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British SESTREL Hand Bearing Compass - Lilley & Gilley

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To view our current inventory of hand bearing compasses, including a like new Sestral, click here!

This Fine Compass Has been Sold.
Thank you!
 
ORIGINAL SESTREL HAND BEARING COMPASS by
Lilley & Gilley, London

HENRY BROWNE, "SESTREL" HAND BEARING COMPASS - An Original

 

 

Presented is a Sestrel hand bearing compass originally designed and made by Henry Browne & Co., Barking, London England who was followed by Lilley & Gilley around 1975 when they purchased the Henry Browne assets. This compass is arguably the finest of its type ever designed as a hand bearing device. The bowl is made from cast bronze, and can be polished to a high luster. The optical glass prism magnifies the image, and  allows the user to see both the object being sighted and the compass card bearing at the same time. An iridium chip beneath the card was used to light it for night use and needs replacement. A penlight flashlight is a good alternative. The compass is mounted on a solid teak handle with attached card to make notations, and at two pounds, has the heft and feel of strength and durability.

The unit is housed in an expensive teak wood case with clear panel so if mounted in a fore and aft direction, the ship's heading can be seen at a glance. The entire rig is good looking enough to appeal to a collector or in a room decorated in a nautical fashion. Both case and compass show very little evidence of use considering their age and service at sea.

BRIEF HISTORY: Henry Browne & Son made only the highest quality marine navigation gear under the "Sestrel" trade mark and were considered one of the finest makers of marine gear in England. They were purchased by Lilley & Gillie around 1975 when the marine industry was being consolidated. The Sestrel operations were sold more than once. Today, there are reproductions on the market and out right fakes. But even the best of the reproductions like those made by SIRS Navigation Company in the UK do not have the fine quality of those made by Henry Browne & Son and later by Lilley & Gilley. The SIRS compass currently sells their version under the Radiant brand in the United States for over $1333.00 with an inexpensive plastic case.

The compass card is seen in reverse above because it is intended to be viewed through the prism which reflects the image in its proper orientation.

DIMENSIONS:

COMPASS:     4" bowl, 4" x 2" handle, 10" length overall
TEAK CASE:   9 1/4"H x 5 1/4" W x 5 1/4" D
WEIGHT:         Compass 2 lbs, In case 3 1/2 lbs

CONDITION: The two inch compass card is clear and sharp and the prism magnifies its size to the equivalent of 5 inches. It works like it should, and everything is in good condition considering its age and use. All the brass work has its original bluish grey paint scheme except for one small missing patch of  coating at 3:00 o'clock. There are no bubbles or dents, but the fluid information decal has some loss and has yellowed with age, and the radium chip needs to be replaced. The Teak wood case is in excellent condition, but shows some minor light scratches, mainly on the back. The white plastic notation plate on the handle is in good condition, but is chipped at the bottom.

STAR RANKING: This instrument shows some very minor signs of use at sea, but still is in fine condition and ranks 5 Stars.

This is the perfect item for those who have an interest in navigation, or want to have the best hand compass ever made 

 

 Optical quality prism for line of sight viewing
 Bubble free  bowl. Bezel has small paint loss

USING A HAND BEARING COMPASS: The seller has used a similar Sestrel while at sea for an extended period. In this day of electronic navigation, they are still handy for the following purposes which are as valid now as they were 45 years ago. For those people who grew up with GPS, that system can not provide the information a  hand bearing compass can unless coupled to a Radar. And then you need to know Radar plotting to solve Closest Point of Approach situations. Here's how to use this compass:

WHILE UNDERWAY:

  • Take bearings of vessels in crossing situations to determine risk of collision. 
  • Take bearings of sea buoys, land marks or other objects to determine distance off at time of passing
  • In congested waters, take bearings of a number of different vessels to determine if their relative position is constant or changing.
  • Sailors learn to take back bearings to determine your leeway
AT ANCHOR: 
                                     
                                    
  • Always take anchor bearings of own vessel to make sure you are not dragging.
  • Take bearings of other vessels to make sure they are not a danger to you.

Rarely do you find a piece of old gear in such great condition. A superior addition to any collection or use it at sea. 

STANDARD FLAT RATE SHIPPING to the 48 contiguous States $35.00

OUR UNCONDITIONAL NO NONSENSE GUARANTEE: If not completely satisfied with your purchase it may be returned within five days of receipt in its original packaging if without damage. Return items must be insured for their full value. Only a prior email authorization from us for the return is required. Shipping charges are included in this offer within the continental United States if an error is due to our fault.

 

International buyers welcome, but inquire first.  We have satisfied customers in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Dubai, Estonia, England, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Martinique, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Nova Scotia, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, St. Maarten, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, USVI and the Eastern Caribbean.

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