QUALITY C. PLATH CLASSIC!
Copyright 2004 by mymaryb2,
All Rights Reserved
is a fine example of an earlier C. Plath ALUMINIUM FRAME Classic sextant, Serial No. 46618 in its original Bakelite
case. It comes with a 4 x 40 scope. Both the inspection certificate and the serial number match. A careful
inspection of the engineering drawings of the U.S. Navy MK III indicates it is an exact clone of the C. Plath aluminium Classic.
New Navy MK III's sell for $4000 today. Therefore, this sextant should appeal to a collector since it represents a little
known part of C. Plath's, and possibly even the U.S. Navy's sextant history.
When received, it was in near perfect
working condition, but because of oxidation its aluminium frame required repainting. It was dismantled and given
a complete overhaul. The mirrors were replaced with newly resilvered ones. It has the Bakelite case which C.
Plath chose to use, and later discontinued. The lock is broken and there is no key. To keep it closed, we chose Velcro
which works well, but adding hasps might be a better solution. This will be left to the new owner to decide. Like
newer sextants, it has a foam insert instead of the original Bakelite claw or clamp to hold it in place. The lighting
system doesn't work because a terminal end cap is missing, but this should be an easy fix for an electrician. We spent a great
deal of time on restoring the numbers and indent markings on the frame and micrometer drum. The micrometer wheel required
refinishing as well. Note in the picture below, that the vernier reads to 1' of arc.
The sextant's inspection certificate was
issued by the Deutsche Hydrographic Institute on 2 June 1965. That
likely is not the date of manufacture. When the sextant was sold by C. Plath, they issued Their own inspection certificate.
A DHI certificate only comes into play after a sextant has been used in German commercial service for 3 to 5 years. Then,
it must be recertified by the DHI. The likelihood is that the sextant was made three to five years earlier.
This sextant should provide the new owner with good 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.
And for those who want to own a C. Plath that is unique and different, this is a one time opportunity. Additional pictures
available, please inquire.
CONDITION: Considering its age, overall condition is as reconditioned.
Adjustable index error, 1 min "on the arc". All moving parts turn freely. Nothing is broken or missing. Mirrors are perpendicular
to frame. Both mirrors are newly resilvered. The case is as described above and subject to that is in good condition.
After all this work, professionally, I
would rate this sextant 4 1/2 STARS grading it down because of its case, and by reason of it being reconditioned
rather than original.
GUARANTEE: We guarantee our sextnats
to be exactly as represented. If upon receipt, you are not completely satisfied, they may be returned for a full refund, exclusive
of shipping and handling charges. Just email us for a Return Merchandise Authorization, and return it in its original condition
and packaging within three days, and insured for its full value. A refund will be cheerfully sent immediately.
<>For purposes of judging whether my opinion
counts, I 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. I am also 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. Shortly thereafter, sometime
in 2002, sextant operations were discontinued and no one knows what became of the the equipment, inventory and records.
C. PLATH CLASSIC
Measuring Range:-5 to 125 degrees
x 30 Coated optics
Frame: Aluminium with black enamel paint, white numbering
Micrometer Drum and Vernier Scale: reads to 1.0 min
Mirror: 56 x 42 mm. aluminized on the rear side.
Horizon Mirror: 57mm diameter.
4 for index mirror
3 for horizon mirror
Weight: 3 lbs 8 oz, 8.5
lbs in case
Carrying case: Bakelite
1 C. Plath Aluminium Sextant frame
1 Mirror adjustment wrench
1 Bakelite sextant case without key
AN OPTIONAL 6 X 30 SUN SCOPE
IS AVAILABLE FOR $165.00. No S & H when purchased with this sextant.
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. Sextants usually ship between $22.00 - $25.00 depending on the amount
of insurance purchased.
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. 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. It is 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 last year which is
a lot more reasonable than some of the sites on the internet where it is 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.
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