Best rated vintage binoculars – Guide & reviews

Best rated vintage binoculars – Guide & reviews

Last Updated: 16.07.19

Top Vintage Binoculars Reviewed - Buying guide & Comparison for 2019

Have you been looking for the best vintage binoculars for a while without any luck, and now you need to find out quickly which ones deserve your money? We will tell you right here, in this paragraph, what you need to know for an informed decision. The Windlass Steampunk Folding came up on top, according to our research, and it looks like a lot of people favor this model. They are exceptionally beautiful and interesting, and their brass construction will make you feel like you are an explorer from the 19th century. They fold easily and they are very compact and easy to carry around for maximum convenience. It must also be said that they come along with a fully functional compass that you can use for your entertainment. If you can no longer find this model anymore, make sure to take a look at the Nauticalmart Marine Brass next, as it is almost as good.

Comparison table

The Good
The Bad

Vintage binoculars differ from what you would normally use as binoculars in the sense that they do not serve a practical purpose, and they are mainly an accessory that people who are passionate about such items would appreciate. Whether you want to complement your steampunk cosplay outfit, or you like the idea of having a small quirky item in your collection, this buying guide will teach you what to focus on.

Visual appeal and quality of craftsmanship

You cannot expect exceptional performance from a pair of vintage binoculars as they are not built with performance in mind. They are merely an accessory you can have on your desk or use when you go to the theater or a cosplay event. That is why the most important aspects you should focus on are the visual appeal and the attention paid by the craftsman to the overall design.

Just when you are picking a pair of golfing binoculars, you want your pair to look excellent and draw attention. You will be able to see something through the lenses, but do not expect exceptional quality in terms of lens construction and similar technical aspects.

Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean that you should find overall flaws in the exterior design. The binoculars you pick should look like a pair borrowed from the 19th century. Steampunk models are extremely popular, as the Victorian era produced enough interesting visual designs that are as appealing now as they were back in the day.

Do not expect modern accessories such as a binocular harness to be provided with your purchase. Vintage models are usually foldable, and the manufacturer might offer a similar visually appealing case where you can keep your binoculars when not in use. Bear in mind that this is also a matter of taste and that you should like the binoculars you intend to buy.

Are there any accessories included with your purchase?

You will notice that there are manufacturers selling cheap vintage binoculars, but these are not usually sold with accessories you can use. There will be a few things that you might find useful when you purchase this type of product, such as a beautiful case that will allow you to display your vintage binoculars in an adequate fashion.

Mainly, the accessories that manufacturers of such products offer to their customers are not necessarily practical, and, as the binoculars themselves, only serve an aesthetic purpose. However, there are marginal benefits to draw from such things, as a case will protect the binoculars from catching dust or getting damaged by accident.

The binocular accessories you might get with your purchase may also be thematic. As many of these products cater to those interested in the steampunk trend, do not be surprised to find that you will mostly get other steampunk accessories. Bear in mind that such binoculars are compact in size, and they can fit in a case that you can buy separately.

How practical can such binoculars be?

Your binoculars are not intended for practical use, but this doesn’t mean that they are made from ordinary glass. They do provide some magnification power, and, depending on the manufacturer and how much care was invested in making the binoculars marginally practical, you will notice that there are aspects you can read about.

That being said, do not expect a binocular tripod adapter or anything similar to be included in the package. Use these beautiful binoculars for the purpose they were created, which is to complement a vintage outfit.

Our 2019 list: Find the right vintage binoculars for your needs

While browsing through the many vintage binoculars reviews available, we noticed that customers particularly love several models. We are listing them here so that you can take your pick and make an excellent choice.

Windlass Steampunk Folding

If you really want a pair of good vintage binoculars, this particular model will satisfy your desire. This brass device will catch your eye from the first glance, as it is built to impress. The fully machined product unfolds and folds back with ease, and the binoculars are highly portable, allowing you to take them to cosplay events, to the theater, or anywhere you may want to go.

There are a few accessories offered by the manufacturer along with the model. One of them is a beautiful wooden box adorned with brass inlay. You will be able to keep your binoculars stored in this box, on your desk, or the place of your choosing.

You will also get a functional compass that will make you feel like an explorer from Jules Verne’s books. For anyone who is looking for a gorgeous steampunk look, and finds missing only a pair of binoculars to go with the rest, this model is an excellent choice.

Buy from for ($39.95)

Nauticalmart Marine Brass

There are plenty of brass binoculars for sale, but if you want something that stands out, your choice should be the Nauticalmart Marine Brass. Even if such binoculars are only supposed to be aesthetically pleasing, this doesn’t mean that you should overlook the quality of the materials used.

You will be pleased to learn that this manufacturer uses high quality brass for these binoculars, and that there are some technical specs that you surely won’t overlook. For instance, this model comes with a 4x magnification power, and offers a decent field of view, which means that you will be able to scout your surroundings with their help.

They can serve as a piece of home decoration if you prefer something of a nautical theme. Their beautiful finish will make you think that the binoculars really belong to a long past era, and they create a beautiful effect, no matter where you put them.

Buy from for ($29)

Collectible Buy Classic Marine

The antique finish of these binoculars makes them appear older than they are, and if it is this effect you are after, you will be more than pleased with them. Their stunning looks will convince you to pair them with some interesting outfits, and you will find it easy to complement a steampunk cosplay get-up, or one inspired by the age of sail, by wearing them.

It is true that you can choose from a large variety of vintage binoculars for sale, so it is important to establish what advantages each model presents. In this case, you will be interested to learn that they can be used outside, and can be of help when you go trekking and even bird watching.

They also make a wonderful gift for someone who is into nautical items. The model comes with a beautiful leather box, where they will be kept protected against dust and damage. We must also mention that his model is handcrafted.

Buy from for ($39)

Levenhuk Broadway 325F

A stylish accessory that can accompany you to the theater or the opera, and complement your carefully picked outfit, the Levenhuk Broadway 325F will impress you in more ways than one. Because they are compact in size, they will fit in your purse like a charm, and you won’t have to worry that they will become cumbersome in any way.

Their red color makes them stand out, but this is not the only style element that will convince you that these binoculars are an excellent choice for completing your evening night out attire. The lacquered surface makes them look fancy, while the golden edging adds elegance.

You will get a binocular case, too, as well as a suede cleaning cloth. And, if you are still not convinced, learn that the binoculars have LED backlighting, allowing you to see more clearly in the semi-dark of a theater or an opera house.

Buy from for ($26.84)

Old Modern Handicrafts Brass Binocular

These wood and brass binoculars are just what you need for a complete Victorian setup. Unlike the other models that we reviewed so far, these are not intended to be portable, so they are not the kind that you will take with you on your visits to the opera house.

However, if you are looking for a piece to install in your room, along with other vintage looking items, you cannot go wrong with this one. It is installed on its own tripod, and the ensemble will look great in a study room. The nickel finish makes the binoculars look elegant and expensive, while you surely won’t pay a fortune on them.

The binoculars are designed according to the model first introduced to the world by scholars during the 19th century. Before the single lens telescope was invented, you could see such binoculars used by the wealthy class interested in examining the surrounding world from their homes.

Buy from for ($55.95)
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