
A RARE SYSTEM BEYER KRYPTO POCKET WATCH CIPHER,
DANISH, CIRCA 1933,
28 September 2022, 14:00 BST
London, Knightsbridge

£8,000 - £12,000

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A RARE SYSTEM BEYER KRYPTO POCKET WATCH CIPHER, DANISH, CIRCA 1933,

the centre reading KRYPTO System Beyer Pat. anm., by the Danish Cipher Machine Co. Ltd. of Copenhagen, the watch within polished nickel case, with ring of alphabet scale, within a disc with alphabet and punctuation scales, the 'winder' with plunge operating control,
2 1/4in (6cm) diameter

Footnotes

This intricate cipher device was promoted as a machine that removed the need for code books altogether, and was developed in conjunction with the Danish Army Technical Corps and the Royal Engineers. The coding system itself is based on the theoretical calculations of the Danish engineer A. Køhle.

The chances of decoding messages encrypted on the Krypto device are extremely small - reaching the correct position for a period of letters would require 80,910 different combinations. One contemporary article proclaimed that "the certainty of the system is considered to be perfect and the coding systems may be altered indefinitely".

The present pocket watch cipher is extremely rare, with approximately half a dozen known examples of this type.

Literature:
cf. Denmark Abroad Vol. XXVII, August 1933.

Additional information