The origin of the compass-making industry goes back to the early 19th century and started in Switzerland.

A mechanic, named Esser was the forefather of this industry. Jacob Kern, who was one of Esser’s great specialists in manufacturing high precision drawing instruments, founded his own manufacturing facility for this kind of products in 1818.

In a short lapse of time Jacob Kern’s compass manufacturing facility developed into a well organised and extremely successful company which became famous throughout Europe for their expertise in manufacturing high precision compasses and instruments. The swiss compass was born.
This was the beginning of the industrial production of top quality drawing instruments and in the decades to come, Kern succeed to always stay ahead of its competitors in terms of product innovation and introduction of the latest manufacturing equipment.

Even in today’s computer age Kern products remain a renowned special class of high precision instruments.