Rare brass dialed “G-Bird” on auction at Antiquorum

by on Okt.18, 2014, under Allgemein

We got attention of another rare Vintage Panerai Ref. 3646, which will be up for auction: the particular watch, featured as a Ref. 3646 / Type G in our database of today’s existing Vintage Panerai watches, is within the smallest of the seven different number groups and will be auctioned at Antiquorum in Geneva, November 8th/9th 2014 (LOT 783). Detailled technical illustrations explaining the seven different groups within the Reference 3646 are published in our book “History1″ on page 72, as well as in our book “History2″ on page 550.

Features of the watch:
Reference: 3646 / Type G
Dial: “Kampfschwimmer”  (painted brass, anonymous)
Case number: 317526
Movement: Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 mod.

Find the illustrations of  Ref. 3646 / Type A – C casebacks here. You can compare the different inner caseback engravings in Ref. 3646 / Type D – G watches here.

Typical features of a Ref. 3646 / Type G watch are: the missing Rolex SA embossing on the inner caseback, bearing a plain center with the caseback number 317526 in the upper area, wich also marks the highest number in the Ref. 3646 / Type G number group (317488 – 317526) and can be called until today as “the last 3646″ recorded in our database. Another feature of Ref. 3646 / Type G watches is the center bridge of the movement (Rolex Cal. 618/ Type 1 mod.), which bears the “17 RUBIS FAB. SUISSE”, while earlier 3646 watches (Type A – Type D) bear the “ROLEX 17 RUBIS” engraved on the left of the center bridge.

All today known watches of this number group are equipped with a flat bezel as the dials are “California Dial” or the painted brass dial (not the typical Panerai sandwich construction dial, which needs a higher bezel to cover dial and hands).

This particular dial, a black painted brass disc with luminous material applied from the top, can be easily identified from a distance by its “closed” numbers 6 and 9, while on Panerai sandwich dials these two numbers are “open” because of the different production process.

Its a pleasure to see such a rare watch surfacing today being another full matching entry in our database, and one of the only less than ten watches known inside the Ref. 3646 / Type G number group. Watches of the Ref. 3646 / Type G represents the most anonymised versions of Ref. 3646 watches by their unsigned dial, unsigned inner caseback and unsigned movement (no Panerai or Rolex trademarks), in our understanding to hide the origins of these military tool watches, made in 1944.

We hope the watch will find a good new home and that it remain surfaced in the Vintage Panerai collectors world. [Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

[Photos with kindly permission / courtesy of www.antiquorum.com]

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“Chronos” on Panerai: “Keeper of the Grail”

by on Okt.11, 2014, under Allgemein

German editor Jens Koch wrote an excellent story about the unique design of Panerai watches, following their roots from the past until today and in the future. The actual special issue of “Chronos” watch magazine (“Uhrendesign” / “watch design”) features his story on page 92-100.

By describing the history of Panerai from the early beginnings as a supplier of the royal italian navy until today’s models, photos of Vintage Panerai watches are featured (Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer”, Ref. 6152/1 “Luminor Panerai” and a GPF 2/56 “Egiziano Grosso”). Koch explains in detail where Panerai today still use the DNA of the historic watches and how the brand can create new models by using the classic design elements today and in the future, as well as different case sizes and new materials.

Get your copy of the “Chronos Spezial Uhrendesign” at the newspaper stores across europe. Find more info at www.watchtime.net [Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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Engraved “Kampfschwimmer” at Dr. Crott’s 90th auction

by on Okt.07, 2014, under Allgemein

Another rare Vintage Panerai Ref. 3646 / Type D is up for sale at Dr. Crott in their 90th auction on november 15th in Frankfurt (LOT 79). Recently captured some photos of the watch, bearing a rare and unique “Kampfschwimmer” engraving, featuring the initials of the first owner (“VK” for Valentin Kohlmann), year of service (1944) and the number of the task force he belonged to (“Meeres-Kämpfer 11. Einsatzgruppe”).

The watch has been delivered to the auctioneer by the veteran’s grandson, accompanied by a rare compass (black 54 mm case, solid lugs, unsigned), photos of Valentin Kohlmann during his service in WW2 and a documentation compiled by his family.

Features of the watch can be lined-up as the following: the aged plexi bears very fine cracks in the outer area near to the bezel, the blued steel hour and minute hand are both coming with the complete luminous material, the four numbers and eight markers of the anonymous “Kampfschwimmer” sandwich dial from Panerai appear in various colors reaching from yellow to orange. The number one wear-and-tear part, the winding crown, has been replaced by a non-screw-down-crown. The original “neck” and the tube for holding a screw-down-crown (Type 11 or Type 13 matching the thread of the tube) are still present.

Once opened the engraved caseback, the engine of the watch can be observed: the typical Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement without incabloc shock protection, the typical decorations on bridges and the “ROLEX 17 RUBIS” engraving on the center bridge. The balance cock is engraved with the S-F / A-R regulation device.

A view onto the fully decorated inner caseback shows the Rolex SA embossing in the center, reference number 3646 and individual case number below, which is recorded in our database in the group of Ref. 3646 / Type D watches.

Features of the watch:
Reference: 3646 / Type D
Dial: “Kampfschwimmer”  (sandwich, engraved)
Case number: 2604XX
Movement: Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1

Similar watches of this type with anonymous “Kampfschwimmer” sandwich dials are featured in our books “History1″ (chapter II) and “History2″ (chapter V and chapter VII). An identical compass is featured in our book “History2″ on page 598, 600 and 601 (chapter VI).

We hope the watch will find a good new home and that it remain surfaced in the Vintage Panerai collectors world.
[Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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Follow us on facebook… thanks for more than 1200 likes!

by on Sep.29, 2014, under General

Keep in touch with the latest news and activities on Vintage Panerai. Like us:
https://www.facebook.com/VintagePanerai

[Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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Just because… “volcano dome”

by on Sep.12, 2014, under Allgemein

Captured the domed shape of the plexi on this Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer”. Slightly above the bezel, the “volcano dome” starts its smooth rounded shape from the lower outside to the higher center. Ref. 3646 watches have been produced over several years with different shaped plexi glasses. Another known shape is the flat centered version with a stronger curved outside area (see this Ref. 3646 / Type C “Radiomir Panerai” to compare / see this Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” to compare).

As the plexiglass was, aside the onion shaped or tubular shaped winding crown, one of the most damaged and naturally worn off part of these watches, spare plexi glasses replaced the initial plexi glasses. Its great to see another watch which comes still with its original “volcano dome”.

Another Vintage Panerai Ref. 3646 / Type D with a similar plexi is featured in our book “History2″ on page 632 / chapter VI.

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“History2″ is in stock.

by on Sep.09, 2014, under General, Watch Point

Our book “History2″ is in stock. It can be ordered directly at our bookstore. “History2″ comes in a solid slipcase (on the right in the photo) which has been constructed to protect the hardcover book and keep it in perfect shape when stored in a bookshelf upright. The size of the book is 26 x 26 cm, 480 pages, trilingual (= german, italian and english language in one book).

Both together, the hardcover book with 480 pages and the slipcase, are weighing more than 3 kilos. Further photos can be found in our bookstore’s gallery.

The five chapters of our book “History2″ are introduced below:
Chapter V / Chapter VI / Chapter VII / Chapter VIII / Chapter IX

The Vintage Panerai watches featured in the book “History2″ can be found here:
“The Köneke Radiomir” / “The Kaufhold Radiomir” /
“The Lewandowski Radiomir” / “The Rösel Radiomir”

Enjoy reading!
[Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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“History1″ is in stock.

by on Sep.09, 2014, under General, Watch Point

Our book “History1″ is in stock. It can be ordered directly at our bookstore. “History1″ comes in a solid slipcase (on the right in the photo) which has been constructed to protect the hardcover book and keep it in perfect shape when stored in a bookshelf upright.

Both together, the hardcover book and the slipcase, are weighing more than 3 kilos. The size of the book is 26 x 26 cm, 420 pages, trilingual (= german, italian and english language in one book). Further photos can be found in our bookstore’s gallery.

The four chapters of our book “History1″ are introduced below:
Chapter I / Chapter II / Chapter III / Chapter IV

The four watches featured in the book “History1″ can be found here:
The Lehmann Radiomir / The Pape RadiomirThe Kiefer Radiomir / The Arillo Luminor

Enjoy reading!
[Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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Sneak Preview of a Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer”

by on Sep.06, 2014, under Allgemein

Got the chance to stop by at auctioneer Dr. Crott in Mannheim / Germany for taking a close look at yet surfaced Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer”, which will be auctioned on saturday, november 15th in Frankfurt (LOT 78).

The watch is filling another place of a piece in the big Vintage Panerai puzzle, matching our database criteria in the group of the watches of the Reference 3646 / Type D. It has been recently delivered to the auctioneer being a heirloom of a german watchmaker’s family.

The front view shows the anonymous “Kampfschwimmer” sandwich dial and the bright blue steel hands with their original luminous material (partially off). Small cracks in the plexi are proof of age of the “volcano dome” shaped plexi.

Also the aged numbers and markers of the dial in different colors (from yellow to light orange / amber) are a typical feature of 3646 / Type D watches and can be found on many others. The screw-down caseback of the watch is plain (without individual engravings).

The inner caseback shows the – typical for the Ref. 3646 / Type D criteria – Rolex SA stamp, reference number and case number and has a fully decorated finish. The engine of the watch is the Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement.

Typical for this type of movement is the “ROLEX 17 RUBIS” engraving on the center bridge. As usual on Rolex Cal. 618 movements used in watches of the Reference 3646, the balance cock bears the S-F / A-R regulation device.

Features of the watch:
Reference: 3646 / Type D
Dial: “Kampfschwimmer”  (sandwich, engraved)
Case number: 2606XX
Movement: Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1

The new owner of this watch may decide to change the actual non-screw-down replacement crown with tubular shaped “Oyster Patent” crown (Type 13) or – with some luck – with an onion shaped “Brevet +” crown (Type 11). The “neck” of the cushion shaped case still exists and a good watchmaker should be able to place a tube into it to get a screw-down crown from Rolex on it.

Similar watches of this type with anonymous “Kampfschwimmer” sandwich dials are featured in our books “History1″ (chapter II) and “History2″ (chapter V and chapter VII).

We hope the watch will find a good new home and that it remain surfaced in the Vintage Panerai collectors world.
[Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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Spot on: chapter IX of “History2″

by on Aug.22, 2014, under Allgemein

CHAPTER IX – “Helmut Rösel”
(98 pages, 63 photos, 4 technical illustrations)

The collectible items of the former combat swimmer Helmut Rösel, which was submitted for auction to the auctioneer Dr. Crott, contains not only his Panerai watch but also some documents from his time as a combat swimmer, some of which are extremely rare in this day and age. They give precise information about the stages of his training and his successful missions at the western and eastern fronts. The German Federal Cross of Merit, which was awarded to him in 1983 provided new insights, following our enquires at the Office of the Federal President, into his professional career in the Protestant Church, in which he was a pastor from 1961 and a military chaplain for the Bundeswehr from 1971. Letters written personally by him and a 1994 jewellery certificate for his Panerai watch are precious pieces of evidence are just as difficult to find in this day and age as the historic Panerai watches themselves.

Vintage Panerai “History2″
26 x 26 cm, 480 pages,
trilingual (= german, italian and english language in one book),
hardback jacket, slipcase.

“History2″ is in stock and can be ordered directly at our bookstore.

Enjoy reading!
[Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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Spot on: chapter VIII of “History2″

by on Aug.15, 2014, under Allgemein

CHAPTER VIII – “Walter Lewandowski”
(72 pages, 48 photos, 4 technical illustrations)

Walter Lewandowski also followed an unusual path in the Second World War. In 1943 he was initially with the Luftwaffe as a paratrooper and pilot of a transport glider in “Battle Squadron 200”, then posted to the Navy, and immediately afterwards trained as a combat swimmer in Valdagno and in the Lagoon of Venice. After a failed mission on the Adriatic coast, where he managed to find his way back to his own lines overland after many days, he was then sent back to the Eastern Front in Germany for the last weeks of the war. There, as a member of the “Einsatzgruppe Keller”, he carried out a number of missions against the Soviet pontoon bridges. He first escaped captivity by the Soviet troops, who were advancing on Berlin with immense superiority of strength, but then on the island of Sylt he shared the fate of many other combat swimmers and was a British prisoner of war until 1946.

Vintage Panerai “History2″
26 x 26 cm, 480 pages,
trilingual (= german, italian and english language in one book),
hardback jacket, slipcase.

“History2″ is in stock and can be ordered directly at our bookstore.

Enjoy reading!
[Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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