Rec me a nice fancy compass, and is this weird?
April 10, 2020 5:45 AM   Subscribe

Please recommend me a nice, working, kinda fancy, handmade(?), traditional style compass. A coworker (not my report, but not not) is having a kid and is pretty pumped, we've talked about it bunch as we have some overlap in our deals re kids and get on well, etc. I'd like to get their kid-to-be a compass.

We are both kinda outdoorsy (I used to be a scout) and I know that's something the coworker wants for their kid. I like the symbolism of a compass as "always being able to find your way" as well as a nice bit of kit, and I remember loving compasses myself as a kid. Obviously infant-coworker isn't going to be doing anything with it for years and years, but they're not gonna do much with anything they get as a welcome-to-the-world gift. So.

a) please point me out some nice compasses, I could go to like maybe 70 bucks if it's not obvious that I did... It would be nice with something like wood and fancy, but otherwise I will just go with a decent Silva Ranger for example.

b) Is this totally over personal and weird? I'm in not a hugely demonstrative country, but I'm also not from here, and the person isn't only of this culture either (we don't share a culture). Or is it a giant pain in the butt to "have to" keep track of a compass for years, I mean I assume the parents will use it when out and about between now and then, but you know what I mean.

Anonymous to separate from my regular account just. Can mefimail any answers to questions in thread.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'm sorry I don't know about a), but just chiming in to say that b) I don't think this is weird at all, I think it's absolutely lovely! What a clever idea! I am a big fan of giving this kind of baby gift, especially in situations where I know they're already set up with necessities and/or they will be getting a million onesies/baby washcloths/etc. already. This gift is meaningful and personal and if I were the new mom I would very much appreciate it.

Good job you! I am absolutely going to steal this idea if I ever have any outdoorsy pregnant friends. :)
posted by mccxxiii at 6:38 AM on April 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

It's a baby present, and in almost all cultures, baby presents are a thing. A compass is a lovely gift, very thoughtful.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:40 AM on April 10, 2020 [5 favorites]

OP took care to not mention whether their co-worker is the pregnant person or the partner. Let's keep that in mind.

I think this is a lovely idea! Assuming you and co-worker have had conversations about how important outdoorsy stuff is to you both (which it sounds like you have), this is meaningful and symbolic and not too personal at all.
posted by cooker girl at 6:42 AM on April 10, 2020

Etsy has a wide array of vintage and modern compasses, many can be custom engraved. I like the brass ones personally, many good options in the $50 range.

You will not get quite the technical performance from a handmade nice looking compass, but technical performance is probably not the point!
posted by SaltySalticid at 6:56 AM on April 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

Instead of handmade, consider a vintage or engraved compass, or this fancy presentation model. You might get a frame for it, as the child will not be using it imminently. This is a great gift.
posted by theora55 at 9:25 AM on April 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

Very nice looking compass on Etsy. you have sent me down a delightful rabbithole
posted by theora55 at 9:29 AM on April 10, 2020

Silva Ranger was for years the preferred compass for professionals.
Unfortunately due to a complex trademark dispute Silva lost the right to market Silva Ranger in North America.
You could buy a "real" one in Europe but not here.
The quality went down with the ersatz Ranger sold here.

I find the best available one to be a Suunto Global

Next would be Suunto Pro. Difference is it is balanced for Northern Hemishere
rather than global.

As a gift I would consider the Suunto matchbox type compass. It is rather unique, is rugged and also works well

With any compass make sure that it use degrees 0- 360 rather mils 0- 64
Link is in Canadian Dollars.
posted by yyz at 9:31 AM on April 10, 2020 [2 favorites]

You will get far better value in this kind of thing by going vintage, but if you are thinking of Silva Ranger then some of the options from SUUNTO are a worthwhile upgrade as they have declination correction.
posted by Lanark at 9:33 AM on April 10, 2020

Here's a nice pretty one in a nice pretty box:

May not be a great gift due to the upcoming geomagnetic reversal.
posted by rikschell at 10:22 AM on April 10, 2020

A Silva or Suunto is for the woods. A waterman would want a compass in a box with a gimbal mount.
posted by SemiSalt at 5:43 AM on April 11, 2020

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