View Full Version : LeCoultre Compass

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06-03-2011, 12:00 PM
I was digging around on ol' fleabay for something and stumbled across this listing:


I always forget about these. Man, if only I were a rich man! My want of one goes so far beyond a camera as a tool, that thing is a mechanical sculpture! Maybe they should chuck one under water so that someone could find it years later, a la the Antikythera mechanism! It would take future humans a while to realize how utterly genius those oldy timey film photographers were....


06-03-2011, 12:06 PM
A few pics of the beaut...

06-03-2011, 12:09 PM
Incredible camera! Now, if they could fit a rangefinder on that sucker, why not on the Rollei 35's??

06-03-2011, 01:10 PM
Note that it was originally a PLATE camera, for single-frame 24x36mm plates. The rollfilm magazine is an addition. So it doesn't need a reange finder, only a ground glass and a good loupe!

06-03-2011, 01:27 PM
amazingly small... http://www.flickr.com/photos/56932484@N05/5339763348/

06-07-2011, 11:41 AM
Does it come from Jaeger LeCoultre Watch Makers ? They still develop the most expensive and complex wristwatches of today. Have a look to Gyrotourbillon

Are you sure about that? I think that distinction would have to go to either Roger Dubuis (http://www.rogerdubuis-events.com/2011/home) or George Daniels (http://www.danielslondon.com/). A genuine Daniels (he only completed 37 watches) is a priceless work of art. Dubuis sold a single handmade watch of his own original design for $1 million.

06-07-2011, 11:54 AM
Thanks to both of you guys for posting these watches. I've never been more interested in "horology" (a new word for me!)

Jeff Kubach
06-07-2011, 12:25 PM
I like that!


06-07-2011, 01:19 PM
What an amazing complication, some watches today are larger than this camera! Plus integral B&W filters! aweseome. I wonder how many shots you can get out of a roll, half of it must be the leader! xD

So much elegance in such a little package, oh those Swiss tinkerers.

Horology is another bad hobby of mine, it costs almost a much as photography and all I get to do it tell the time!

Michel Hardy-Vallée
06-07-2011, 03:09 PM
Reminds me of Switzerland: utterly precise and pointless! ;)

06-07-2011, 04:12 PM
That camera is a wonderful looking work of engineering. Built in 1937-38; wonder if their purpose was aimed at other than the consumer market. It was a very hot political time. Anyway, I'd prefer the watch in the vid if I had to choose one or the other.

06-08-2011, 12:11 PM
c6 ,

Of course George Daniels mechanism is good as electronic and as simple as Omega could produce factory scale and there are some mechanism gear trains where it takes to complete turn of a gear takes 15000 years but Gyroturbillion is the most complex mechanism where a Swiss Factory produce it scale. If they would manufacture it one or two , it could easily exceed the million line.

Chris ,

Its great to learn new things and if you concentrate well , all the inventioms comes at first 3 weeks and when you start to learn the details , new inventions comes later and later. To be an young was like it for me.


Umut, are you a collector?

06-08-2011, 12:16 PM
Reminds me of Switzerland: utterly precise and pointless! ;)

As are most things which make life worth living.

06-08-2011, 12:26 PM
Does it come from Jaeger LeCoultre Watch Makers ? They still develop the most expensive and complex wristwatches of today. Have a look to Gyrotourbillon

Wow. While there are more complicated watches in existence nobody else would manufacture one today, not even Patek Philippe.

06-08-2011, 12:29 PM
c6 ,

I am reading watch making books , thats all. I have money for swatch not Jaeger.

Cheers ,


yeah, I'm in the same boat...I do own a Chronoswiss Chronometer, a quartz Cartier Vendome and a beautiful Waltham 16 size pocket watch that's been in my family for almost a century. If I ever get rich I will collect timepieces.

06-08-2011, 04:09 PM
My friend have an friend who is one of the Istanbuls most important watch seller. He says they order higher quality copies of Omegas and sell to the idiots as real Omega. I think buying new watches is very complicated. I saw 60 dollars copies of some chronos and its impossible to tell which is which.
I am watching country tourism ads at cnn and I suspect %90 of the asian luxury market is fake.
I have an eye on excellent bronze case Vacheron copies , even Hong Kong tourbillons cost 1500 and guaranteed 15 years. For 100 dollars , We can be rich !

There is an acid test. Simply take the watch you're considering buying to a dealer of the particular brand and ask to have it serviced. If it's fake they won't touch it. I would always do this before buying any high end watch.

Rolex movements (with the exception of the Cosmograph Daytona) have been made in Asian sweat shops for years. Only 10% or so of the movements are good enough to be certified as Swiss Chronometers. The rest are sent back to China where many end up in fakes. They run just as well as certified ones.