A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Robert Eno
Date: 2014 Jan 10, 19:34 -0500
I will add one more comment to Ken’s accurate assessment; Having owned both models, I can tell you that Cassens and Plath was, from a repairman’s perspective, easier to work with. By way of example, the C.Plath handle could not be disassembled whereas the Cassens and Plath handle could be stripped right down. I had a few issues with the electrical components in my C.Plath handle but could not fix them because it could not be disassembled. Furthermore, one of the pillars on the C.Plath handle was glued to the frame of the sextant, rather than screwed. For this reason, I ended up replacing the stock handle on my C.Plath with a Cassens and Plath part.
Bronze vs. Brass: bronze is, from my understanding, more corrosion resistant than brass; but then again I don’t really know what are the exact constituents of the frame of a Cassens and Plath. It may not be just ordinary brass but some special brass that has been conferred with the same corrosion resistance as bronze.
In the final analysis, in my opinion, the best sextant would have the C.Plath bronze frame with Cassens and Plath components.
From: NavList@fer3.com [mailto:NavList@fer3.com] On Behalf Of Ken Gebhart
Sent: January-10-14 7:23 PM
Subject: [NavList] Re: Cassens & Plath versus C. Plath sextants
The C. Plath has been long considered the the finest of sextants
1. C.Plath was by far the oldest of the two, and established a reputation for the best of German instrument making since the 19th century.
2. C. Plath stopped making sextants, not because of loss of market share, but because they were acquired by Litton Industries, and it was a boardroom decision involving modern product lines.
3. During their dual existence, C.Plath sextants sold at 50% more than Cassen & Plath sextants.
4. C. Plath sextants were made of cast bronze using the “lost wax method”. Cassens & Plath sextants are made of a “special brass alloy”. Metal experts in the group may want to comment on the relative merits of each.
5. Cassens & Plath continues to make a good product, and are now at the top of the high end sextant sales.
6. Tamaya, which used to be a tough competitor with their bronze arc fused to an aluminum frame (same as Astra III Professional), has lost market share due to excessive pricing, and now only makes sextants on special order.
On Jan 10, 2014, at 4:18 PM, Jackson McDonald wrote:
What are the relative merits of Cassens & Plath versus C. Plath sextants?
I was under the impression that Cassens & Plath was considered a somewhat better instrument, if the sextants are otherwise in comparable physical condition. Now I am wondering, however, whether my impression is based on fact or bias or personal preference.
Any thoughts from the group?