I have discovered this bizarre camera at the Feriköy flea market (Istanbul, Turkey) which is a "Werra 35mm viewfinder" manufactured by Carl Zeiss Jena, primarily a lens-making plant. (Werra is named after a small German river). The camera is made in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in the early 50s. At that time, Zeiss Oberkochem and Carl Zeiss Jena have been in a legal dispute over trademarks, that is why there is no brand name or icon present in front of the camera but a faint print at the back.
The futuristic and minimalist design of this camera is incredible. The most unique feature of the Werra is its enigmatic structure wrapped with olive green leatherette over an aluminum body. When you remove the lens cover it looks like a point and shoot camera with the shutter release on the top plate and no other controls. But no, its a different animal.. you need to remove the tortoise shell in order to reveal the actual controls which are incorporated into the lens barrel.
Twisting the large ring around the lens barrel cocks the shutter and advances the film. The aperture can be adjusted (f/2.8 to 16) using the front ring and the exposure (max.1/250) by turning another ring behind. Loading the film is done done upside down.
Once camera manufacturers used to hire famous designers as Canon collaborated with German industrial designer Luigi Colani for their famous T90, and recently Leica has announced that it is in discussions with Sir Jonathan Ive - chief designer at Apple - about designing a unique version of its new M rangefinder etc. I wish we could also knew the name of the engineer who designed this Werra gem. Does anybody has any knowledge? Please come forward!