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Wrist watch
Wired concealed microphone

One of the most popular examples of a concealed microphone is the wrist watch shown below. It was used during the Cold War to covertly record a confidential conversation in a room. The watch contains a wired microphone that can be connected to a recording device or a small transmitter.
 
The watch shown here was made by Protona in Germany, who were also the manufacturers of the popular Minifon wire recorders. They were used heavily at the height of the Cold War by law enforcement and intelligence agencies to collect evidence and to covertly record a conversation.

The actual microphone is so large that it takes up the entire interior of the watch, which means that the device is a passive concealment as it can no longer be used as a watch. It has to be worn on the left arm, so that the cable can be hidden effectively in the sleeve of the operative's coat.
  
Microphone concealed as a wrist watch

At the end of the cable is a jack plug or a multi-pin connector, depending on the recorder model it was used with. In many cases they were modified for use with other types of recorders and transmitters. Even after the demise of Protona in 1967, the wrist watch microphone remained a popular concealment for intelligence agencies and in particular the Central Intelligence Agency.
 
Trigon
In fact it was so popular with the CIA, that in his book Ultimate Spy, Keith Melton introduces the device as a CIA wristwatch microphone [1 p.10]. Alexsandr Ogorodnik, codenamed Trigon, was a Russian diplomat who had been spying for the CIA since 1974. In 1975 he was relocated to Moscow where he had obtained a key position at the American Department of the Soviet Foreign Ministry. His CIA case officer was Martha Peterson, a young woman who worked at the embassy.

On 15 July 1977, just after making a drop for Ogorodnik, Peterson was arrested by the KGB and asked to be visited by a US embassy representative. When the representative arrived, the KGB noticed that the man wore two watches. The one on the left was a concealed microphone and he had forgotten to take off his real watch. Protected by her diplomatic immunity, Peterson was released but saw her diplomatic status revoked and was expelled from the USSR. When being interrogated by the KGB, Ogorodnik committed suicide by taking his CIA-supplied L-Pill [1 p.61].
 
Microphone concealed as a wrist watch Microphone concealed as a wrist watch Microphone concealed as a wrist watch Microphone wrist watch for the Protona Special Microphone concealed as a wrist watch
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Microphone wrist watch for the Protona Special
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Microphone concealed as a wrist watch

References
  1. H. Keith Melton, Ultimate Spy
    1996-2015. ISBN 978-0-2411-8991-7.

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Crypto Museum. Created: Tuesday 15 September 2015. Last changed: Tuesday, 13 June 2017 - 11:05 CET.
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