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With Quick Focus Telescope Perfect Condition!

Presented is the second example of this exact model Carl Plath sextant we’ve seen since it’s introduction in 1991. It is in “Collector Quality” condition, and appears never to have been used. This model sextant is fitted with over size mirrors, a quick focus telescope, and a rotating vernier to adjust index error to zero on the scale. The quick focus is done by moving the ocular lens in and out rather than turning it.
In 2006, we sold the first C. Plath Navistar “TRADITIONAL” sextant, Serial No. 64251 and this one is 64346. The two are identical except for the telescope. See https://landandseacollection.com/id222.html for the sales listing. This is the first we’ve seen since then.

Next to the C. Plath “Royal”, the Traditional was the last new, high quality, model Plath introduced. Both date back to 1989, just 12 years before Plath’s sextant production ceased. Don’t confuse this sextant with the Navistar Classic which had a “ladder” or “web” frame, and was made in much greater numbers. Based on the scarcity of the TRADITIONAL, very few exist, and even fewer of this variation.

It has these new, and exclusive “state of the art” design features:
Special circular frame
Lever action tangent screw release
Oversize mirrors with whole horizon
Quick focus telescope
Adjustable vernier for “0“ index error
Miniature batteries and light emitting diode
Adjustable Makrolon handle for ergonomic fit
Larger housing for horizon mirror reduces stray light
Super gloss Mahogany case deluxe brass fittings

DESIGN FEATURES: The Navistar Traditional, is second only to the Navistar
Royal, in Plath’s line of premium sextants and was made in limited quantities. Because it was a new design in 1989 with many advanced features, it sold for more than other sextants. The Traditional’s visual clues are the Circle frame design, and the special micrometer drum with a rotating vernier, newly designed telescope and the usual Navistar brand imprint. The rotating vernier has six indents and reads to 10 seconds of arc. You turn it to match the “0” point with the “0” on the micrometer drum so that index error reads zero. This example has the exact same features. It comes with its original detailed instruction booklet. 90680. C. Plath quit producing sextants around 2001. The parent company has completely liquidated everything including machinery, equipment and spare parts.

CONDITION: Appears to be Brand New and never used. It operates like a well oiled piece of machinery, with NO faults even minor ones. Both mirrors shows as NEW. The illumination
works. The bronze arc shows “as new”. There is no index or side error. There is no certificate which is not uncommon, and unnecessary in C.Plath sextants since they were all built to a tested accuracy of 20 arc seconds or less. For practical purposes this makes them error free in use. The high gloss case case has a couple of minor scratches and other marks from handling,
otherwise it to is perfect. Two keys are included.

Perfect oversize index mirror

oversize whole horizon mirror

with Index 0 adjustment

High Gloss Presentation Case

is the only the second example of a C. Plath Navistar TRADITIONAL sextant with
trigger release that we have seen and is suitable for a collector or for use at sea
. It requires someone who can appreciate the uniqueness of this sextant, and is willing
to pay for this level of quality and excellence
STAR RATING: This super fine
Collector Quality instrument rates FIVE PLUS STARS irrespective
of age.


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.


Measuring range -5 to 125 degrees
Tested accuracy 20 arc seconds
Telescope: 4 x 40 Coated optics Features
“Quick Focus“
Frame: Bronze with black enamel paint and bronze arc.
Micrometer Drum and Vernier Scale:
reads to 10 seconds of arc Index arm measures 8 15/16”
Index Mirror: 60 x 44.5 mm. aluminized on the rear side.
Horizon Mirror: 57mm diameter
whole horizon view
3 for index mirror
3 for horizon mirror
Adjustable vernier for zero
index error
Illumination: Yes
Weight sextant: 3.5 lbs, Weight case 5.3 lbs.


1 Sextant frame
1 4 x 40 Scope with
quick focus
1 Mirror adjustment tool
1 Brush
1 Hi Gloss Mahogany sextant case
1 Original owner’s manual

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Celebrating 18 Years of Exellence in Nautical Antiques

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