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- E -


German company located in Nuremberg (more information HERE). The compasses were made by WILKIE. See also Marching and Pocket compasses.

Light compass for hikers

Description (German 1986 catalog)

Click on images for enlarged views
Wrist compass for hikers, skiers and divers designed by PASTO (model ABALONE)

Description (German 1986 catalog)
Techn. Data 6570

 Techn. Data 6576
- Dia.: 50 mm / 2"
- Fluid dampened needle


There are several companies called ESCO. German manufacturer or customized marking?
Dia: 30mm. Divisions: Quadrants. Marking on the rear face: WESTERN GERMANY
Picture courtesy damien3190 - click for enlarged view.
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- F -


U.S. manufacturer of boats (www.farallon.com)

Diver compass

Technical Data

- Diameter:  mm
- Manufactured: ?

Picture courtesy www.thescubamuseum.com

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Former US manufacturer located in Chicago (more information HERE).  US KOREAN WAR WRIST COMPASS MODEL 1949 (compare with WALTHAM).

Photos by courtesy of Ebay seller

Technical Data
- Diameter: 40 mm
- Depth: 10 mm
- Manufactured: 3-53

FEP (ФЭП in Russian)

The Russian manufacturer's name ФЭП / FEP could be the abbreviation for фотоэлектрические приборы (i.e. photoelectrical instruments) but no info is available. Two different types of face are known: figures inside or outside the divided circle.

Plastic casing
Dia. : 45 mm.  
Marking on reverse: Сделано в СССР ФЭП  (Made in USSR by FEP)
Leather strap: 29 cm
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FPM Holding - Freiberger Präzisionsmechanik

German company (for more information click HERE).

Compare to the drawing in the User Instr.
Click on images for enlarged views

The design is a mix of KADLEC's famous AK39 models.

Ad published in a specialized review
Water sport compass

Technical Data
- Diameter: 60mm
- Thickness: 20mm
- Weight: 70gr
- Divisions: 360 degrees by 5, clockwise
- Fluid dampened
- Manufactured: 1960's (?)
- According to the User Instruction (facsimile copy available), the markings were luminised.

Divers' compass
SPORT 10 and 11 

Enlarged image: detail view of both models 10 (grey, leatherette band) and 11 (yellow or white)
Technical Data
- Diameter: 55mm
- Thickness: 20mm
- Weight: 41gr
- Divisions: 360 degrees by 5, clockwise
- Manufactured: 1970's and 80's
Description given in the official service manual for divers of the FRG's army.

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- G -

GEODESIA (Геодезия in cyrillic lettters).

Company in the former Soviet Union. Originally - the military workshops for the manufacture and repair of survey instruments in Saint Petersburg*, created in 1918, evacuated to Tashkent factory, dubbed Geodezia (Surveying), was transferred to Moscow in 1923 and became a factory. In 1941 the plant was evacuated to Sverdlovsk, where in 1949 it changed its production of radar equipment and renamed plant "Vector" (BEKTOP).
* военные мастерские по изготовлению и ремонту геодезических инструментов в Санкт-Петербурге
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GUGK (ГYГK in cyrillic letters)

This abbreviation appears on the crystal together with a flower (edelweiss?) and on the back. GUGK (Glavnoe Upravlenie Geodesii i Kartografi) was the name of the Survey authorities in the former USSR. Because of the similarities between the two languages, we assume that the Bulgarian authority had the same abbreviation. On the back of the casing appears the name of the manufacturer (transcription): Kartno Geopriborna Fabrika Sofia, i.e. "Company for Maps and Geographical Instruments of Sofia".
We display anothercomparable compass made by the French manufacturer LEMAIRE and we know of a further one belonging to the Polish Foundation Kosciuszki's collection. Both were produced directly by the Swedish company SILVA or on the base of their patents.

(Click on pictures for enlarged views)

Technical Data
- Diameter: 51 mm
- Depth: 13 mm
- Weight: 37 gr
- Manufactured: 1950's ?

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- H -


John E. Hand & Sons was a U.S. compass manufacturer (more information HERE). Besides ship compasses this company also built wrist compasses for Navy and Airforce soldiers, especially the following wrist compasses developed for the Navy in the 50's and 60's and utilized by the UDT (Underwater Demolition Teams).
Table below, 1st row: type Mk 1 Mod 0 (production years:1950's). This compass type was replaced by Model 1 (2nd row) in which Tritium was used instead of Radium.

Cloth patch of UDT Unit 13

Mk 1 Mod 0 (1954)

(Pictures Billy Schorr)

Markings (see pic. at right):
(US-Navy Bureau of Ships )
Technical Data
- Diameter: ... mm
- Height: ... mm
- Weight: ... gr
- Divisions: 360 deg. on the bezel

Mk 1 Mod 1 (built 2/65)

(Click on pictures for detailed views)
Technical Data
- Diameter: 47 mm
- Height: 30 mm
- Weight: 72 gr
- Divisions: 360 deg.

The warning (radioactivity symbol) is indicated also on the side.

Hat Compass

Tiny compass with mirror mounted on a clip to fit the brim of a hat and working like a tell-tale compass.
 Click on the picture for a full description.   
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Former scuba gear maker located in L.A., California founded in the 1950s by Dick Klein. It closed down in 1963. Two wrist-worn depth gauges with built-in compass are known. One (below, left) was the model called MARINER. It was produced by the West German maker of medical and rescue materiel DRÄGER (Markings: West Germany / Pat. Pend. U.S.A. / HEALTHWAYS  L.A. CALIF.). The magnetic needle drove a transparent compass card and the divisions could be read through a side window with the words YOU ARE (...) LOOKING (link to pic.) engraved on either side like on the compasses made by U.S. Gauge. The other one (below, right) is marked Healthways GERMANY and is a customized version of WILKIE's depth gauge with compass featuring the typical 'winglets' designed to stabilize the magnetic needle.

Pictures courtesy dimaulo123

Picture courtesy lockefordpawnshop


Charles Edwin HEINKE (b. Sept. 4, 1818 - d. in 1869) was a submarine engineer and the son of a Prussian immigrant. His company C. E. HEINKE & Co. Ltd produced divers' materiel.  The company was created in 1844 and was eventually acquired by SIEBE GORMAN & Co. in 1961.
(For more information, visit the following website: HEINKEKERN.). This compass was most probably built for HEINKE by a compassmaker...

(Click on picture at left for enlarged view)
Technical Data
- Diameter: 63 mm / 2-1/2 inch
- Depth: 24 mm / 1 inch
- Weight: 155 g
- Graduation: 360°
- Manufactured: 1950's?
- Radium paint dots on the card at North and on the cover glass togeter with a black dash (located at 270 deg. on the picture at left)
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Huntsman compasses

In this 1954 STOEGER's catalog several compasses were offered for the huntsman.
For details go to:
- The WRIST compass
- The SCOUT and the RANGER 

See also the item below called INDIC.
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- I -


U.S. maker of scuba gear (camera housings) located in Indianapolis who produced (or at least sold) a compass type for over 50 yrs (see ad at r.).  Two other models (below) are known:

Model with side window - marking on back: Made in Finland
Model made in Japan featuring a spherical case.

Technical data
- Size: 2" by 1˝" (50 x 40mm)
- Height: 1" (25mm)

(Click on images for enlarged views)


Model name of a compass made by the Canadian company SCOS Ltd. We only know of this instrument via this 10 pages flyer. According to the user instruction it was to be carried around the waist and ensured an easy way back home after a trip in the woods.

(Click on images for enlarged views)

Technical data
- Dia.: ? mm
- Height: ? mm
- Weight: ? g
- Date on flyer: Aug. 1975
- Manufacturer:

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- J -


NO INFORMATION MOMENTARILY AVAILABLE concerning the antique and WWII items.
Some small-size compasses were attached to wrist-watch straps. Sometimes lugs were soldered to the case but the latter could also be made of a single sheet of aluminum (see pic. at right).
Picture courtesy milcollec - click on image for view of compass alone

Click on the images for enlarged views

Technical Data
- Diameter: 21mm
- Depth: 6mm
- Weight: 8gr
- Divisions: No figures, only 4 cardinal points (in white paint) and 12 rhumbs (in black paint). For a detailed description of the 12 other signs, go to Religion/China.
- No transit lock

Japanese wrist compass with rotating crystal (bezel)

Technical Data
- Diameter: 30mm
- Depth: 9mm
- Weight: 10gr
- Divisions: 360 degrees by 2, clockwise
- Needle transit locking: by turning the crown
- Engraving on back: "Hold the compass horizontally for correct reading" 

WW II officers compass

(Click on picture above
for enlarged view)

Technical Data
- Diameter: 34mm
- Depth: 12mm
- Weight: 25g
- Divisions: 360 deg. by 5, clockwise
- Needle transit locking: side lever
- Marching direction arrow painted under the crystal (bezel)
- Luminous markings: radium-compound paint

(Click on images for enlarged views)
Technical Data
- Strap: leather
- Capsule: liquid dampened needle, aluminium case, black paint, marching course arrow
- Dia.: 33mm, thickness: 12mm
- Bezel: Cardinals in Japanese, radium-compound paint dots, 2 at north, Gradation (no figures)

Existed also with English cardinals. We have such an item with a name engraved by hand on back (link to pic.) : Cabillis Guillaume

(Click on images for enlarged views)

Technical Data
- Strap: leather, narrow at center (17mm), broad at both ends (22mm)
- Capsule: Aluminum in brass case
- Dia.: 33m, thickness: 10mm
- Gradation: 360° clockwise on three black scales (figures and divisions), radium-paint markings (US version only), Cardinals: Japanese
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After WW2, the Japanese industry exported many small compasses in the whole world and many European and U.S. manufacturers had their instruments made in Japan - long before China, . We have catalogues dating back to the early 1960's from a company called TOKYO COMPASS MFG. Co., Ltd. JAPAN which seems to have been taken over by the vast MITSUI & CO., Ltd. retailer located no. 2,1-CHOME SHIBATAMURA-CHO, MINATO-KU in Tokyo, Japan. 
Famous designs like Taylor's and famous names like DOXA were taken over and can be recognized in the catalogue. See also Jap. Pocket Compasses. 
Pic. at right: this compass was originally designed by DACOR. New on it: the red ring and the yellow lubber line.

Tokyo Compass Mfg. and MITSUI / DOXA catalogue pages for wrist compasses

See also ATCO
Model name: Pathfinder

Click on the images
for enlarged views
Probably made in the 50's or 60's. The black and white dial looks like the famous SINGER's pattern but the dividing line is on a NE-SW axis tilted by 45° and the southern half is dark!

Technical Data
- Diameter: 38mm
- Divisions: 360° every 5, clockwise
- Transit lock: side lever
- Luminous markings
identical to Yokoyama below, centre

Fancy wrist strap

Rotating compass card (No name)

Conventional luminous markings (no mfr. name - retailer in the U.S.: SEARS)

DOXA (catalogue no. 336) with lid
Descr. see top row, stamped ABOLISHED

Click on the image for a detailed view
Compare to YOKOYAMA's catalogue
DOXA  (no. 218)  Instrument sold for 50˘ with the NABISCO Shreddies


JAPAN-made large-size compass (dia.: 55mm). No other information available
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KADLEC (Instrumentenfabrik Prag) - jlr / lhx / sbe / PAL

Ladislav KADLEC was a Czech engineer. He created in the 1920s a company that produced compasses for the Czechoslovak Army before World War II, the German Air Force Luftwaffe during WWII and the Czechoslovak People's Army (ČSLA) after WWII. The company existed for a short time after WWII but was taken over by MIKROTECHNA in 1948 by decision of the communist government.
Kadlec addresses indicated on documents are PRAG VIII TROJA, Bei der Obstbauanstalt and PRAHA X, ŽIŽKOVA 10.
During the war, the German system of confidential three-letter codes were jlr (pilots' wrist compass type AK39) and dxt (see Aircraft compasses, type OK42).

 Picture at right: the company's logo LK in the top left corner    

Note: A manufacturer of electronic marine instruments called KADLEC exists in Germany today. So far, this company didn't answer our questions concerning its name.

1 - Model AK 39 / L 10 & LK 10
Predecessor or pre-series models of the well-known model AK 39 compass were designated L 10 or LK 10 and a late model LK 30 was probably made after WWII. A post-WWII plain black version of this instrument was listed in FPM's programme in the 1950s or 60's (User Instructions available).
Picture at right courtesy Vojenský Historický Ústav Praha       

The letters LK refer very probably to both the maker's name Ladislav Kadlec as the abbreviation for the Czech words Letecký Kompas (aeronautical compass).

There were two versions of the famous model AK39 issued to the German Luftwaffe pilots: a plain black one (procurement no. Fl 23235, the letters Fl are the abbreviation for Fliegermaterial i.e. aeronautical materiel) which featured only a lubber's line (that used to be luminous) and a partly white one with rifle-type sighting aids (Fl 23235-1). Moreover, the white model allowed the setting of a course by means of two white rotating semi-circular discs located at the underside.
The letters AK are the abbreviation of the German words Armband-Kompass (wrist compass) and the figure 39 stands for the year 1939 when Nazi Germany invaded Czechoslovakia and took over the Kadlec company. This designation was chosen to comply with the official Luftwaffe wording like FK for Führer-Kompass (pilot's compass) or OK for Orterkompass (observer/navigator compass, see Aircraft compasses models made by KADLEC, ASKANIA orLUDOLPH). 

The company's name KADLEC Instrumentenfabrik Prag (German translation of Továrna Přístrojů Praha,s. below, center) is not indicated on all items.

Click on images for enlarged views

NOTE: Early items were marked LK 10 (link to pic.) instead of AK 39. Others feature the confidential manufacturer's code used in Germany during WWII: jlr
Pictures courtesy Z. Brotesser
Technical Data
- Diameter: 62 mm
- Height: 20 mm
- Weight: 80 gr

Markings on obverse face:
- Armbandkompass (wrist-top compass)
- Bauart (manufacturer): Kadlec
- Baumuster (item type): AK 39 (or LK 10)
- Werk-Nr. (Serial no.): xxxxx
- Anforderungszeichen (Procurement no.): Fl 23235

Taking a bearing with the rifle-type sights:

Some items had RED (link) sighting aids, commissioned already in 1943
 (link to picture: markings on box)

 Pic. at r. ctsy. O. Dobrkovský                      

View from below with the two white adjustable marching course half-discs. At right: the same model made after WWII for a short time together with LK logo and designated LK 30

Technical Data

- Dim.: same as above
- Ref.: Fl 23235-1

(Picture courtesy Peter Miles)
Special inscription on the items without the manufacturer's name:
V-Muster = Verbrauchsmuster ('non maintainable')

Additionally, a (production?) date was indicated: e.g.: 7. VI. 1943 (June 7, 1943)

Manufacturers: License production by C. Stockert & Sohn and PREMA (picture of letter by courtesy of Frank LIEBAU, see his Website Die Kompassmacher).
The compass was carried at the right wrist - if necessary together with an additional strap (pic below) over the suit's sleeve - or attached to the rescue vest (see pic. at r.).

Photograph published by the Reichsluftfahrtsministerium and probably used for training purposes.

2 - Compass model manufactured after WWII : vz. 53 / LK-34 (PAL)

After the war, Kadlec built a light-weight wrist compass. It existed in two versions:
• A military version called Náramková Busola vz. 53 (wrist compass vz. 53) featuring a double graduation: 360 deg. clockwise, white figures and 6000 mils [Soviet system, see menue point MISCELL. / Divisions] counter-clockwise, red figures, cardinal points in Czech language, triangle for North, V, J, Z (see menue MISCELL. / Cardinal Points). This version was issued to the Czechoslovak People's Army ČSLA with a three-letter code, either lhx or sbe, like the system introduced by the German industry.
• A civilian version called Univerzální náramkový kompas (Universal wrist compass) and also Topograficka Busola featuring only a 360 deg. graduation without cardinal points letters, designated LK 34. It was intended for hiking, defence education in schools and featured no markings (no 3-letter code and no MILS graduation). See user instructions of the company PAL located Holešovice, Prag VIII.
PAL was a state-owned enterprise, a group of national enterprises in the Czech part of Czechoslovakia, later briefly a state enterprise and then a joint-stock company based in Prague-Kbely (Mladoboleslavská no. 15), later formally relocated to the centre of Prague. The abbreviation PAL has been interpreted to mean, for example, "Automotive and Aircraft Accessories", Příslušenství Automobilů a Letadel. The history of PAL companies began with the Presidential Decree No. 100/1945 of 24 October 1945 on nationalisation (Source: T. Hrebik).

BEWARE OF FAKE NEWS: This compass was NOT MADE for the German Army (Wehrmacht) during WWII and a company named Tagoldheim & Uetviller located in Elsace (France) cited on some websites never existed.

Military Model vz. 53

(Click on the images for enlarged views)
Civilian Model LK-34

Taking a bearing with the rifle-type sight

Red scale at the underside with the industrial codes lhx and sbe.
Model vz. 53 of the ČSLA - Czechoslovak People's Army
Technical Data
- Diameter: 48mm
- Height: 20mm
- Weight (with strap): 30gr
- On transparent disc inside: divisions in degrees or MILS and semi-circular scale 9h-3h
- Divisions on bezel of the vz.53 model: 360 deg (white figures) and 6000 Mils (sovietic Warsaw-Pact system, red figures) plus cardinals in Czech language. Luminous markings every 15 deg.
- Divisions on bezel of the LK -34 model: only degrees in white figures, no cardinals.
- Divisions on card: Both versions featured a transparent disc with an additional semi-circular graduation :
9h - 3h. The vz.53's card divided in MILS features an abbreviation (dc - link to drawing in User Instr.) which we cannot explain for the moment. Maybe "declination"?
Description in Czech language:

Picture courtesy T. Hrebik
Model vz.53
Official Army Manual

Picture courtesy sberatel.skybazar.cz 
PAL flyer Version LK-34

Picture courtesy sbazar.cz
The version LK-34 as a Survey Instrument

Model LK 34 in documentation
1) Vzdělávání členů SH ČMS (Sdružení hasičů Čech, Moravy a Slezska) - práce s mládeží - Education of members of SH ČMS (Association of Firefighters of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia) - work with youth
2) STOPA – časopis pro děti a mládež  -  STEPP (footprint) - magazine for children and youth 

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Cheap plastic version of the Adrianoff-type instrument called in Russian Learner's compass (компас ученический - links to pics. of box and user instr.).


This maker is better known for the ships compasses (go to this chapter). They also made the Chetwynd model with electrical lighting.

KIPZ (КИПЗ in cyrillic letters)

KATAV-IVANOVSK INSTRUMENT-MAKING PLANT, JSC ( Катав-Ивановский приборостроительный завод ) is a Russian manufacturer located in Katav-Ivanovsk, 456110 Chelyabinskaya oblast, Katav-Ivanovsk, ul. Karavaeva 45 and producing a large scope of nautical and wrist compasses, especially the models for divers KM40, KM40-H (see East-Germany's UDT NVA) and KM40-H1 (see pic. at right). Visit their website (in Russian and Engl.).
Note: The russian letter "H"  is a latin "N".

KNM (KHM in cyrillic letters)

(Company of the former Soviet Union, no other information available)
The letters KNM stand for the three Russian words Compass, naruchny, magnetny (i.e. compass, wrist, magnetic).

The compass (Fig. 51) is used to work out direction under water. It can also be used on the surface during the day or night.

The KNM (KHM in cyrillic letters) compass consists of the three main parts: body (4), card (3) and base (7). The compass body is a truncated cone made of transparent plastic. The bottom part of the cone is joined to the base. A scale (8) is engraved on the side surface of the body. There is 10 deg. between marks and 30 deg. between digits. Two hands are engraved on top of the body parallel to the lubber's line 0 – 180 deg. Two trackers are installed there as well: subject tracker (9) and eye tracker (2). In the middle of the base a column with a pin is fixed. The compass card rests on it. The compass card is made of the same plastic as the body. The card has two magnets placed parallel to each other. A hand is engraved on top of the card. Marks, hands, trackers on the compass body and hands on the card are covered with fluorescent paint that make it possible to use the compass in darkness.

To minimise card pressure, pin friction and stop it vibrating, the body of the compass is filled with 50% glycol solution or 43% ethanol solution. However, there is still a small air bubble left (diameter 8–10 mm). The bubble is necessary to stop pressure mounting in the body when the liquid expands. It also shows the horizontal position of the compass. When the compass is in horizontal position, the bubble is inside the circle (1) that is drawn on the compass body.
The compass base is an aluminium ring that encircles the body. There is an index (6) on the base and two bars (5) used to attach the strap. The strap is used to secure the compass on a diver’s wrist. The body of the compass can be easily turned in the base so that any bearing can be aligned with the index. Such alignment is useful so that a diver does not have to remember a set direction under water.

To move under water or on land according to the set azimuth, its corresponding mark needs to be aligned with the index on the base. The compass needs to be in horizontal position and needs to be rotated in an horizontal plane until the card hands are parallel to the body hands. The direction of the movement is decided from the index on the base.

Magnetic wrist compass for divers

(Click on image for an enlarged view
together with the metallic container)

Users' instructions
Fig. 51 - Wrist magnetic compass:
1 – circle to establish compass’ horizontal position
2 – eye tracker
3 – card
4 – body
5 – bars for the strap
6 – index
7 – base
8 – scale
9 – object tracker

Technical Data
- Diameter: base 70 mm, crown rim 55 mm
- Depth: 35 mm
- Weight: 165 gr
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