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The Magna Wrist-A-Matic was invented by Mr. Bernard Seckendorf and sold for a short period from 1981 by Magnacam Corp. The unique design of the Wristamatic has only two moving parts and a patented magnetic shutter (Patent # 4,081,806  March 28, 1978). The film cartridges also acts as a developing tank so that the film can be processed in daylight.

The Wristamatic is worn on the wrist and is clipped to the wrist strap by collar-buttons with metal buckle for quick fastening and ease of operation. A tubular viewfinder is at right angles to the camera requiring some practice to get used to.

The camera is fixed focused 20mm lens, f/11 with a focal range of 5ft to infinity. It has a single shutter speed of 1/100s.

The six 10mm diameter images where sent to Magna Color Labs in Oakland, New Jersey for processing and 4 inch circular discs where returned. The only film supplied was the Magna 112 color print film, ASA 100 (21 DIN) but the cassettes can be reloaded so any ISO 100 can be used.

The all plastic construction kept the manufacturing cost down; the camera was sold for 39.95USD. However the plastic is not robust enough for the the exposed position worn on a wrist. The weak latch on the film chamber is easily broken making the camera useless.

The shutter is simple and uses the magnetic law that like poles repel. Firing the shutter moves the like poles of two permanent magnets into proximity thus opening and closing the shutter.

Users were disappointed with the results and in the fragility of the camera.

A Wristamatic with a flash attachment was planned but the Model 30 was the only production model.  

The Wristamatic came with wrist-strap, 3 film discs (18 exposures), display box, and instruction book.

Film discs were three per pack for 1.99USD, and processing was 5.70USD or 7.69USD for a per print cost of 43 cents, high compared to 35m and 110 film costs of the period.


Go to the main index Last updated 30th August 2005