Well, I don't have the original receipt, but I bought it in the US, so I don't know. The simplest explanation to me is that it left the factory that way, I have not seen references to spare distance scales on Plaubel's contemporary catalogs where all accessories, including filters, focal plane shutter, etc. are listed. But, with no definite proofs we cannot be completely sure... It seems that there were adaptors intended for use with the focal plane shutter, but I have never seen one of those, and are described as kind of "clip-on" accessories. Scales are screwed, not that they are difficult to remove but I don't see them as user-replaceable parts, at least not like a focusing screen or a viewfinder mask. Distance scales for the wide angle are not interchangeable between a Makina III and a Makina IIIR - they are of different size, at least on the ones I have handled.

I will ask some German colleagues to see if they can point me to the right direction, and maybe even do a call or two on our behalf - my German is a bit rusty to say the least... Again IIRC Plaubel's owner sold it because none of his descendants actually wanted to keep on with the business. I will see if I can identify and get in touch with any of them again with the help of some friends, we'll see if they are willing to have an interview or answer a couple of questions at least, if there are any remains of their ancestor's state...