Vintage Sestrel Hand Bearing Compass
The trade mark 'Sestrel’ was originally registered by Henry Browne and Son Ltd. in the second half of the 19th Century. By the early 1900's Henry Browne's marine equipment and instrument business had grown substatailly and he moved his operations to Station Works, Wakering Road, Barking, Essex (now in the London Burough of Barking and Dagenham).
'SESTREL' is an amalgam of the qualities of the instruments they made...
SEnsitive –STeady – RELiable
It is a name synonymous with quality and accuracy; this is evidenced by the sheer number of vintage and antique instruments still in use today.
Henry Browne is credited with designing and manufacturing the revolutionary ‘Dead Beat' compass. After his death in 1929, he was succeeded as managing director by his son F. G. Browne.
In 1959, Eveready developed the first commercially viable cylindrical alkaline batteries, which were ideal for use in Sestrel's new hand bearing compass design which incorporated a night light.
The Sestrel hand bearing compass that we have for sale is a fine example of Sestrel's original design. The bowl is made from heavy cast bronze and has a silver-gray hammered metal finish. Atop the bowl is a bearing sight combined with a mirrored glass prism through which the compass card is magnified and reflected while sighting the target. The mirror silvering is showing it's age, but is still reflective enough to take a sight.
The hollow wooden and metal handle houses two C size alkaline batteries to power the internal globe. When lit, a coloured filter lense bathes the compass card in a fantastic red glow for night sightings.
The compass bowl itself is 10.75 cm (4¼") in diameter and the compass card inside is about 5 cm (2") in diameter. At one and a half kilos, the compass is pretty weighty, but you don't have to pump iron before you take a sight. The night light is operated by a push button switch on the handle.
The varnished wooden carry case is made from teak or oak and it has two windows for observing the compass without removing it from it's box. It also has a sturdy brass bail for carrying.
The knob on the door of the case has a shaft extending into the box which is supposed to line up with the light switch on the handle of the compass but, due to aging and compression of the rubber mounting, the shaft no longer lines up with the switch.
End of description.
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