Evolution.

by on Feb.18, 2017, under Allgemein

Rahmen_Bild_2017_1000x700_evolutionThe evolution of Vintage Panerai watches from Guido Panerai & Figlio from the 1930’s to the 1960’s can be symbolized in a photo like the one shown here: from a cusion shaped case with soldered lugs and an onion shaped crown to a much stronger, massive case with solid lugs and the legendary crown-protecting device.

The early References 2533 (chapter I) and 3646 (chapter II) are explained and with rich reference to several variants by their number groups in the first volume “The References” 1930’s-1940’s. This overview is complimented by the legendary Mare Nostrum chronograph (chapter III), rare compasses (chapter IV) used in the Second World War and some of the few straps and buckles which rarely survived after more than 70 years (chapter V). Find information about the content of our book “The References” 1930’s-1940’s by using the “browse by tag” function. The tag 696 is connected with all stories published about the first volume: watches, history, instruments and straps of the 1930’s-1940’s.

“The References” 1950’s-1960’s features numerous images and historic information on Vintage Panerai watches from the 1950’s to 1960’s. The References 6152 (chapter VI) and 6154 (chapter VII), are followed by Reference 6152/1 with the famous crown-protecting device are explained in detail and many variations in chapter VIII. Followed by the Reference GPF 2/56 with Angelus movement (chapter IX), “The References” 1950’s-1960’s features in chapter X the Modified References 3646, Transitional 3646 and Modified Reference 6152/1. Chapter XI is about compasses and depth gauges, followed by the last chapter XII, an overview of the straps and buckles used on watches and instruments from Guido Panerai & Figlio in this era. Find information about the content of our book “The References” 1950’s-1960’s by using the “browse by tag” function. The tag 1392 is connected with all stories published about the second volume: watches, history, instruments and straps of the 1950’s-1960’s.

Rahmen_Bild_2017_1000x700_spine“The References” 1930’s-1940’s
Embossed hardback jacket (leather and canvas), slipcase,
696 pages, five chapters, trilingual
(German, English and Italian language)

“The References” 1950’s-1960’s
Embossed hardback jacket (leather and canvas), slipcase,
696 pages, seven chapters, trilingual
(German, English and Italian language)

The spine of our both “The References” books are embossed with the symbols of evolution, just like the first photo above shows it at a glance: from a cusion shaped case with soldered lugs and an onion shaped crown (“The References” 1930’s-1940’s) to a much stronger, massive case with solid lugs and the legendary crown-protecting device (“The References” 1950’s-1960’s). Visit our bookstore and enjoy reading soon!
[Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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Mezzi d’Assalto

by on Feb.11, 2017, under Allgemein

MdA_MT_600x600Just a few days before the first success of the MT explosive boats on 26 March 1941 in Souda Bay, the 1st MAS Flotilla changed its name and became the 10th MAS Flotilla – the Decima MAS on 15 March 1941. Capitano di Fregata Vittorio Moccagatta was the new commander and divided the special weaponry – Mezzi d’Assalto – into two divisions:

The surface division – Mezzi di Superficie – under the command of Capitano di Corvetta Giorgio Giobbe (see photo on page 115, commander Giobbe wearing clearly visible a Panerai watch on his right wrist) had a fleet of various explosive boats (category MT, MTM, MTR, MTS, MTMS, SMA and MTL) for sabotage operations, based in La Spezia.

MdA_Gamma_600x600The underwater division – Mezzi Subacquei – under the command of Capitano di Corvetta Junio Valerio Borghese operated the diving School in Livorno, the SLC training base at Bocca di Serchio, the transport submersibles (Scirè and Ambra) and the frogmen of the “Gruppo Gamma”.

After the desaster at Malta in July 1941 (“Operazione Malta 1”), the Decima MAS was restructured. Capitano di Fregata Ernesto Forza became the new commander of the Decima MAS. The underwater division was given the name of the fallen inventor of the SLC, Teseo Tesei, now commanded by Junio Valerio Borghese. The surface division was given the name of the fallen commander of the Decima, Vittorio Moccagatta, now commanded by Salvatore Todaro. See page 116 with a historical chart of the new structured Mezzi d’Assalto as of October 1941:

preview_refv2_0116-0117_XaMAS_1941

Ernesto Notari became commander of the SLC training base at Bocca di Serchio. His Ref. 3646 / Type A “Radiomir Panerai” (with its unique engraved caseback) is documented on page 58 – 91.

heritage_696_notari_060-061

Read more about the Mezzi d’Assalto on page 92 – 153 in chapter II.I of the book “The References” 1930’s-1940’s.

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Naval heritage – Luigi Durand de la Penne

by on Feb.06, 2017, under Allgemein

heritage_696_De_la_PenneLuigi Durand de la Penne was one of the famous SLC pilots of the Mezzi d’Assalto who wrote naval history in the Second World War. Luigi Durand de la Penne was born in Genoa, where he also died (11 February 1914 – 17 January 1992). He graduated from the Naval Academy in Livorno in 1934. He was one of the first crewmen of the 1° Gruppo Sommergibili who realized Teseo Tesei’s and Elios Toschi’s idea of a new, secret weapon in La Spezia: The SLC. At the training base Bocca di Serchio he was a member of the legendary group which founded the famous „Spirito del Serchio“.

The first remarkable milestones of his naval career was the rescue action of the transport submarine for SLC devices, the Iride: On 22 August 1940, in the Gulf of Bomba, the Iride was sunk by a torpedo released by a British Swordfish bomber. The air attack happened during an exercise, in shallow water, when four SLC teams were around, including  the officers Teseo Tesei, Gino Birindelli and Luigi Durand de la Penne. They started an immediate rescue action. Of the 12 Iride crewmen who survived, two died during an unsuccessful attempt to surface, nine were retrieved alive (two of them died soon, due to wounds), and one was too shocked to leave the sunken submarine. Luigi Durand de la Penne tried to persuade him to surface, and even gave him his own rebreather, but the seaman refused surfacing and died.

Page 1016 – 1017: “Uomini della prima ora” – spring 1940 – before the mission G.A.1 failed dramatically. Luigi Durand de la Penne (3rd from left) together with the commanders of the 1st MAS Flotilla (Aloisi and Giorgini), surrounded by Stefanini, Bertozzi, Falcomatà, Tesei, Birindelli and Centurione.

preview_refv2_De_la_Penne_1016-1017

The second milestone in Luigi Durand de la Penne’s naval career was the sinking of the British battleship Valiant. In December 1941, he was one of the “fab six” (Emilio Bianchi, his co-pilot; Antonio Marceglia with Spartaco Schergat and Vincenzo Martellotta with Mario Marino) that attacked the Port of Alexandria. As a result, four ships were disabled: the British battleships HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Valiant, the oil tanker Sagona and the destroyer HMS Jervis. Luigi Durand de la Penne was awarded the M.O.V.M. (the Italian highest military decoration awarded for valour “in the face of the enemy”). At the end of the war, Admiral Charles Morgan (the Valiant’s Captain at the time of the attack in Alexandria) wanted to confer himself the medal to Luigi Durand de la Penne in a ceremony in Taranto.

Page 122 – 123: Illustration of the mission G.A.3 on 18/19 December 1941 in the Port of Alexandria.

preview_refv2_De_la_Penne_122-123

After 8 September 1943, Luigi Durand de la Penne was offered the opportunity to be released from prison and fight for the Allies. He accepted and returned to duty as a frogman. In June 1944, he participated in a joint Italian/British operation against the Germans (mission QWZ). A team of British and Italian divers sank the cruisers Gorizia and Bolzano before they could be used to block the harbour entrance. After the Second World War, Luigi Durand de la Penne stayed in the Marina Militare. He was promoted to Capitano di Fregata in 1950 and Capitano di Vascello in 1954. In 1956 he was appointed as Naval Attaché in Brazil.

Luigi Durand de la Penne ‘s family donated decorations he was awarded during his career, and his Panerai watch to the museum at the COMSUBIN headquarters in Varignano / La Spezia. The Panerai watch, a Ref. 3646 / Type C with “Radiomir Panerai” dial has been recorded in our database in 2015. Enjoy reading more: Luigi Durand de la Penne M.O.V.M. is featured in chapter I (page 35), chapter II.I (page 94-123) and VIII.II (page 1016-1034) of our two “The References” books.

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Panerai depth gauge, worn by the Col. Moschin Special Forces

by on Feb.02, 2017, under Allgemein

ColMoschin_DG_600x600Spotted! The historic photo on the left shows two members of the Col. Moschin (Special Forces of the Italian Army / 9º Battaglione Paracadutisti d’Assalto “Col Moschin”). A depth gauge from Guido Panerai & Figlio can be clearly seen on the wrist of the right incursore, holding diving equipment in his left hand.

Compasses and depth gauges made by Guido Panerai & Figlio are featured in several versions (with “Radiomir” and “Luminor” luminous material) in chapter XI of the second volume of our book “The References”. Chapter XI.I is featuring compasses from Guido Panerai & Figlio. Five different models are featured from page 1320 to 1333. Three with “Radiomir”, two with “Luminor”. Chapter XI.II is featuring depth gauges from Guido Panerai & Figlio, similiar to the instrument which can be seen in the photo. Ten different models are featured from page 1334 to 1367. Six with “Radiomir”, aimed to 7, 30, 35 (2 versions: adjustable and non-adjustable dial), 50 and 60 meters. Four with “Luminor”, aimed to 7, 15, 16, 30 and 40 meters.  

Information on “The References” 1950’s-1960’s (second volume) can be found here.

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Restart after the end of the Second World War

by on Jan.28, 2017, under Allgemein

What brought about the demand for new and improved diver’s watches in Italy after the end of the Second World War? The answer to this question is inextricably intertwined with the history of the maritime special units, whose transformation from the Mezzi d’Assalto of the Decima MAS to the COMSUBIN took many years.

Comsubin_1950-1960_600x600From 1947 to 1951, various divisions and bases were established, restructured and merged, finally settling on COMSUBIN (Comando Subacquei ed Incursori) in 1961. Varignano near La Spezia, headquarters of the COMSUBIN and, as of 1952, was and still is the base for the Scuola Incursori. One of the instructors in the 1950’s was Emilio Barberi M.O.V.M., shown on page 716 (MT explosive boat veteran of the mission against Souda Bay, March 1941, see also page 108-109 in chapter II.II). Read more in the intro of “The References” 1950’s-1960’s on page 705-719. These maritime special units were set up during the same period that Guido Panerai & Figlio was producing watches with the References 6152, 6154, 6152/1 and GPF 2/56, which are documented in chronological order in chapters VI to X. Compasses and depht gauges from these years are following in chapter XI, straps and buckles are closing this second volume of “The References” in chapter XII. Find an overview of all chapters in this book below:

Chapter VI = Reference 6152
(featuring three different watches on page 720-781)

Chapter VII = Reference 6154
(featuring five different watches on page 782-867)

Chapter VIII = Reference 6152/1 with Rolex movements
(featuring fourteen different watches on page 868-1057)

Chapter IX = GPF 2/56
(featuring five different watches on page 1058-1161)

Chapter X = Modified References with Angelus movements
(featuring ten different watches on page 1162-1313)

Chapter XI = Compasses and depth gauges
(featuring fifteen different instruments on page 1314-1367)

Chapter XII = Straps and buckles
(various straps and pin buckles on page 1368-1387)

“The References” books are in stock and ready for shipping – just visit our bookstore and enjoy reading soon!  [Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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Click ‘1392’ to find info on “The References” 1950’s-1960’s at a glance

by on Jan.14, 2017, under Allgemein

6152-1_varignano_1_600x600Find information about the content of our book “The References” 1950’s-1960’s by using the “browse by tag” function. The tag 1392 is connected with all stories published about the second volume: watches, history, instruments and straps of the 1950’s-1960’s.

“The References” 1950’s-1960’s features numerous images and historic information on Vintage Panerai watches from the 1950’s to 1960’s. The References 6152 (chapter VI) and 6154 (chapter VII), are followed by Reference 6152/1 with the famous crown-protecting device are explained in detail and many variations in chapter VIII (a Ref. 6152/1 with Rolex movement and crown-protecting device can be seen in the photo on the left, see chapter VIII.II. The watch is placed on a historic photo of a special tank made by Guido Panerai & Figlio, see also page 714). Followed by the Reference GPF 2/56 with Angelus movement (chapter IX), “The References” 1950’s-1960’s features in chapter X the Modified References 3646, Transitional 3646 and Modified Reference 6152/1. Chapter XI is about compasses and depth gauges, followed by the last chapter XII, an overview of the straps and buckles used on watches and instruments from Guido Panerai & Figlio in this era.

“The References” books are in stock and ready for shipping – just visit our bookstore and enjoy reading soon!  [Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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Click ‘696’ to find info on “The References” 1930’s-1940’s at a glance

by on Jan.14, 2017, under Allgemein

3646_traguardo_1_600x600Find information about the content of our book “The References” 1930’s-1940’s by using the “browse by tag” function. The tag 696 is connected with all stories published about the first volume: watches, history, instruments and straps of the 1930’s-1940’s.

The photo on the left shows a Ref. 3646 / Type D (featured in chapter II.IV) placed on a historic photo of a cunning tower of a Royal Italian Navy submarine, on which an instrument (aiming device, described as “traguardo di puntamento per il lancio di siluri”) with luminous Radiomir display from Guido Panerai & Figlio can be seen on the left. The firm and close contact with the Royal Italian Navy, which existed many years prior to the start of producing watches, meant that a prerequisite had been established within Panerai: One only uses the best components.

The early References 2533 (chapter I) and 3646 (chapter II) are explained and with rich reference to several variants by their number groups. This overview is complimented by the legendary Mare Nostrum chronograph (chapter III), rare compasses (chapter IV) used in the Second World War and some of the few straps and buckles which rarely survived after more than 70 years (chapter V).

“The References” books are in stock and ready for shipping – just visit our bookstore and enjoy reading soon!  [Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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Ref. 3646 watches with disappeared Rolex hallmarks

by on Jan.14, 2017, under Allgemein

3646_no_hallmark_2_600x600Why do some Ref. 3646 watches come only with a six digit case number embossed on their inner caseback? Where did the Rolex hallmark and reference number go? In which of the seven different number groups of the Reference 3646 is this the case?

Our book “The References” 1930’s-1940’s answers these questions in two chapters by measurement results and illustrated cross-sections (page 537-551, 638-639 and 644-645). The coffee table shot on the left shows a Ref. 3646 / Type G with a technical illustration on page 618-619 in chapter II.VII.

Chapter II.V = Reference 3646 / Type E
(featuring four different watches on page 532-573).

Chapter II.VII = Reference 3646 / Type G
(featuring two different watches on page 608-645).

“The References” books are in stock and can be ordered in our bookstore. Enjoy reading!

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“kept together by six screws” – the giant GPF 2/56

by on Jan.08, 2017, under Allgemein

gpf256_construction_2_600x600In many respects, the GPF 2/56 set new standards in terms of design at Guido Panerai & Figlio: The casing diameter, now at a stately 60 mm (or 66 mm including the crown-protecting device), made the earlier Panerai watches with their 47 mm casings look small by comparison. This was also the first time a rotating bezel with five-minute increments was used, a luminous reference point at 12 o’clock and three other major indices at 15, 30 and 45 minutes. The inside of the rotating bezel is fixed securely to the casing and caseback with six screws at a distance of 60° on the underside. If the six screws are loosened, it is possible to lift off the caseback, the rotating bezel and the Plexiglas crystal from the watch casing. Unlike earlier Panerai watches, the caseback of the giant GPF 2/56 does not feature a thread but is fixed securely to the casing by the six screws. Compared to the Panerai watches used during the Second World War (bezel and caseback „twisted“ together by their internal thread onto the holding ring of the movement) as well as the watches produced in the 1950’s (bezel pressed onto the casing and caseback with external thread screwed onto the centre of the 47 mm casing).

While the crown-protecting device was a very prominent, almost “superimposed” addition to the Reference 6152/1, and could only be integrated into the Rolex casing to a certain degree as a result of its construction, the GPF 2/56 clearly shows the “completely seamless integration” of the legendary crown-protecting device.

The coffee table shot on the left shows page 1092 – 1093 in chapter IX.I of our book “The References” 1950’s-1960’s with a photo of the screwed caseback of a GPF 2/56 (left) and an illustration of the construction of the “kept together by six screws” GPF 2/56 (right). Enjoy reading!

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The weak spot of the 3646

by on Jan.04, 2017, under Allgemein

3646_weak_spot_600x600With regard to the evolution of watches from Guido Panerai & Figlio, one particular weak point has been often mentioned that has been improved hugely over time: the strap loops soldered on to the pillow-shaped casing of the Reference 3646. With the Radiomir watch shown here, a Ref. 3646 / Type B with riveted plastic dial, we can take a closer look at precisely this weak point and show an example of a Reference 3646 that was not returned to its original condition after being damaged. The watch shown in the photo on left is described in detail on page 228-237 in chapter II.II of our book “The References” 1930’s-1940’s.

With the experience collected during the Second World War, the aim was primarily to increase the stability of the watches’ lugs. The soldered wire watch loops had been revealed as a weak spot and Guido Panerai & Figlio worked hard to improve them and the result was a success – in shape of the watches of the Reference 6152, 6154, 6152/1 and last but not least the huge GPF 2/56. The lugs of these watches were all created out of the casing itself and no longer soldered on (read also page 723-733 in chapter VI of our book “The References” 1950’s-1960’s) as it was the case with the watches of the Reference 3646.

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