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THIS FINE INSTRUMENT HAS BEEN SOLD. THANK YOU!

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See our other C. Plath sextants here: http://www.landandseacollection.com/id2.html

Copyright, 2007 - 2004 by Land and Sea Collection, All rights Reserved

Rarely do we have the opportunity to offer an absolutely outstanding and flawless "Collector Quality" example of an earlier C. Plath sextant, Serial No. 58917 in its original Mahogany wood case with a Carl Zeiss 6 x 30 scope. I consider its date of manufacture, possibly as early as 1968, or 36 years ago. Later these sextants were housed in a Bakelite plastic case, and later still a reversion to a wood case. Three inspection certificates are included, the last shows it was certified for use at sea until some time after 1996.

This instrument  operates like a well oiled piece of machinery. It has NO faults even minor ones. It shows no discernable evidence of wear that it can be considered as new. The horizon mirror is NEW. The index mirror shows only the earliest, and slightest age along its inside edge which many people wouldn't notice, and may not be visible in the picture. If requested, we will replace it with a new one at a slight additional cost. The only thing we did to this sextant was wash it with a mild detergent, and fit a new bulb so the illumination works.We normally would polish and repaint the numbers on the arc, and will do so if requested at no cost, but in this case we preserved it "as is" so that a collector could have it with its natural patina of age.

The documentation speaks for itself. The earliest, a German certificate, which is a periodic inspection up-date as required by German Maritime Law is dated in 1974, and therefore is later than the sextant's manufacture.It is issued by a government agency not C. Plath. The numbers match on all the certificates. The last was issued in 1996. See the CONDITION section for details.
 
The interior of the case is as originally fitted. A missing spring loaded Bakelite claw that gripped the handle that held it in place was installed by me. The claws had a habit of breaking, and this sextant was received with a die cut foam insert, factory made for a newer Plath. It was a nice solution, but this instrument is worthy of being historically correct.

C. Plath quit producing sextants around 2001, but the quality of their sextants has been declining since shortly after they were purchased by Litton Industries in 1962. The parent company has completely liquidated everything including machinery, equipment and spare parts.

As a dealer, we have a small inventory of parts and can provide replacement mirrors if ever required, bulbs and mirror adjustment screws, all new.  

As is, this sextant is exceptional and is ideally suited for a collector who seeks only the highest quality instruments. For use at sea, it should provide outstanding dependable service, and pride in the ownership of a C. Plath sextant which is considered by many to be the standard by which other sextants are measured.

This sextant is offered with full return privileges if you are not completely satisfied. See details below in the Terms of Sale section.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: If you have read my other writings about sextants in regard to what to look for, and what to look out for, when buying one you know that a 6 x 30 scope, that is original to this sextant, is mainly for shooting the sun. But it works for early rising planets as well. So what to do if you want to shoot stars. I wish all things were this easy to solve. But first let me provide some historical background for those reading me for the first time. I was involved in the design of Tamaya sextants in the early 1970's. I was also a member of a military navigation board which made recommendations they hoped the industry would follow. One of these recommendations concerned having a better scope for taking sights at morning and evening twilight. I wont go into details, but most modern sextants before that time used more powerful scopes than a 4 x 40 just as this one does, and like many of the post WW II sextants that you see on ebay up to about 1975. And in the early days, sextants had no scopes just sighting tubes or pin hole devices through which the observer sighted. In any case, as a result of my passing these recommendations to Tamaya, they developed a 4 x 40 scope which became available with the introduction of  the highly acclaimed MS 733 SPICA sextant. Other manufactures did the same. Today, most experienced celestial navigators know that the low powered scope is preferred for star sights and the higher powered scope for sun sights. There are some other things to take into account about scopes for those interested please check the sextant listings in our ebay store and at auction for a more detailed explanation.

The bottom line is that we can provide a new 3.5 x 40 scope for the C. Plath sextant and others. This scope is guaranteed to fit Tamaya sextants, the Russian made CHOT and SNOT, and Cassens and Plath.

CONDITION: Irrespective of age, overall condition, is as new. Adjustable index error, 1 min "on the arc". All moving parts turn freely. Mirrors are perpendicular to frame. Index mirror shows the tiniest corrosion as stated in the first paragraph. Split image horizon mirror is as new. The case is in good condition with some minor scratching that will sand out. It would benefit from some fresh varnish, and indicates "service at sea". It is fitted with the original style plastic hold down clamp which I describe as a claw. Based on the serial number which does not always relate to the year of manufacture, we relied on the original wood case with Bakelite clamp to estimate its age. As such, this sextant may have been built as early as 1958. Paint is in new condition without chips, bubbles, or lifting. There are three separate inspection certificates. German Hydrographic Institute, dated November 11, 1974; Durban South Africa, dated October 6, 1984 and lastly Durban,  South Africa, dated January 15, 1996.
 
This is the finest example of a previously owned C. Plath Classic that we have ever seen and is suitable for a collector or for use at sea . It requires someone who can appreciate the fine points of a sextant, and is willing to pay an appropriate price for this level of quality and excellence. 
 
This super fine Collector Quality instrument is rated FIVE PLUS STARS irrespective of age, the first time I have given that rating. 
 
For purposes of judging whether our opinion counts, Joel was the editor of the chapter on sextants of the 1977 Edition of "Bowditch", The American Practical Navigator, NAVPUB 9; a member of the U.S. Naval Academy Navigation Symposium Board, 1975-1978; the author of a book on marine sextants, Cornell Maritime Press,1975, and the founding president of Nautech Maritime Corporation which partnered with Tamaya of Japan in the introduction of the MS 733 Spica, the MS 833, Jupiter, MS 933 Venus sextants and the famous NC-2 navigation computer, in the U.S. market. He also is a retired Master Mariner, and hold a U.S. Navy "D" Qualification as a Senior Skipper - Oceans.

COMPANY HISTORY: In brief, Carl Plath started manufacturing sextants, in addition to other nautical products, in Hamburg Germany in 1862 though the company's origin dates back to 1837. As a result WW II, C.Plath was dismantled completely by the occupation forces. Around 1950, various prohibitions were lifted, and C. Plath was allowed to begin production again of sextants and other nautical instruments. Also in 1949,C.Plath was offered a gyrocompass patent and in 1951 the first gyrocompass designed to this patent was presented to the public. C.Plath progressed from the role of instrument maker to that of a modern marine navigation equipment manufacturer. In the following years the product range was expanded by many more modern designs such as autopilots, speed logs, radio direction finders, etc.

In 1962 C.Plath was acquired by Litton Industries, a large American concern.The C.Plath North American Division was set up in 1978 in College Park near Washington. 1996 saw the introduction of the world's first fiber-optic solid-state gyrocompass by C.Plath. The first ever gyrocompass with no moving parts. Sperry Marine was formed in 1997 with the combination of C.Plath, Decca Marine and Sperry Marine with more organizational changes yet to come. After 163 years, C.Plath changes its name to Sperry Marine in May 2000. In 2001 Sperry Marine becomes part of the Northrop Grumman Corporation.   

C. PLATH Sextant SPECIFICATIONS:

Measuring Range:-5 to 125 degrees
Telescope: 6 x 30 Coated optics
Frame: Bronze with black enamel paint and bronze arc.
Micrometer Drum and Vernier Scale: reads to 1.0 min, and 1/10 min
Index Mirror: 56 x 42 mm. aluminized on the rear side.
Horizon Mirror: 57mm diameter.
Shades:
4 for index mirror
3 for horizon mirror

Weight:   3 lbs 9 oz, 8.5 lbs in case
Carrying case: Varnished Mahogany with key

INCLUDED ARE:       
  • 1 C. Plath Sextant frame
  • 1 6 x 30 Scope
  • 1 Mirror adjustment wrench
  • 1 Brush
  • 1 Varnished Mahogany sextant case with locking key
AN OPTIONAL 3.5 X 40 STAR SCOPE IS AVAILABLE FOR $120.00. No S & H when purchased with this sextant. 
 
FULL RETURN PRIVILEGES: This instrument a great find, and the buyer can return it within three days of receipt if he is not completely satisfied. The only conditions are that an email authorization be obtained, and that the instrument is returned in its original condition and packaging, and insured for its full value. Unfortunately, shipping charges are not included in this offer and are non-refundable.
 
INTERNATIONAL BUYERS WELCOME. We ship worldwide!
 
SHIPPING & PACKING: Due to the nature of this item, extra protective packaging is provided for shipment. The cost of shipping, packing, handling, and insurance to your destination, will be calculated after the auction and is an additional charge. You may email us before bidding to get these costs. We  price shipping honestly, but expect to be reimbursed for the nominal cost of packaging materials and handling.
 
 
For those seeking more information about the modern marine sextant, I suggest they get a copy of a book written  in 1975, now out-of-print. One of the many places that has it is http://www.columbiatrading.com/ctccat104.html. Their item number 242. The Myths & the Truth about Selecting a Marine Sextant. Cambridge MD: Cornell Maritime Press, 1975. 44pp, 10 illustrations. Topics include scope power, mirrors, shade glasses, theoretical brightness, accuracy, workmanship, accuracy, comparison of specifications. Softcover. (16435) $18.00 It is also available at the University Library, all locations, of The California State University for free.
 
A copy of this book sold for $31.00 on ebay recently is a lot more reasonable than some of the sites on the internet where it available for over $125.00. A reprint in hard or soft cover can also be ordered from Amazon.com with prices starting at $38.00. 
 
Copyright 2007 - 2004 by Land And Sea Collection, All Rights Reserved

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