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- S -


Compass for children aged 5-8 retailed by the German company Happy People located in Bremen (www.happypeople.de).

Technical Data
- Case and strap: plastic
- Dia.: c. 30mm
- Thickness: c.15mm


Manufacturer of diving materiel created in 1963 by Gustav Dalla Valle, the representative of the French scuba gear manufacturer Beuchat, and Dick Bonin.  The company's logo (the letter S with a fishtail-shaped end) is used for the cardinal point SOUTH.  For more information, visit this company's website.  A model with the famous S, selected by the French Police was built by BEN.

Description in the catalogue (1965, no. 7238
Technical Data
- Dia.:  ? mm
- Height:  mm

Mini-compass ("conversion") attached to the depth gauge

Description in a catalogue (1968?) no. 505-10

Technical Data
- Dia.: 20  mm
- Height:  mm

Mini-compass AQUASTAR (swiss made) attached to a strap

Description in catalogue (1968?), no. 510

Technical Data 
- Diameter: 1" / 25  mm
- Height: 1" / 25 mm


Description in a catalogue (item no. 511). 
Model LS1
Technical Data

- Dia.: approx. 60mm
- Height: approx. 60mm
- Weight: approx. 150gr
- Markings on bottom: LS1, i.e. the inventor's initials Lonnie A. Sutherland and U.S. PAT no. 3,660,907 (1972, see below)
- View from the side: reading the course in a window

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U.S. retail company founded by Richard Warren SEARS.

This compass was made in Japan  (s. more Jap. compasses HERE).

Catalog 1897 - Compasses made by different manufacturers

Catalog front page Fall 1900


Former German maker created in 1979, new name since 2010: SUBGEAR, part of Johnson Outdoors since 2007.
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U.S. retail company. Read the full profile HERE. See also Pocket compasses. On the leather band the letter S (for Selsi) seems to be an original marking. The Letters U and N on either side (for US Navy ?) have probably been added by a former owner.
(Click on image above for detail view)    

SEMIONOVA / Семëновa

M. I. Semionov (Семëнова) was a Russian inventor or manufacturer. The ending 'a' in Russian is like the possessive 's in English.. This is (up to now) the only known Russian-made wrist compass with floating disk. The case, though, is identical to the ancestor's...

Technical Data
- Diameter: 41 mm
- Depth: 12 mm
- Weight: 30 gr
- Sighting system: rifle-type identical to the Red Army's wrist compasses (AYRKKA, ZUP etc.)
- Transit lock: side (screw head)
- Inscription on the floating disk: МОДЕЛЬ APT. TEX. (Артелерийской Техники) - Model for artillery technique.
(Click on picture for enlarged view)
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Swedish and U.S. manufacturer (for more information click HERE and also in Wikipedia about Johnson Outdoors).
At least four different models are known to have been produced. Several versions of the wrist compass model Globetrotter are known. They were made in or for various European countries like Sweden but also France (see LEMAIRE), Bulgaria (see GUGK), Poland etc. They featured various divisions (degrees and MILS).

See other items in Marching compasses, Orienteering and Scoutism.

1 - Wrist Compasses: Model Globetrotter


Picture at right: ad c.1950

Technical data
- Diam.: 2" (50 mm)
- Cardinals: swedish
- Inscriptions on the back: SILVA - A.-B. BROD. KJELLSTROM -
Stockholm Sweden - 68 - U.S.A. Pat. 2136970.

The object of the patent filed by Henning Rudolf Ekkeberg in 1937 was a fluid capsule capable of resisting variations of the fluid volume due to temperature changes. (Copy in English available)
Model Cruiser (1955)

Pic. by courtesy of Douglas Carter
(Click on image for detail view)

Picture as published in B. Kjellstrom's famous book Be an expert with Map and Compass, 1955

(see details in Marching compasses)

The model Cruiser was only produced in the U.S.A.
View of the Cruiser reverse side with Swedish (SV) and U.S. patents no.

Technical data
- Dia. overall: 35 mm
- Dia. capsule : 23 mm
Model name ?


Picture by courtesy of Douglas Carter

Technical Data
- Dia. :  mm
Model Silvette ?

by courtesy of Douglas Carter

Technical Data
- Dia. :  mm
NOTE: A wrist compass called Model no. 11 SILVETTE is listed in a user instr.* but we have no picture of it. Thank you for helping.

Maybe it is one of the compasses displayed at left.

* Colour photocopy available
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Pin-on or lapel compasses for hunters: The original ones had an aluminum casing. A modern version made of plastic is also used in some countries for jet fighter pilots' survival kits (e.g. below German Luftwaffe, BUND = Bundeswehr, i.e. Federal Army, with NATO Stock Number). The pilots of the german Army (Heeresflieger) carry it in the RH pocket of their Secumar life jacket SW2-HUB.

2 - Pin-on (Lapel) Compasses model Huntsman


Below: German Luftwaffe (survival kit)

From l. to r.: Mil. markings - Sundial - Compass open
Sun-watch flap function and ser instructions in box

The Bundeswehr Huntsman together with the other items of the survival kit (for more information read note below)

Technical Data
- Dimensions (folded):
46 x 38 x 10mm
- Weight: 33gr
- Sun watch function
- Date: 1950's

Advert. with user instr.  (1954)

* Compare with  MARBLE'S, WILKIE and TRU NORD.

Note: This particular compass has predominately been part of German jet fighter pilot equipment (Tornado, Phantom and Alpha-Jet) as early as the beginning of the 1980s and is stored, among other quite neat, utile, useful and interesting survival equipment, in the "Aluminiumschachtel" (aluminum box) with Versorgungsnummer (NSN) 4420-12-317-0626. In official use, it is described as "Notkompass" which translates to "emergency compass". In small quantities, it has also been in use with German LRRP and commando units, but not in that commonness as with the British Armed Forces. The Bundeswehr only has the earlier, black model with NSN, whereas the British have in addition the later ones, which are of dark-olive tone without NSN.
(Source: M. Staudt).
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Space Navigator

Japanese toy compass manufactured 1950's.
Dim. of card: 3" by 6 7/8"


French company (AV ZI 1ère Avenue CARROS, 06510, 148 France) created in 1946 as a department of l'Air Liquide to manufacture and distribute the products of the inventors J.-Y. Cousteau and Emile Gagnan (aqualung). It changed its name in 2003 into LA SPIROTECHNIQUE AQUALUNG. The production included besides diving gear (air tanks and regulators) accessories like these small compasses.

Already in the 50's, LA SPIROTECHNIQUE produced the VZ compass named after its inventor Serge VEZ (see further down). This compass is made of two spheres. The smaller one contains the compass card equiped with magnet, distance pin and weight. It floats inside a bigger one filled with damping fluid. The company's name LA SPIROTECHNIQUE printed on the card was replaced by the words U.S. DIVERS on the export model for the USA (see pic. below).

The VZ compass in the 1960 Spirotechnique catalogue. Patent no. 1.189.600 issued on Oct. 5, 1959 (for illustr. click HERE).

Model VZ or Sphéricompas

Technical Data
- Strap: plastic
- Diameter (sphere): 45mm
- Height (sphere + basis): 55mm
- Weight: 95gr

(Pic. at left courtesy militarybill)
Export version (USA) marked U.S. DIVERS

Pictures by courtesy of J. GRÉPINET,

Click on the image for enlarged view
Technical Data
Strap: plastic
- Dia.: 50mm
- Thickness: 35mm
- Weight: 80gr
- Manufactured (approx.): 1950's-60's

Pictures courtesy A. Ribeiro -
Click on the images for enlarged views

Technical Data
- VESPER (on face, the letter S is partly masked by a rivet)

- Dia.: 1 ¾ "  (45mm)
- Thickness: 11/16 "   (17mm)
- Strap slot width: 5/8 "  (15mm)

(Click on picture for enlargement)

Reverse side
Official model formerly used by the French Police and the divers teams of the Fire Brigades (Sapeur Pompiers)

Technical Data
- Casing: polyester
- Diameter: 70 mm
- Depth: 50 mm
- Divisions: 360°
- Filling screw on side, sticker "GLYCOL" on reverse side
- Manufactured (approx.): 1970's
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Star-shaped compass disc

German compass made in the 1930s/40s. No manufacturer name.
Divisions: only the cardinals and half-cardinals. Dia. :


J. H. Steward Ltd was a British manufacturer (for more information click HERE). See also Marching compasses.
The instrument displayed in the first row is probably a military version of the one featuring a Service Pattern card proposed in a Siebe Gorman catalogue (diving materiels). The one at right in the second row is a civil version.

(Click on the pictures for enlarged views)

The Singer's patent type dial. The North mark is a red square with a vertical line of Radium- compound paint across it. 
 Technical data
- Diam.: 48 mm
- Depth: 20 mm
- Divisions: 360°

Right: view of a catalogue

(Click on the pictures for enlarged views)

Same design but in addition a red marching course line on the crystal.
Technical data
- Diameter: 45 mm
- Depth: 16 mm
- Divisions: 360°
Siebe Gorman & Co. 1957 catalogue

Plain version (dim. unknown)

Picture courtesy Harvey Withers

Conventional version featuring a SINGER dial
Technical data
- Diameter: 35 mm (case) resp. 20 mm (dial)
- Depth: 14 mm
- Protection lid
- Divisions: 32 points, Radium-compound paint markings (N, E & W, one dot for south)
Technical data
- Dia.: 40 mm (case) resp. 20 mm (dial)
- Depth: 14 mm
- Protection snap lid
- Divisions: cardinals and intercardinals only


SUBGEAR was originally a German brand (SEEMANN SUB). It was acquired by Johnson Outdoors in 2007
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Former US manufacturer (L.I. CITY, New York) - See also Marching compasses. Design: see CUDE patent (fig. at r.). It produced marching and wrist-top compasses (see also TAYLOR below). This item was retailed by Abercrombie and Fitch after the war (see ad below). For more details go to US Paratroopers' Wrist Compasses.

WWII Paratrooper compass
Design see CUDE patent.

(Click on the picture above for an enlarged view)

See also TAYLOR for the differences between both.
Markings on the casing:


Paratrooper with his compass (1944)
(Picture courtesy U.S. Army)
Technical Data
- Diameter: 55 mm
- Depth: 18 mm
- Weight: 63 gr (with strap)
- Divisions: 360°, clockwise
- Material: plastic
- Colour: greenish-brown

Above: A. & F. ad
(Click for enlarged view)
Korean War (June 25, 1950 - July 27, 1953)
Paratrooper compass

Markings on the casing:

Technical Data
- Diameter: 51 mm
- Depth: 18 mm
- Weight: 68 gr (with strap)
- Divisions: 360°, clockwise
- Material
. Casing: metallic
. Inner capsule: plastic
- Colour: greenish-brown
- Date: 9-50
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Lonnie A. Sutherland was a U.S. engineer who patented a diver's wrist compass (see SCUBAPRO above)


Finnish company founded in 1936 by the engineer Tuomas Vohlonen, inventor of the first fluid filled compass (Patent accepted in 1933, British issue no. 426,913, see details below). For more information go to this company's own website.
Fluid compasses already existed before but this new design consisted of a capsule made of elastic parts of identical dilatation coefficient glued together so that no bubble could form under any temperature or pressure variation (compare with the patent filed by Nya Instrumentfabriks A.-B. Lyth in 1932, Swiss issue no. 165,879).

All Suunto wrist-top compasses feature the same design and dimensions: a square aluminum (now plastic) case containing a fluid dampened compass capsule, a leather strap attached to it and a gun-type sight on the bezel. There are only slight design differences like the various conversion tables on the back. These compasses are not really wrist compasses: the lanyard has a button-hole at its end to attach it on a uniform button but it can be used as a line of sight seen from above (see picture below).


Fig. of original patent with graphical user instructions (Polish version, identical to the Finnish version)


Pic. at left: German version of the Finnish patent
(accepted in 1934, published in 1941).The versions in Polish and Engl. languages (Gr. Britain and Canada) are also available: ask the curator.

Pic. at r.: Page 1 of the German user instructions. Note the compass designation: P 1

(Click on the pictures for enlarged views)

Top left: Fig. 1 and 2 of the German patent
Top right: German version used during the alliance with Germany (WWII) and common fighting of USSR. The divisions on divided circle were engraved clockwise and countercockwise (link to pic.)

Model name: M-37

Markings: SA*/T, PMT

*Suomen Armeija = Finnish Army

Correspondance formula for degrees (astetta) and mils (6000, piirua). 
100 piirua = 6 astetta
1 aste = 17 piirua
Picture at right: full table

Four rulers for direct reading of distances on maps: 1:20.000, 1:50.000, 1:100.000 and 1:42.000

Technical Data
- Strap: leather
- Case and bezel: aluminum
- Dimensions: 53 x 53 x 23 mm
- Weight: 125 gr
- Divisions: 6000 mils, counterclockwise
- Logo in lower left corner: S-KO-HA = Suojeluskuntain osuushankintakeskus. The Suojeluskunta (or White Guard, s. Wikipedia) was a semi-official national guard before and during World War II (source: K. Pienimäki)

Model M / III built by

Four rulers for direct reading of distances on maps: 1:25.000, 1:500.000, 1:100.000 und 1:1.000.000.

Technical Data
- Strap: leather
- Case: aluminium
- Bezel: brass
- Dimensions: 53 x 53 x 23 mm
- Weight: 125 gr
- Divisions: 360 degrees, counterclockwise
- Ruler 50 mm

Army version with a black bakelite back plate and a 1:20,000 scale on one side.

Technical data
- Strap: leather
- Case and bezel: aluminum
- Dimensions: 53 x 53 x 23 mm
- Weight: 125 gr
- Divisions: 6000 mils, counter clockwise

Model with transparent bottom

Pictures courtesy J. Shannon
Technical data

Pictures by courtesy H. Waldmann
Technical data

Model featuring a large divided bezel
The external ring features grooves only on one half / 180°.

Divers' compass (counter clockwise)

Pictures courtesy F. Rothbrust and D. Latenser
Model signed Suunto Oy Helsinki made in the 1970s. It had the same hole in the bezel glass as the ABALONE model made by PASTO. Through this opening the water could flow freely and the glass was not pressed by the pressure but a lot of dirt could also enter and it was difficult to rinse. The disign was soon abandonned.
Model M-9 featuring a sight through the case side


See Muller & Vaucher
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- T -


Former German maker of diving materiel (Tauch means dive) located in Eckernförde. The 1966 catalogue offers two compass types, SK-65 et ORIENTSUB.

Type name SK-65

Compare to the WILKIE and LUFFT models


Former US-Company (Rochester, New York) - mostly known for the large variety of boy scouts and girl guides pocket compasses (s. this category) and for a paratroopers' wrist-top compass reproduction (see also SUPERIOR MAGNETO Corp. above). More details are to be found in US Paratroopers' Wrist Compasses

Paratroopers' compass
(Click on the picture at left for an enlarged view)

Main differences between the Sup. Mag. and the Taylor versions:
- The brand name Taylor is indicated on the crown's rim. The figures are small and the cardinal points large, leaving an empty margin between them and the rim.
When tilting the compass against the light one can see a spiral design (pict. at right).
- The magnetic needle is triangular and broad whereas the SUP MAG's needle is thin and straight. The big arrow point for the marching course on the plastic crystal is filled with paint from above, it is very thin and painted from under the crystal on SUP MAG.
Markings on the casing, masked when the strap is installed:


On some items, a date is printed on the back of the spiral bottom plate.
Technical Data
- Diameter: 58 mm
- Depth: 20 mm
- Weight: 60 gr (with strap)
- Divisions: 360°, clockwise
- Colour: brownish-red
Side view of the crown:
Bottom: TAYLOR

Taylor produced also after WWII compasses for divers and hikers and pin-on compasses like MARBLE'S, TRU NORD and WILKIE.

Divers compass
(catalog 1961)

Click on the pictures for detailed views

Divers compass
Technical Data

- Diameter: 55 mm
- Depth: 40 mm
- Weight: 100 gr (with strap)
- Divisions: only the main cardinal points are marked by a letter. The middle positions are marked by dashes and dots.
Depth gauge with built-in compass: go to VOIT.

Hikers compass
Technical Data
- Diameter: 35 mm
- Depth: 10 mm
- Weight: 35 gr (with strap)
- Divisions: only the main cardinal points are marked by a letter. The middle positions are marked by a dash. North and South have in addition a luminous paint mark.
- Production period: early 1950's ?

Hikers compass
Technical Data
- Diameter: 45 mm
- Bezel:
- Date: 1950-60s??
Pin-on compass

The black and white card's design on the wrist compass above and the pin-on compass left is a negative copy of the original  TRU NORTH's design (see patent's fig. below in TRU NORD).
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This divers' compass bears no maker's name. A modern version is sold by TEXSPORT. Your help is needed if you have seen it in a catalogue.
Compare the face design to the TRU NORD model below

(Click on the images for enlarged views)
Technical data
- Compass dial dia.: 1 in. / 25 mm
- Production period: 1970s ?
- Below: current version (2016)


William Arthur TILNEY (1868-1947), Lt. Col. Commanding 17th Lancers, Sialkot, India, invented a device called in the British patent (n° 13,251 in 1915) 'Improved Instrument for Quickly Determining the True Bearing of Heavenly and Terrestrial Bodies and Indicating Direction of March or Flight' but simply Protractor in the US patent no. 1,179,242 in 1916. The idea was to take several bearings and feel in the dark with one's finger nail the number of notches corresponding to the angles. The base could be aligned to the North Star or the Southern Cross at night or using the compass needle during the day to get a N-S line.  W. A. Tilney is also known for his Time Table of Direction Stars. The instrument is designated ANAPACE COMPASS. An article published in the Geographical Journal (Vol. 48, no. 3, 1916) explains that the Inventor "claims that by its use it is possible for troops to march at ANY PACE at night on a given bearing by stars at night". 
Technical data (dimensions)
Protractor Ø :120mm (4.5”). Width: 70mm (2.75”) plus 20mm (0.75”) metal loop on top. The body is 10mm deep with the compass protruding another 12mm out of the back. Add the height of the wing nut on the front. Strap: 350mm (14””)  x 15mm. The brackets above the compass can be rotated to adjust to the local declination and are used as a frame for the magnetic needle in the night (link: side view of the compass capsule showing the brackets attachment and rotation axis). In the description given in the Geographical Journal the compass features a bezel and two luminous markings on the crystal.

Pictures by courtesy of R. Griggs
(Click on the images for enlarged views)

Patent drawing and detail view of designation


Divers' compass made by Sea-Well Corp. (located in Des Plaines, Illinois) in the 1960s (?). 

Click on the picture for a
detailed side view

Link: view of the box and user instruction

The small size is not problematic since the objects appear enlarged under ater.
Technical Data
- Dimensions: 48 x 28 x 22 mm
- Weight: 17 gr (with strap) 
- Divisions: only the main cardinal points are marked by a letter. The middle positions are marked by a dash. West is on the right of true North like on spherical nautical compasses).
- The dome's shape is designed so as to concentrate through optical magnification even faint light onto the horizontal card, 50% of which is seen in a mirror.
- The internal volume is extremely small (cyclinder: 18mm x 5 mm) and doesn't need thus to contain any fluid (see side view pic. at left and  view from below). The compass is an insert marked: MADE IN U.S.A. - PAT. PENDING.
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U.S. manufacturer located in Brainerd (Minnesota, web site: trunord.com). Available as a wrist-borne or pin-on (or lapel) compass for hunters, i.e. built in a case that can be pinned onto a jacket's lapel. In this way, one can always keep an eye on it while both hands remain free to hold a rifle (for other pin-on compasses go to AIRGUIDE, MARBLE'S and WILKIE). The magnetic North pole is very near from places in the northern parts of the U.S. and in Canada so that a compass needle can strongly deviate (up to+/- 30 degrees) from the geographical i.e. 'true' north if you are in Alaska or New-Foundland. For this aim, the company TRU NORD offers an instrument already compensated for the region where it will be used and which already points to "True North", hence the company's name. The company also ensures new compensation if one moves to another region. At least two different designs of the face were offered.
NOTE: This company claims that this system was invented by Vern E. Budlong shortly after WWII. In fact, it is based on Symons' Patent no. 3293, dated Sept. 20, 1875. Compasses called TRUE NORTH and using this technique were manufactured from as early on as the mid 1870s (see Casella's Catalogue in the book Compass Chronicles, p. 48-49. Symons' card design was also used by Taylor although in inverted colours.

(Pictures arkmay2 - priv. coll.)

Click on the pictures for enlarged views
Technical Data
- Diameter: 32mm
- Length: 65mm
- Weight: 42gr
- Divisions: only 4 cardinals
Radium paint markings: outer borderline of North arrow, line between needle cap and South. Black and white card similar to SINGER's pattern.

Newest face design. Brass model 300C

Titanium modell 100CT
Click on the pictures for enlarged views
Technical Data
- Diameter: 1.062 in / approx. 25mm
- Divisions: 360 deg
- Case made of brass or titanium
Compare to TEXSPORT above


Japanese company founded by Kazuo Tabata in Tokyo, Japan in 1952, part of Tabata Co. Ltd.
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- U -

 UGK (угк in cyrillic letters)

Former Bulgarian company located in Sofia, Pavlovo district.  UGK - Kartno-Geopriborna Fabrika Sofia (угк / картно-геоприборна фабрика софия / factory for maps and survey equipment). It was operating under that name between 1953 and 1962, then the geodesic instruments department was separated and it became Maps factory only. The meaning of the abbrev. UGK is still unknown.
See also the compass marked GUGK.

ADRIANOFF-type compass
Technical Data

Dee Adrianoff

Picture courtesy tjtoolie

UOMZ (YOM3 in cyrillic letters)

UOMZ / YOM3 is the abbreviation of Уральский оптико-механический завод, Свердловск (Екатеринбург) i.e. Ural Optics and Mechanics (plant), Sverdlovsk (Yekaterinburg). In the 19th century it was Theodor Schwabe's manufactury. In 1916 it was renamed to "Geofizika". Then it was renamed to "Goszavod Geofizika" (Goszavod is a short name for state-owned factory).  Next name was VOOMP Geofizika. In 1940 it was evacuated to Sverdlovsk because of the Nazi-Germany attack in 1941. There it was renamed to UOMZ (Ural optical-mechanic factory) and is still working under this name today.
Picture at right: the company's logo engraved on the compass face
See list of logos of the soviet optics industry on the websites
NOVACON (Portuguese) and 

Click on pictures for enlarged views)

Below: rear side of leather holder:

Inscriptions on the dial:
- Top (in Russian): NORTH BLUE (North is where the needle's blue end points to)
- Left side: the Soviet Union's and the Red Army's symbols (hammer and sickel, a 5-branched star) and a logo representing a beam crossing a concave lense and being reflected by a mirror.
Technical Data
Compass alone:
- Diameter: 2.94" / 75 mm
- Depth: 0.78" / 15 mm
- Weight: 150 gr
- Manufactured: 1942
- Divisions: 6000 MILS, counter-clockwise
- Strap length: 11" 7 / 30 mm

NOTE : This large compass was originally not intended to be born at the wrist: it was part of an aiming circle used in the USSR's Red Army and designed by Mikhalovski & Touroff. It is however a well done and maybe unique makeshift product. All fixations are rivets and it cannot be dismantled.


U.S. manufacturer of diving gear. Several Models are known. The one in the first row was later produced in Japan. The second one features also AQUA-LUNG's logo and is combined instrument (depth gauge).

View of the box of a later model
(Click for enlarged view)

Technical Data
- Dia. of sphere: 35mm

For a detail view pls. click on image and go also to AQUA-LUNG.
Technical Data
- Dia.(overall): 65 mm
- Dia. of compass: 45 mm
- Divisions: counter clockwise
- Combined instrument: depth gauge and compass
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U.S. Gauge Co.

U.S. company established in 1904 and located in Sellersville, Pennsylvania, (new name: AMETEK).
On top of the casing is a rifle-type sight and on its side, a window opening on the compass rose is marked YOU ARE LOOKING. One only needs then to read the bearing's value. The line-of-sight on the casing is turned by 45° against the strap so as to allow for taking a bearing with extended arm. These words also appear on a smaller model called "Trail-blazer" sold by a retailer called The  ROYAL AMERICAN COMPANY, a division of SOUTHWESTERN HOUSEHOLD EQUIPMENT CO.

See also Pocket compasses.

Compass, wrist , non liquid, Type L-1, Spec no. 21051-A

(Detail view of the dial: click on the picture above)

Reverse side view w/o strap.
Compare with the compass made by Marine Compass Co.

(Click for enlarged view)

Technical Data
- Diameter: 46 mm
- Depth: 21 mm
- Weight (strap incl.): 35 gr
- Divisions: 360°, clockwise
- Strap width: 14 mm

 USG ad.

(Click on image above for full text)

The small modell called trail-blazer with leather strap and a view of its box (below). Inside the lid: the unser's instructions:

(Click on the pictures for enlarged views)

Note the words YOU ARE LOOKING on either side of the lubber's line. The compass was available with a whit eor a black case.
Technical Data
- Case width: 28 mm
- Depth: 20 mm
- Weight (strap incl.): 15 gr
- Divisions: ship compass type
- Strap width: 16 mm
- Liquid damped rose

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- V -


We know of three Swiss inventors called VAUCHER and probably they were relatives.
- Eric Vaucher (domiciled in Bienne / Biel) invented in 1941 the famous matchbox system built by RECTA. Together with Muller (no data available), he had already built pocket compasses (see Muller & Vaucher).
- Denis Maurice Vaucher (domiciled in La Neuveville) filed a patent for a wrist compas (see table below).
- Frank Vaucher (domiciled in Cormoret) filed a patent together with the watchmaker Longines for a wristwatch featuring a sundial and a rose of the winds.

Denis Maurice VAUCHER, wrist compass
Patent no. 557.020 (Switzerland 1973), 3.919.782 (USA) and  324.726 (Austria)


Serge VEZ was the French inventor (pat. no. 1,189,600) of a famous spherical diver compass produced by La Spirotechnique.


The VOIT CORPORATION was a U.S. sporting goods company founded in 1927 by William J. VOIT (1881-1945) and purchased in 1957 by AMF (source: Wikipedia). The depth gauges and compasses branded VOIT were manufactured by TAYLOR.

Model DG4-C
Depth gauge with built-in compass

Pictures courtesy Dušan Šuráni

(Click on the images for full view of ad)


DG4-C Technical Data
- Dia.: 55mm
- Height: 44mm
- Weight: 125gr
- Date: 1950s-60s
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- W -


Waltham C. Co. was a U.S. watch maker created in 1850 (more information HERE).
The company's name is either written in one single word (WALTHAM) or as an abbreviation (W. C. Co). We display here an infantrymen (or paratroopers) compass and a divers compass issued in the 50's and 60's (Korea and Vietnam wars era).
See also POCKET and ESCAPE compasses.

(Click on image for detailed view)
Technical Data
- Diameter: 29mm
- Thickness: 10mm
- Weight: 20gr
- Marking (on rear face): R-88-C-890 (see box at right)
- ca. 1956 (Korea war), two version existed: with graduations (above) and without but with the maker's name.

(Click on image for detailed view)
SEAL diving compass. The United States Navy Sea, Air and Land Forces, commonly known as the Navy SEALs, are the Special Operations Forces of the United States Navy, employed in direct action and special reconnaissance operations. SEALs are also capable of employing unconventional warfare, foreign internal defense, and counter-terrorism missions.
(Definition: WIKIPEDIA)

Technical Data
- Diameter: 58mm
- Thickness: 22mm
- Weight: 190gr

(Click on image for detailed view)
Tiny compass looking like a lady’s watch, fitted on a slim high-quality leather wristband, featuring a rotating capsule with a lubber line under the glass and a dash of luminous paint as a north reference located in a slot on the case rim.

Technical Data
- Dia. (compass): 17mm
- Thickness: 8mm
- This item is identical to the NATO escape compass
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WBT - White, Bottomley, Thomson

Former British manufacturer. The letters WBT are the initials of three partners, James White, James Bottomley and William Thomson. The latter is nobody else than the famous Lord Kelvin (for more details see Wikipedia and many other website)
This compass system is based on Capt. Chetwynd's patent. The card's design is similar to Singer's pattern: i.e. bright cardinal markings on dark ground on the Northern half and vice versa on the Southern side.
See also KELVIN's Nautical compasses.

View of the side lamp connector

(Click on the pictures for enlarged views)

The dial as seen lit through the side window

WBT's logo on the
North fleur-de-lys
Technical Data
- Diameter: 2.5" / 67 mm
- Depth: 1.5" / 29 mm
- Side port dia.: 16 mm
- Weight: 0.5 lb. / 250 gr
- Compass card divisions: 360°
- Course reference : a needle (s. pic. below)

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Former German company (for more information click HERE).
A typical characteristic of WILKIE was the stabilisation winglets on either side of the magnetic needle.


Catalog published in the 60s (left) and 1972 (right)

See also the predecessor versions made by PASTO.

The item at left was also utilised by the predecessors of the US NAVY SEALs (UDT) in Corea and Vietnam
Picture at r. courtesy U. de Pulgas
DIVERS COMPASS Type UK 46 F (flat)
(compare with PASTO, catalogue 1971)

(For view dismantled click HERE)

Technical Data - Capsule dia.: 1" / 47mm, outer dia.: 57mm, Height: 17mm.
Fluid-filled, Needle with stabilizing winglets. Divisions: every 10 deg. Card material: aluminum. Jewel cap, strap material: synthetic.
DIVERS COMPASS Type UK 47 F (spherical)
UK = Unterwasserkompass (underwater compass)
F = Flüssigkeitsgefüllt (fluid-filled)

(Pictures: catalog for the year 1972)


Pictures courtesy Franz Rothbrust (Click on images for enlarged views)

WILKIE proposed also several models of combined instruments depth gauge/compass. Models with 0-80 m and 0-100m scale.
Compare to the model sold by DRÄGER.

(Click on images for enlarged views)

Export Model 250 GC with 0-250 ft scale in the catalogs 1965 (needle w/o stabilizers) and 1972
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(Click to enlarge)
This compass (Type AK, s. catalogue below) comprises a typical WILKIE fluid capsule secured in the casing by a crown-shaped nut exactly like the MARBLE'S pin-on compasses.

Technical data
- Diameter: 32mm
- Depth: 15mm
- Weight: 44gr
- Round knurled nut


(Click for enlarged view)

Capsule like above, hexagonal nut


Pictures courtesy Doug Carter



WILKIE also built a special compass for hunters (H = Hunter) based on the same design than MARBLE'S famous long stem instrument. The main difference was the typical fluid damping of the card.

See also the compensated TRU NORD.
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W.P. & S. Ltd

W.P. & S. Ltd was probably a retailer with a large scope of items. We know of various items like teaspoons and postcards. This compass strap bears engraved on its underside the words THE "SERVICE" WRISTLET. Its was presumably intended to be offered to soldiers.


(Click on images for enlarged views)

Technical Data
- Compass dia.: 1 ½ in. / 35 mm
- Production period: WWI
- Divisions: 32 rhumbs (s. Menue Miscell. / Divisions)

Pictures courtesy bbant29
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- Y -


yal was the three-letter code of the Czech manufacturer of mostly military optics MEOPTA. Compare the design to the xbk-signed military (Survey/Artillery) compass.

Technical Data
- Dimensions
. Compass diameter: 45 mm
. Depth: 25 mm
- Graduation:
. Marching course scale: 360 deg., clockwise
. Compass rose: 360 deg. clockwise
- Indications on lid top:
. yal: manufacturer's code
. crossed swords: symbol for Czech military materiel (corresponds to the british crow foot)
. Model designation: vz. 54, serial no.: 6134

(Photos courtesy Auktion-Live.de)

(Rifle scope photo courtesy of VIC THOMAS)

Click on the picture for an enlarged view
Description in Czech language


The company YOKOYAMA Compass Manufacturing (YCM, see logo at right) Co., Ltd. located in Senzoku, Taitou-ku, Tokyo, Japan, was created in 1925. It produced many different compasses of all sorts for ships, cars and hiking probably in the 1970s. This museum displays some of them like the Models 230 (NESCO wrist compass), 880 (pocket Boy & Girl Scout compass) or 666 (pin-on compass) listed on page 10 of the catalogue.
Go to JAPAN for more examples.


Gimmick accompanying the German youth comics YPS (read more in Other compasses / Toys)

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- Z -

Z.O.P. (ЗOП in cyrillic letters)

Abbreviation of Zavod Obrazovatielnykh Priborov / Завод для образовательных инструментов i.e. Factory for educational Instruments ? This USSR company built a compass model that differed from the Red Army's famous one (AURKKA).

Click on the image for an enlarged view of the dial

Z.O.P.'s logo: the letter P stands in the centre, Z and O are mingled and tilted by 45°. The lower part of the body with knurled side wall rotates.
Technical data
- Diameter: 42 mm
- Height: 12 mm
- Weight: 42 g incl. band
- Divisions: 6000 MILS, counterclockwise
- Material: nickel?
- Rest of black paint.

Z.U.P. (ЗУП in cyrillic letters)

Abbreviation of Zavod Uchebnikh Priborov / Завод учебных приборов (Factory for Teaching Instruments, former USSR). During the Soviet era this USSR company built the same compasses as the RED ARMY (AURKKA).
See also Pocket compasses.

Model name ADRIANOVA
ZUP's logo

(Picture Bajo / MilitariaFundForum)
Technical Data
- Diameter: 50 mm
- Depth: 20 mm
- Weight: 60 gr
- Graduations:
. 360 degrees clockwise (inner scale)
. 6000 mils anticlockwise (outer scale)
- Date (at case underside) : 1940
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