England 1937 – Compact – 35 mm – Very Rare.
The Compass was manufactured in London by the Swiss watch-makers Le Coultre et Cie for the Compass Cameras Ltd in 1937.
It was conceived and designed by Noel Pemberton Billing, an airman and Member of Parliament and is probably one of the most incredible cameras ever produced.
The body is machined from a solid block of aluminium and is extraordinarily well-equipped. The Compass offers two optical viewfinders, one at a right-angle, a ground glass focusing screen with a folding loupe, a built-in lens cap, three filters, an extinction meter and a spirit level. All in a package that can fold back in the size of a pack of cigarettes.
One explores a Compass the same way you would with a Curta calculator, with both an amazement for the quality and intelligence of the mechanics and admiration for the beauty of the craftsmanship that went into making such a marvel reality. The Compass is the point where the superlative quality of Le Coultre watch-makers meets an extraordinary and visionary design.
There are no other examples of such cameras. Little under 5000 were ever produced making it one of the most desirable collectibles ever.