3646 / Type D of the “Keller Task Force” @ Christie’s

by on Mrz.27, 2015, under Allgemein

Christie’s Geneva will auction a Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” in their Important Watches auction 1407 on may 11th, 2015. The watch is already recorded in our database, known as one of only six watches of the “Einsatzgruppe Keller” (“Keller Task Force”) existing today.

The inner caseback engravings which bears the Rolex SA stamp, reference and case number, in combination with the Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement, are matching our database criteria for watches of the Reference 3646 / Type D number group.

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

The watch comes with an engraved caseback, done in the typical tatooing machine style, which can be found occasionally on similar 3646 watches used by german frogmen. The engraving “Einsatzgruppe Keller” in combination with initials of the first owner “ED” with  “Kampfschwimmer” (“frogmen” / combat swimmer) and the year of service “1945″ in the center is typical for watches of this group, which was founded in the end of February 1945 by Lieutenant Alfred Keller. The task force under his command consisted of sixteen voluntary combat swimmers who carried out numerous river missions on the Eastern Front from March to May 1945 against pontoon bridges of the approaching Soviets on their way to Berlin.

The history of the “Einsatzgruppe Keller” has been in the focus of our research during the last years. Four of the only six today known watches and the personal stories of their first owners are featured in our both books “History1″ and “History2″ including rare photos, documents and also with a diary of one of the combat swimmers. The first owner of the watch with the “ED” engraving (full name known to the authors, on behalf of Christies’, privacy is asked to remain anonymous) is visible on several photos published in chapter II and chapter VIII.

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.christies.com]

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Vintage Panerai book “History2″ is in stock.

by on Feb.01, 2015, 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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Follow us on facebook… thanks for more than 1400 likes!

by on Feb.01, 2015, 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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Vintage Panerai book “History1″ is in stock.

by on Feb.01, 2015, 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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Panerai pulls an ace out of their DNA: a new Mare Nostrum

by on Jan.19, 2015, under Allgemein

The SIHH opened the doors at the Palexpo in Geneva on monday, january 19th, 2015 with yet another ace out of the Panerai DNA: a new Mare Nostrum Titanio chronograph (PAM00603) with mechanical hand-wound OP XXV calibre with a power reserve of 55 hours. The movement is developed on a Minerva 13-22 base with 18.000 vibrations per hour.

The 52 mm tonneau shaped case of the Mare Nostrum Titanio chronograph is made of brushed titanium, including a solid caseback, crown and pushers. Its water resistance is up to 3 bar. Typical for titanium watches from Panerai, this new Mare Nostrum Titanio chronograph bears a brown dial with two levels, just as the first vintage Mare Nostrum chronograph from 1943.

The chronograph functions are controlled by two push buttons, reading the central seconds hand and a minute counter dial at 3 o’clock. The permanent second hand is at 9 o’clock. The new Mare Nostrum Titanio is a Special Edition with only 150 units. Its great to see that the historic design of the Mare Nostrum chronograph from the 1940′s will be carried into the future of the brand with this new release at the 2015 SIHH.

[for further informations visit www.panerainovelties.com or www.panerai.com]

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Engraved Ref. 3646 / Type D @ Artcurial

by on Dez.01, 2014, under Allgemein

Artcurial presents a rare, engraved Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” during their “Panerai only” auction in Paris, december 8th (LOT 5). The watch is recorded since december 2009 in our database and appears by the provided photos in the same condition as five years ago. Aside the typical features on inner caseback engravings and Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement, this Ref. 3646 / Type D watch appears with a light yellowish plexiglas and a replacement crown. The matte, dull appearance of the case, created by wearing the watch over a long period without polishing, creates an unique “patina”, which is typical for vintage watches of this age.

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

Unique and very interesting feature of this watch is its individually engraved caseback, which bears a combination of owners’ initials and the symbol of a probation insignia (sawfish in an s-shaped rope with two crossed swords in the background). The s-shaped rope could be also a hint on the first owner’s name, building the initial “SW” with the other elements of the engraving.

The “sawfish in rope with two swords” symbol represents the successful participation in two missions, which was very rarely awarded in shape of a shoulder patch to wear on a navy uniforms’ sleeve. You can find a detailled overview of the seven different award levels of german special navy units in our book “History2″ on page 804.

The description of the Artcurial auction LOT 5 explains, that this particular watch belonged to Heinrich Lehmann-Willenbrock (1911-1986), a well known german submarine commander during WW2, posted to Lorient, St. Nazaire (U-96) and Brest (U-256) from 1940 to 1944. He spent a total of 327 days at sea in 10 patrols. At the end of the 2nd World War, Lehmann-Willenbrock was commander of the 11th flotilla in Bergen/Norway. After one year in captivity he took part on salvage works in the Rhine river to recover sunken ships, around 1946/1947. This salvage work was done by the support of former frogmen (read more about salvage works post-WW2 in our “History” books in chapter II and V) and could have been a way for Lehmann-Willenbrock to get in touch with a frogmen’s watch, as we personally dont see the evidence that the watch was worn by Lehmann-Willenbrock during his active duty as a U-boat commander and / or commander of the 11th flotilla in 1944/1945 (the period in which german “Kampfschwimmer” units used these watches). However, the provided information about this watch, formerly owned by a high decorated WW2 veteran, is attached to the history of this watch and recorded for the future.

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.artcurial.com]

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Ref. 6152/1 “Marina Militare” @ Artcurial

by on Dez.01, 2014, under Allgemein

Artcurial will auction another Ref. 6152/1 with “Marina Militare” dial during the “Panerai only” auction on monday, december 8th in Paris (LOT 41). The watch is accompanied by a compass in its grey cardboard box, building a set of Vintage Panerai wrist tools from the post-WW2 / 1950s era.

Noteable detail on this watch is the 180° rotated crown protecting device, signed “BREV ITAL.” and with additional small “4″. The watch is one of several specimen in our database which does not bear its six digit case number anymore, which usually can be found between the lugs at 6 o’clock. The caseback of the watch is engraved with “M.M. 050″.

Features of the watch:
Reference: 6152/1
Dial: “Marina Militare” (sandwich, engraved)
Case number: -
Movement: Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 4

The minute hand is “double pencil” shaped with “sharp pin”, while the hour hand appears to be thicker and slightly longer than usual, probably replaced. Inside the watch is working a Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 4 movement (17 Rubis + Incabloc shock protection) with typical engravings on the bridges of the movement. The inner caseback of the watch bears the typical Rolex marking of the refence 6152/1.

The compass appears with an orange discolored plexiglas dome (approx. 23 mm high) with a bearing line, under which the black compass dial can be spotted. This opaque condition is probably caused by polluted damping liquid (mixed with seawater), which affected the inside of the plexiglas dome which is connected to the case by six screws from the underside. The huge 70 x 90 mm sized steel case bears a “MOD. G.P.F. 4/55″ engraving above the “OFFICINE PANERAI FIRENZE” in the center and “BREVETTATO” at the bottom (the LOT description does not provide if there is also an additional matriculation number between the lugs).

We hope the watch and compass 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.artcurial.com]

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Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” @ Artcurial

by on Nov.28, 2014, under Allgemein

Another Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” is up for auction. Artcurial’s LOT 32 will be on stage during the “Panerai only” auction, held in Paris on monday, december 8th. The LOT description explains that the onion shaped crown can’t be screwed down onto the tube (no windings of the tube visible), a small gap between case and crown can be seen on the photos.

The 47 mm cushion shaped case of the watch shows clear signs of wear, especially on the bezel. The plexiglass appears from the provided photos to be a shallower version, which is not untypical on these watches, as the plexilgass is usually one of the parts with the most wear-and-tear markings. The blued steel hands are still completely filled with luminous material and the anonymous sandwich dial shows the typical details and color shades in numbers and markers.

Features of the watch:
Reference: 3646 / Type D
Dial: “Kampfschwimmer” (sandwich, anonymous)
Case number: 2605XX
Movement: Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1

Once the caseback is removed, the movement of the watch can be observed: the typical Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 without Incabloc shock protection, with the also 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.

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.artcurial.com]

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Luminor depth gauge @ Artcurial

by on Nov.26, 2014, under Allgemein

Another Vintage Panerai instrument is up for sale at Artcurial’s “Panerai only” auction in Paris. LOT 54 presents a “Luminor Panerai” depth gauge, aimed to 40 meters. The dial of this depht gauge, made in the same “sandwich style” as dials for watches, shows markers of 2.5 meter steps up to 40 meters (maximum depth). The meter hand is made of transparent Plexiglas, which has a chamber in its tip, holding the luminous material to point out the actual depth. The luminous material on hands, numbers, markers and dots is still reacting very quickly and bright when a light source is beamed onto the numbers and markers.

An overview of seven different aimed depth gauges (using Radiomir or Luminor luminous material) can be found here.

Click on the link to see the video of a pressure test on a “Luminor Panerai” 16 meter depth gauge: Vintage_Panerai_Depth_Gauge. Click on the link to see the pressure release – “the surfacing” in this video: Vintage_Panerai_depth_gauge_surfacing

[Photo with kindly permission / courtesy of www.artcurial.com]

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Ref. 6152/1 “Marina Militare” @ Artcurial

by on Nov.24, 2014, under Allgemein

Only one year after its appearance at Christie’s sale 1398 in Geneva (november 2013), this Ref. 6152/1 “Marina Militare” with 8 mm crown will be up for sale again at Artcurial in Paris on december 8th during the “Panerai only” auction (LOT 40). With its case number 124516 it is one of the lowest case numbers inbetween more than 90 watches which are recorded in our database of todays existing Vintage Panerai watches of the Ref. 6152/1.

The watch comes with 8 mm Rolex crown / without crown protecting device and typical “double pencil” shaped hands with “dull pins”. Inside the watch is working a Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 3 movement (15 Rubis + Incabloc shock protection). The inner caseback of the watch bears the typical Rolex marking of the refence 6152/1, on the outside of the caseback is the letter “D” engraved / stamped in the center.

Features of the watch:
Reference: 6152/1
Dial: “Marina Militare”  (sandwich, engraved)
Case number: 124516
Movement: Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 3

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.artcurial.com]

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