The Star watch camera or Radio camera (ラジヲカメラ, rajiwo kamera) is a Japanese camera disguised as a pocket watch, released in 1912 by Ueda. It was patterned after the Lancaster watch camera. The watch-case opens and reveals the lens and shutter, mounted on a series of six concentric telescopic tubes. Pictures are taken on circular sheetfilm of about 3cm diameter. The camera is fixed-focus and the shutter only has T and I or B and I settings.
The inside of the watch-case has the word REGISTER'D, a five-pointed star, the name THE WATCH CAMERA, the initials S.C.W. for Star Camera Works and the serial number. The example pictured in Sugiyama has no.37414.
It is said that the camera was available in three different versions: with silver plating (¥8), brushed silver plating (¥9) or in sterling silver (¥20).
- Date and attribution to Ueda: Sugiyama, item 5002, and this page of the Center of the History of Japanese Industrial Technology.
- Lewis, p.27, says 3cm; Sugiyama, item 5002, says 31mm.
- T and I: Lewis, p.27. B and I: Sugiyama, item 5002.
- Sugiyama, item 5002.
- Lewis, p.27.
- Lewis, Gordon, ed. The History of the Japanese Camera. Rochester, N.Y.: George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography & Film, 1991. ISBN 0-935398-17-1 (paper), ISBN 0-935398-16-3 (hard). P.27.
- Sugiyama, Kōichi (杉山浩一); Naoi, Hiroaki (直井浩明); Bullock, John R. The Collector's Guide to Japanese Cameras. 国産カメラ図鑑 (Kokusan kamera zukan). Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1985. ISBN 4-257-03187-5. Item 5002. (See also the colour picture at the beginning.)