A vintage compass for my kayak - good or bad idea?

OK, so I like old stuff. I buy old furniture instead of going to IKEA; I like vintage clothing; and my kitchen features a mixer from the 1950s. You get the picture. I tend to think older stuff is better, made to last, often in the US, and I like the way it looks. I’ve been checking out vintage boat compasses on eBay, but I know little about them, and a great-looking old compass isn’t much good unless it works. So is it a good or bad idea to buy one (some of them are new in the box despite being ~50 years old), or should I just heave the nostalgia and buy a new one? Thanks!

Hmmmm…there’s not much to go wrong with a compass, but if something does go wrong!!!

I’d make sure there were no bubbles in the capsule although I guess de-magnetization - which can be caused by improper storage - is the real issue. Smaller, orienteering compasses can be re-magnetized; I’m not sure about marine models.

If I was to buy an older one I think I’d make sure it came from a very reputable manufacturer like Ritchie, Brunton or Suunto. I’d also test it out very thoroughly before trusting it to be a really critical part of my gear.

If it is a boat compass made for a large boat, it may not be made with the expectation of being splashed as much as a kayak compas could be, so corrosion or water intrusion into places may be a concern.

Thank you. Much appreciated!

What’s the worst that could happen? You only live once and you don’t want to die in a hospital, do you?

LOL. Nope, I sure don’t.