One of the oldest designs to wear the Zeiss Ikon logo would be the Nettel. It was introduced around 1903 by Suddeutsches Camerawerk Korner and Mayer, which in 1909 was renamed Nettel Camerawerk, which in turn merged with Contessa to form Contessa-Nettel in 1919. Under Contessa-Nettel the camera was call Deckrullo-Nettel, but after Contessa-Nettel merged with Ernemann, Goerz and Ica to form Zeiss Ikon, it reverted to it's original name.
The Nettel is a strut folding plate camera with a focal plane shutter. Framing was done with a wire finder, focus was adjust via a knob which moved the lens board in and out, the focus scale was on the top. The lens had a small degree of rise and fall. The camera was available in 4.5 x 6cm, 6.5 x 9cm, 9 x 12cm, 5 x 7" and 10 x 15cm.
The standard model was cataloged as 870 series, and was constructed of a wooden body covered with black leather, and a black painted wooden lens board. A tropical version was produced in all but the smallest size. It was made of polished teak, with nickel re-enforcements on the corners, and had brown leather belows. It was listed as the 871 series.
Both the standard version as well as the tropical model were available in 6 x 13cm and 10 x 15cm stereo formats.
This example of the Nettel is marked "Nettel Camerawerk", pre-dating even Contessa Nettel.
The tropical version, from Contessa Nettel. The finder is missing from the top.
A tropical plate holder.
Even the tropical film pack adapter used teak and brown leather.