A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Joel Jacobs
Date: 2009 Jan 08, 14:07 +0000
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-------------- Original message from "Trevor J. Kenchington" <Gadus@istar.ca>: --------------
Thank you for taking the time to write. I had found three of the four
archived postings that you noted, plus a bunch of others, though I
com/arc/rather than http://www.irbs. com/
. as I said before: It wasn't hard to find those,
just difficult to extract answers to specific questions from them --
likely impossible in the case of my questions, since those seem not
to have been addressed before.
> About the MS 633 and private label sextants
> In respect to the MS 633, if that was the same as the economy
> sextants made or distributed by Nautech, Simex, and Mac, that all
> had the same features, they were private label sextants and not of
> the same quality as the upscale Tamaya sextants. We sold our
> version under the brand Nautech Master. You can compare this
> picture and features to the above and should find them close to the
> same. See http://www.maritime
-antiques. com/boatblog/ nautech-
I agree that that Nautech Master looks essentially the same as the
Tamaya 633 and the Simex and MAC equivalents.
I still don't think that I _know_ what those various sextants were
but I will try a hypothesis for others to shoot down if they have
In the 1970s and into the 1980s, Tamaya built and sold a line of high-
quality sextants that were the fore-runners of the current "733
Spica". Those instruments had the model numbers 635, 636 and 637,
depending on which telescope was sold with them.
At the same time, one or more manufacturers built a lower-cost, lower-
quality line of sextants which Tamaya sold (only in Japan perhaps?)
under model number 633 and which was imported to North America under
a number of labels, including Nautech Master, Simex Mariner and MAC.
I assume that whether there was one manufacturer or more than one
makes little difference, since the sextant designs were essentially
identical, but maybe that is wrong. One manufacturer may have had
higher quality-control standards.
If that is more or less the story, it raises another question: What
was the difference in quality between the two lines? Did the 633 bear
the same relationship to the 635-7 that the modern Jupiter bears to
the Spica? Or is it more like the relationship between the Astra and
the Spica? If a Tamaya 633 is merely an older equivalent to an Astra,
it would be hard to justify the prices that some of them sell for!