The W46 was the very first post war newly designed German telephone. This telephone, introduced in 1946 by the Deutsche Post, had virtually no parts in common with its predecessors the W28 and W38. This phone was produced by the SABA company (Schwarzwälder Apparate-Bau-Anstalt August Schwer Söhne) located in Villingen and was well known for its radio’s.
The W46 has a one piece sheet steel housing with a bakelite handset. The choice of pressed sheet steel as a material is somewhat unusual for this period, more so because it usually resulted in a simple rectangular box. In this case SABA made an effort to make a more complex and pleasing form out of this material.
Also this telephone had so called concentric bells: the one bell is mounted inside the other, so making maximum use of the limited space available.
The dial mechanism was a completely new design and totally different from the NrS 38. Some W46’s have a conventional fingerwheel, albeit with smaller than usual finger holes. Others have a so called „Fingermuldenscheibe“, dimple dial.
The concept of the „Fingermuldenscheibe“ did not really catch on, especially because women with long fingernails could not operate this dial properly and had to use a pencil to dial a number.
Because Germany was occupied by allied forces in this period and industrial output was limited, not many examples were produced. Today it is quite a rare telephone.