Rare and fine Swiss made LeCoultre Compass compact ultimate 35mm range finder film camera, No. 2608, made circa 1939. A finely-machined aluminium bodied camera incorporating a large number of features in such a tiny volume, like a split-image range finder as well as a light meter, ground glass viewfinder. The camera was initially set up to accept single sheets of 35mm film with later versions allowing the use of rolled film via a modular upgrade. Original advertisement declared in 1938 “Compass the embodiment of scientific system in miniature cameras. Built like a watch – as simple to use.”
Quote from official Jaeger LeCoultre website:
The Compass was the result of a bet in which Lord Noel Pemberton Billing boasted he could create a camera of unprecedented quality comprising every possible function and yet small enough to fit inside a cigarette packet! After years of development, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Manufacture brought out the Compass. 4000 of them were made. This exceptional camera featured an exposure meter, range finder, EV indicator, angle viewfinder, telescopic lens shade, inbuilt filters, and a device for panoramic and stereoscopic views. In 1939 an improved model, the Compass II, was introduced. It was offered as a free upgrade to original Compass owners. About 5000 cameras in total were made before production was prevented by war.
This is an absolutely fabulous and rarest treasure: it is beautiful in and of itself! If ever there an item that exemplified the saying “a good vintage is always a wise investment” this is it.
Dimensions: 30 × 53 × 70mm (1¼” × 2 ⅛” ×2¾”) in size with the lens closed, weighing 240g.
Everything seems in fully working order (however not tested with film) and great 8/10 condition.