Vintage Panerai book “History2″ is in stock.

by on Jul.11, 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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Vintage Panerai book “History1″ is in stock.

by on Jul.11, 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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SSB “Human Torpedo” @ Imperial War Museum London

by on Jun.21, 2015, under Allgemein

…another box in the “to do list” ticket: visited the Imperial War Museum in London and finally found some time to take a close look at one of the very few today existing “Human Torpedo” devices of the italian “Mezzi d’Assalto” forces in WW2: The legendary “Siluro San Bartholomeo” (SSB).

Another example is located in the United Kingdom at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Gosport/Portsmouth Harbour, one is located in the United States at the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News/Virginia while one SSB remains in Italy at the museum of the Com.Sub.In. Comando in Varignano/La Spezia.

This particular SSB device – the “Delta No. 3″ – was produced in February 1945 by Caproni in Milan. Other than the earlier, more known SLC devices (the “Maiali”), this later version hat a more streamlined shape in which both divers were sitting on seats, not “riding” as they did literally on the SLC torpedos’ body.

The SSB device measures almost seven meters in lenght with a weight of more than 2000 kilos. Armed with one (400 kg) or two removable explosive charges (180/200 kg) it was powered by an electric engine with 7,5 HP, reaching a speed of 4 knots.

The cockpit holds numerous instruments and control possibilities: Fore and aft level indicator, Ammeter, Pump revolution indicator, Motor control (4 forward speeds and reverse), a wheel type “joystick” as in an aircraft wheel controlled the rudder and the column controlled the diving fins (or elevators), trimming tank control, compass, depth gauge, diving tank pressure gauge and flooding valve. Pilot and Co-Pilot used knee clamps to sit tight on their seats during operation (the two knee clamps for the Pilot can be seen on the photo left and right from the motor control wheel).

During the research on our book “History2″ we gathered some information about these SSB devices which were matching with the story in chapter VI. The german “Gruppo Maiale Lehmann” was based at San Andrea near Venice together with units of the “Mezzi d’Assalto” until the allied forces reached the Venice area in April 1945. SSB and SLC devices were captured soon later by the British which took photos of them – three of these historic photos from 1945 made it into chapter VI on page 622, 624 and 625.

Page 622 – 623:
The recovered SSB device during inspection by a british officer on the Pilot’s seat in 1945.

Page 624 – 625:
The cockpit of one of the recovered SSB devices with the numerous instruments and control possibilities.


It was described in all its details by the Allies for top secret purposes and later recorded at archives in the United Kingdom where after decades they are available for the public just like the SSB exhibited at the Imperial War Museum in London – which was definately worth a visit. [Volker Wiegmann]

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Follow us on facebook… thanks for more than 1500 likes!

by on Jun.03, 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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GPF 2/56 “Big Egiziano” @ Christie’s

by on Mai.20, 2015, under Allgemein

Christie’s New York will have a rare GPF 2/56 “Radiomir Panerai” with Angelus movement (LOT 154), made for the Egyptian Navy, in their upcoming Important Watches auction 3752 (June 17th).

This “Egiziano Grosso” bears the matriculation number 012 on the inside of the caseback, which is screwed onto the body by six screws. The “engine” of this watch with a case size of 60 mm and rotating bezel, the Angelus Cal. SF 240 eight-days-movement, is signed “12.55″ and equipped with an Incabloc shock protection.

The Angelus movement can be clearly identified on the face of the huge watch by its small second function with a subdial at 9 o’clock. Hour and minute hand are shaped in the “single pencil” style, which is also typical for Vintage Panerai watches with Angelus movement. The sandwich dial bears the “8 GIORNI BREVETTATO” symbol on the right side at 3 o’clock. This engraved symbol is an unique feature in the range of Vintage Panerai watches, and can be found only in this particular reference, which was produced for the Egyptian Navy.

Features of the watch:
Reference: GPF 2/56
Dial: “Radiomir Panerai” (sandwich, engraved)
Case number: 012
Movement: Angelus Cal. 240 SF (8 days)

This GPF 2/56 “Radiomir Panerai” is already recorded in our database and has been published 2009 in our book “The References” (chapter V).

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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Another engraved Ref. 3646 / Type D up for auction

by on Mai.12, 2015, under Allgemein

Christie’s New York features another rare Ref. 3646 / Type D (LOT 155)  in their upcoming Important Watches auction 3752 (June 17th). The watch with its anonymous “Kampfschwimmer” dial is recorded in our database since 2013.

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

The inner caseback engravings bear the Rolex SA stamp, reference and case number of the watch. In combination with the Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement, these details are matching with our database criteria for watches of the Ref. 3646 / Type D number group.

The caseback of the watch bears the additional “Marine Kampf-Schwimmer” (navy frogmen) engraving plus the year of its service (1945). The initials of the watch’s first owner “AM” were engraved in a german POW camp right after the war, where some of the remaining german frogmen units were imprisoned. After the war, many watches “changed ownership” with members of the allied forces and travelled to these servicemen’s home countries (UK, USA…).

Like other valuable asset, wrist watches were sometimes traded for other goods, which were urgently needed for life back in these days (“lucky strike currency”). This is why today some of these watches surfaced overseas, as it is the case with this watch. Since the end of the 2nd world war this Ref. 3646 / Type D watch remained in the United States, where the family of the 2nd owner (a former U.S. Navy serviceman) contacted us in 2013 to find out the history behind.

Similar watches of the 3646 / Type D number group are featured in our books “History1″ (chapter II) and “History2″ (chapter V and VII). You can read in these books many details about training and missions in which these Panerai watches were an important part of the frogmen’s equipment during the 2nd world war.

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

by on Mai.10, 2015, under Allgemein

Christie’s Geneva will auction a Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” in their Important Watches auction 1407 on may 11th, 2015 (LOT 224). 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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Antiquorum features a Ref. 3646 / Type D

by on Mai.08, 2015, under Allgemein

Antiqourum Geneva features a Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kamfpschwimmer” in their upcoming Important Vintage & Modern Timepieces auction on sunday, may 10th, 2015 in (LOT 490).

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

The watch has been up for auction six months before during last year’s Panerai Only auction by Artcurial which was held in Paris in December 2014 (click here to read our earlier description of this Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” watch).

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]

[photo courtesy of www.antiqourum.com]

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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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