I thought timer, too, but it doesn't. If I cock the shutter and press the red lever, when I release the shutter it opens immediately and doesn't close until the red lever gets all the way back to its resting spot (which it doesn't do without help). If it is supposed to be a timer, it doesn't work that way or it's broken.
The way it opens to load film is kinda cool - a piece rotates to the side and the catch releases as it moves. OK, so I can be easily amused at times.