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In 1907, Russian engineer and military cartographer Vladimir Adrianov presented the first widely used military compass to Russian military command – its simplicity of design proved reliable and accurate, and the compass proved popular within military ranks.  


This is one of these compasses.


The design of this military wrist compass was atypical – more modern compasses utilize a viscous fluid to float the magnetic needle within – but the Russian design featured an internal chamber filled with air, with the magnetic needle (the ends of which are marked in different colors, red and blue) floating on a central pivot.  When the compass was not in use, this design features an arrestor that can be engaged to hold the needle in the same position.


Since its introduction into Moscow in the fourteenth century, artillery has arguably been the centerpiece of Russian combat power. According to medieval records, the Russians first used guns to defend Moscow against the Mongols in the late summer of 1382. Based on this chronicled date, in 1982 the Soviet Army celebrated the 600th anniversary of Russian artillery with great fanfare.


Soviets used artillery as direct fire anti-tank weapons, even heavy artillery at close range (200-300m) against enemy positions in urban settings.  They found direct fire to be about eight times more effective in demolishing buildings than indirect fire.


Regardless, when not using artillery as a direct fire weapon - and as an indirect weapon as it was designed for - old school soldiers would have used the tool here to ensure accurate fire.


This compass comes with a leather strap, nylon strap, hard plastic travel case, and springbar tool.

1970s Soviet Military Wrist Compass

  • DIAL: Unique dial, with matching red and blue compass needle; arrestor complication works as designed.


    CASE: Stianless-steel case measures  35mm (w/o crown, 37.5mm with) x 41.5mm. 


    CRYSTAL: Domed Plexi crystal, no scratches.


    BAND: This military compass comes with a red leather strap, as well as a dark blue, white, and orange nylon strap - both with stainless-steel hardware.


    CROWN: Unsigned stainless-steel crown.

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