With SPECTRE thrilling us like only Bond can, our thirst for spy games and gadgets is at fever pitch. Which is why we love the thought of owning a piece of spy history with this unassuming Lucky Strike cigarette packet which, believe it or not, is actually a spy camera! Truly the stuff of Q-Branch!
One of only two ever made, the camera is packed into a 16mm metal-body, with matt-black body and chrome top plate. It’s hidden within a paper Lucky Strike-branded full sized cigarette packet and awesomely comes complete with a metal body light meter disguised as an Ohio Safety match box!
The Lucky Strike camera was developed around 1950 with the selenium light meter being built by Quavas Corporation. This and the other example that’s thought to have been made were developed by Mast Development Co. Inc. who were asked to design it by the U.S. Signal Corps. Rather wastefully in our opinion, neither model is thought to have been put to use by the U.S. army, though!
The camera itself was made to a very high standard with a five-element f/2.7 17.5mm Sonnar-type lens. For you photography geeks out there; the camera has a focal plane shutter which was mounted in front of the lens and provided it with shutter speeds from B,5,=50,00. Eighteen exposures on 16mm film could be made.
The Lucky Strike spy camera is due for auction in Hong Kong this morning at 8am UK time, where Bonham’s have put a price estimate of £27,000 – 43,000 on the gadget. If you want to see how it gets on or fancy a bid yourself, head over to the Bonham’s Website!