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Plath Fully Adjustable Bubble Horizon 5 Stars
This Very Rare Vintage Bubble Horizon Has Been Sold.
C. Plath Artificial Bubble Horizon
FULLY ADJUSTABLE BUBBLE HORIZON - 5 Stars Thoroughly
and Adjustable Brightness
of the very rare C. Plath Bubble Horizons that has a
fully adjustable bubble, and a rheostat for adjusting the brightness of the
internal lighting system. It actually may be the rarest of them all because it
was made to accompany a Plath Classic sextant carrying the same 42500 serial
number. The sextant is being sold separately. See http://landandseacollection.com/id975.html
design dates back to
WW II, when these devices were successfully used on all types of surface ships
and submarines. Plath was not allowed to get back into the sextant
business directly after the end of World War II, but had to wait until about
1954 before the War restrictions were lifted. This version, whose correct trade
name is "DRAGONFLY", was reintroduced to the
Commercial Marine Market in 1957. During the period
1950-1960, the German Navy requested this design be used in the
"Libellenhorizont" and from 1970 through 1980, similar
devices were issued to U.S. Submarines to allow for backup celestial
navigation under all conditions. They also were much in demand by the
world's merchant mariners.
Because of the expensive design, not many of the
Dragonfly bubbles were made after WW II, before they were discontinued and
replaced by a simplified version that used a non-adjustable bubble, and next the
adjustable lighting was discontinued. Most users of the newer devices preferred
the fully adjustable versions and felt the new one was a step back-wards. Many
were said to have written Plath to voice their objections. Over the years, the
new version Plath bubbles have been well accepted by seagoing users up until
Plath curtailed sextant production in the late 1990's. The demand for them
continues even as they become more difficult to find.
on 1961 C.
Plath Classic Sextant SN 42500
SUGGESTED USES:The bubble horizon has a 3 power optical system
smaller than normal field of view. The internal dampening mechanism of the
bubble is greater than will be found on less costly alternatives, but getting
use to it requires some practice. The Plath fully adjustable Bubble Horizon is
far superior to all other artificial horizons, and those devices that can only
be used for objects with altitudes of less than 60 degrees, and cannot be used
for twilight sights. This makes it ideally suited for land based training
applications, for land navigation and for use at sea from ships that provide a
Interestingly, in the
1970-80's, this device, in the form being sold here, was issued to U.S.
submarines for back-up celestial navigation. Ref. Dutton's Seamanship &
Navigation, 12th Edition, Article 2206, page 385.
Magnification 3 X
4" 1/4 H x 4
1/2" L x 3" W not counting rising piece
1 lbs 1 3/4 oz
This bubble was owned most recently by
an overseas collector of nautical instruments for the past four years. He
purchased it from the estate of a collector of general nautical antiques who had
owned it for quite some time. Its history prior to that is unknown.
CONDITION: Used but in excellent working condition. There was some
minor paint loss on the front cover plate's rear edge and some minor loss on the
bulb cover and elsewhere which have been touched-up. The paint used on the
sextant and on this bubble is a flat black and not the glossy black that was
customarily used. The slip-on green filter for the objective lens is
DIRECTIONS & INSTRUCTION SHEETS:
A Plath sheet
of instructions in German and English comes with the device. There also will be
a diagram of the internals and a diagram of the geometry of the optical system.
The device is simple to use and provides an artificial horizon using a circular
illuminated bubble as a substitute for a horizon reference. The bubble is
centered at the midpoint of the viewing area and the celestial body is brought
into coincidence with the bubble's center. Intensity of the internal light is
adjusted by a small knob on the front. Bubble size is adjusted by the larger
rotary dial on the base of the cylinder on the left. A large bubble is preferred
for sun and moon sights, and a smaller bubble for stars and planets. The ocular
lens is adjustable. Land And Sea Collection's Supplemental Instructions are also
instructions in German and
OUR QUALIFICATIONS: We are
one of the few company's still selling navigation
instruments that know anything about them. For purposes of judging whether
Joel's opinion counts, he 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, 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. Joel is a retired
Master Upon Oceans, and held a U.S. Navy "D" Qualification as a Senior Skipper -
Oceans. For six years he was a Varsity Offshore
Sailing Team Coach at the U.S. Naval Academy. Some of his memberships have
included the: Association of
Naval Aviation, Silver Wings, The Tailhook Association, Naval Academy Sailing
Squadron, McCampbell's Aces Squadron, Naval Historical Foundation, and the Naval
Order of the United States.
In the photograph
below, it is shown alongside
the last bubble horizon design made by C. Plath which has an internal power
supply.Like all Plath bubbles,
except for the one being offered, the size of the bubble is not adjustable. On
July 3, 2008, Ken Gebhart
of Celestaire wrote us that the last version was discontinued around 2001, and
sold new for $1,700.00.
non-adjustable bubble on the left and the Firefly on the
The serial number 42500 appears on the
front cover plate above Germany. 42500 is the serial number of the Plath Classic
sextant that this device accompanied and which is for sale separately.
Missing is the factory name that appears on others we have sold that were made
15+ years later, and the Plath Sun shooter logo. It is also curious why the
instrument is marked Germany, rather than West Germany.
As pictured above, it fits the C. Plath Navistar Classic
sextant. With an external battery supply, it will work with Ca 1990 C. Plath
sextants, Cassens & Plath, Tamaya, Freiberger, and the Russian
bubble adjustment to left
side of bubble
Top cap holds bulb. The
lens is adjustable
shows mounting fork and slip
on shade over objective
It is suited
for someone who can appreciate obtaining
a rare device with a sophisticated design, and is willing to pay an appropriate
price for this level of C. Plath quality and excellence.
HISTORY: In brief, Carl Plath started manufacturing sextants, in
addition to other nautical products, in Hamburg Germany in 1862 though the
purchase of the David Filby instrument company 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. In the
1990's Plath came out with a series of new sextant designs with overlapping
designs and confusing names. Shortly thereafter, C. Plath quit producing
sextants in 2002. The parent company has completely liquidated everything including
machinery, equipment and spare parts.
OUR UNCONDITIONAL NO NONSENSE GUARANTEE: If not
completely satisfied with your purchase it may be returned, if without damage,
within seven (7) days of receipt in its original packaging. Return items
must be insured for their full value. Only a prior email authorization by us for
the return is required. Shipping charges are included in this offer within the
continental United States if the error is due to our fault .
, 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, 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.
FLAT RATE SHIPPING. PACKING & INSURANCE to the
48 contiguous States $40.00
STANDARD FORMS OF PAYMENT
are Bank wire transfer, cashier's check, money order, or personal check in which
case the item will be held until cleared. Our prices are quoted net to us so that the use of
credit cards or PayPal incur extra charges. Terms on overseas sales are different.
Only three times before have we offered a
C. Plath Dragonfly Bubble Horizon of the adjustable design and
only four other times have we sold brand new versions of their less
sophisticated models. It took us a long time to find this one, so don't count
on finding another.
Copyright 2014 - 2013 by Land And Sea Collection™, All Rights