1970 Wild NK2This instrument entered the collection in March 2016. It is the successor of the 1951 Wild N2 in my collection. Clearly its design was given a complete makeover, making it a more modern looking instrument, showing the new design known from its successor, the Wild NA2, the later Wild N3 level and Wild TC1 total station.
The Wild NK2 developed from Wild Heerbrugg's very first instruments, the Wild NII and Wild NKII levels and the later N2/NK2 models. The K in the model name indicates the presence of a horizontal circle (Kreis in German) like in this example here. The complete makeover shown here was introduced in 1969. The differences between the previous and the current model are mainly cosmetic. The telescope still has a fixed sun shade, and the coincidence vial is still fully encapsulated and read through a microscope (see figure 12). The housing that covers the technical parts of the instrument reflects the latest trends in industrial design. It shows nice integrated smooth lines without ponderous attachments like the circular vial in the previous models.
The most visually obvious technical difference was that the tilt screw moved from the ocular side to to the objective side of the instrument (see figure 9). To indicate the difference with its previous model Wild Heerbrugg referred to the instrument as the NK21 (and N21 for the version without horizontal circle).1
Also performance wise the NK2 saw some changes. The telescope went from a 28x power to 30x power, while the shortest focussing distance was reduced by 6 decimetres to 1.6 metres.2 When compared to its predecessor the accuracy with which the vial could be settled dropped from 0.5" to 0.8".2 This, however, seems to have been compensated by the higher magnification as the instrument remained capable to do a 1km double run with an accuracy of 2mm.2
The horizontal circle is centesimally divided (i.e. divided into 400 grad). It can be read directly to tenths of grads and estimated a decimal further (see figure 14). The orientation of the horizontal circle can be set by turning the black knurled ring on the base directly above the foot screws (see figure 9).
Judging the overall looks of the instrument it seems to have had a reasonable quiet life. It shows only little wear, mostly due to its contact with the box while being taken out and placed back. It has been dropped at least once, creating a small dent in the sun shade. The instrument dates from 1970, a year after its introduction in 1969. By this time some 1800 of these levels were manufactured.3 Judging from a written date inside the box, it was re-sold in 1978. It came with its original case and still is in full working order.
Notes: See the Product Overview Levels at the Virtual Archive of Wild Heerbrugg.
: See the Wild Levels for every levelling task at the Virtual Archive of Wild Heerbrugg.
: With many thanks to J. Dedual of the Virtual Archive of Wild-Heerbrugg for checking this for me.
If you have any questions and/or remarks please let me know.
20th c. hydrostatic level 19th c. water bottle level 19th c. Secrétan Egault 19th c. Tibaut Lenoir 1928 Carl Zeiss Nivellier I 1926 Wild NKII 1924 Carl Zeiss Nivellier II 1948 Wild N1 1932 Carl Zeiss Nivellier III 1951 Wild N2 1965 Wild NK01 1965 Wild NK10 1961 Wild N3 1970 Wild NK2 1977 Wild N3 1999 Wild NA2-GPM3 20th c. Cowley 1960s Jenoptik Koni 007 1960s Zeiss Opton Ni 2