I have wanted one of these for a while, and finally grabbed one on ebay. You see slews of 40s and 75s on ebay, but not too many of these. It has the 75mm f/4.5 anastigmatic varex coated lens. It has the geared focusing system, similar to the kodak reflex. The quality is on par with the Japanese TLRs of the same era.
... Early Argoflexes had a plastic body, I suppose .... Can you say an estimate when it is built? ...
Reiska, the Argoflex E, 1941-1948, was bakelite. It had coupled focusing, stops and several shutter speeds, but no flash sync.
The Argoflex II (shortlived with a malfunctioning frame counter) and Argoflex EM 1947-1948 were metal.
The Argoflex EF (1948-1951) was metal, now with a hot shoe for flash.
The Argoflex 40 (1951-1954) was plastic and the beginning of the end - uncoupled focusing, fewer stops, shutter just instant and bulb.
Subsequent versions were simple plastic, instant, fixed focus cameras in fancy dress.
The Varex lens was used from 1941 to 1954, then discontinued. I got interested in the Argoflexes on account of the Varex name of the lens. You may be familiar with the trouble that Ihagee had with their Exakta Varex cameras in the USA from 1950 onwards, Argus having already registered the name by 1941.
I didn't get anywhere with how the name was coined by Argus and by Ihagee (an inspired guess is that Ihagee were thinking of VARiabel EXakta, i.e. the exchangeable viewfinders). The trail has gone cold. Conspiracy theorists might like to note that Ihagee registered a US patent in 1941 for "a reflex camera with detachable camera hoods", but the name Varex doesn't appear in it.
Anyway, Alex, enjoy your Argoflex, and if you prowl around those sites maybe you'll get a date for it. You say the lens is coated, so that should put it in the late 1940s at the earliest, one of the last Argoflex E, or the EM if it's metal, or EF if it has flash sync.
The first real camera I used as a 13 year old was my father's Argoflex E. I bought one cheap some years ago simply as a souvenir, but the bakelite is so chipped that it obviously would have light leaks all over. As I recall, I had some nice slides from Dad's camera.
I'm looking for a good EM or EF now. I'd like to play with it for old times sake and they are cheap enough to allow that.
Good luck with yours,
Remember the old press photographer's advice: "f8 and be there."