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    Re: Sextant 1090 International - Never Used
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2012 May 15, 07:49 -0700

    Yes, it's a re-branding. This is one of the sextants that I call a "Tamayalike". The principal components and design are from a standard Tamaya sextant from the mid-1970s. Tamaya in this period supplied nearly complete sextants to a number of small companies which made some unique final outfitting decisions (e.g. the polarizing shades on the one in this ebay auction) and sold them under their own brand names, such as "MAC" and "International Nautical". This sort of thing might seem odd today, but it was common a hundred years ago. For example, I have a sextant from the 1890s that's engraved, quite beautifully, with the signature and details of "E & G.W. Blunt", but they didn't manufacture it. I don't know who the original manufacturer was, but they, like Tamaya in the 1970s, sold sextants to many other dealers to brand with their own names.

    I own an International Nautical sextant which is an EXACT match for this one currently on ebay. I cannot spot a single difference. The certificate on mine is dated May 15, 1976 (thirty-six years ago today). It's a very good sextant, but it has some issues. I bought it on ebay about five years ago and paid around $240 for it, which I think was fair. When it arrived, it was new --completely brand new and unused. Many parts were still wrapped up in the case in faded, brittle paper. Very likely this was aboard a ship for regulatory or legal reasons, and no one had ever bothered to open the case. Since it had never been used, the oil in the polarizing filters had thickened and they couldn't be turned at first. The instrument has moderate arc error (the certificate is meaningless), but not enough to interfere with normal altitude observations. I saw another one, with some different details, at the "leap second" conference near Philadelphia last October, owned by one of the conference organizers. In the NavList community, both Mike Burkes and George Brandenburg own or have owned one of these "Tamayalikes".

    Note that the 7x35 telescope included with this sextant is worth a good price all by itself. Just bear in mind that this is a simple monocular mounted in a yoke with some set screws. It was not designed for use on a sextant (unlike Celestaire's 7x35 scope). It needs to be properly collimated, and given the primitive mounting, there's no guarantee that it will remain stable even in normal use. Also note that the mounting point on the sextant is the mirror image of the mounting on the modern Astra IIIB so a Celestaire 7x35 and this 7x35 cannot be swapped.


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