Made by CASSENS & PLATH
Presented is a near flawless example of this brand sextant which was made for the U.S. instrument firm, Weems & Plath, and bears their Serial No. 61420. It comes with the original inspection certificate from 1980, a beautiful flaming Mahogany wood case, and with a new style 3.5 x 40 star scope which was introduced by C+P as a replacement for the 4 x 40 scope around 2005. The illumination works. Weems & Plath are no longer selling a private
label sextant, but a C+P is over $1900.00 today with a single scope. The handle, index arm and telescope are exactly the same as would have been found on a Carl Plath sextant of the same period. Cassens and Plath is not currently related to C. Plath, but in the past, Theodore Plath, Carl’s son was a partner. It is the only German manufacturer still producing sextants. Read its history below.
This sextant is in excellent condition and can be considered, “as new”. It is ideally suited for someone seeking a quality German brand for use at sea or as part of a collection.
CONDITION: There is discernible evidence of wear only in the screw fittings which have lost a bit of their luster, but the paint and mirrors are immaculate so that it can be considered as new in all respects. It operates like a well oiled piece of machinery. Both mirrors show as NEW. There is 2′ index error on the arc and no side error. The case has one slight scratch and an two impressions (dents) on its top, but otherwise is in excellent condition with only a few minor abrasions. It’s workmanship and wood is of higher quality than usual. The certificate states the instrument is “free of error for practical use”.
This is a fine example of a previously owned Weems & Plath sextant and is
suitable for a collector or for use at sea . It is ideal for 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.
STAR RATING: This fine Collector Quality instrument rates
FIVE STARS irrespective of age.
QUALIFICATIONS: We are one of the few company’s still selling navigationinstruments 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 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. Joel is a retired Master Mariner, and held a U.S. Navy “D” Qualification as a Senior Skipper – Oceans. For
six years he was a Varsity Offshore Coach at the U.S. Naval Academy.
Some of his memberships include 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.
COMPANY HISTORY: At the turn of the twentieth century Hamburg, on the river Elbe, the home of C. Plath (named after founder Carl Plath) was the leading seafaring port in Germany. However it was being challenged by Bremen, that other great North Sea port on the river Weser. Plath was at that time the unchallenged leader in the manufacture of nautical instruments on the European continent. However it had always had a difficult relationship with the Bremen shipping companies and shipyards. The firm realized that if it wanted to do business in Bremen, German parochialism demanded that it have an office in that city. In 1908 Theodore Plath was offered a partnership in Cassens and Benecke when one of the original founders of the Bremen company – Benecke – suddenly departed. At that stage the company founded by Tanne Janssen Cassens was only 6 years old and was a minnow compared to the whale that was C Plath. It is my understanding that the company was not even an instrument manufacturer ¬but rather a trading company servicing the port of Bremerhaven. Theodore Plath only accepted on condition that the partnership’s
name be changed to Cassens and Plath.
The C + P partnership never had any intention of manufacturing sextants and other
nautical instruments. It was simply a vehicle for the marketing of C. Plath compasses, sextants and nautical instruments into
the Bremen trade. It also acted as a chandlery and repair service for Bremen ships carrying Plath instruments.
This arrangement worked until 1962 when C Plath sold out of the partnership
and the two companies went their separate ways. It was from this point onwards that C + P began to manufacture their own instruments,
no doubt heavily reliant on C Plath designs. Therefore, there are no Cassens & Plath sextants older than 1962.
CASSENS & PLATH STANDARD SEXTANT SPECIFICATIONS:
Measuring Range: -5 to 125 degrees
Telescope: 4 x 40 Coated optics
Frame: Bronze with black
enamel paint and bronze arc.
Micrometer Drum and Vernier Scale: reads to 10 seconds of arc
Index Mirror: 56
x 42 mm. aluminized on the rear side.
Horizon Mirror: 57mm diameter.
4 for index mirror
3 for horizon
Weight sextant: 4.2 lbs, Weight case 6 lbs.
1 Cassens & Plath (Weems & Plath)
1 3.5 x 40 Scope
1 Mirror adjustment tool
1 Mahogany sextant case with key