Phillips WINNING ICONS featuring a 3646 and a 6152/1

by on Oct.03, 2017, under Allgemein

Phillips_NY_39_preview_600x600Two Vintage Panerai watches will be up for auction in the WINNING ICONS auction at Phillips on 26 October 2017 in New York. Inbetween a total of 50 watches in the auction with the subtitle “Legendary Watches of the 20th Century”, Lot 16 is a 3646 / Type E with “California Dial”, followed by Lot 39, a Ref. 6152/1 with 8 mm Rolex crown and “Marina Militare” dial (photo). Find further info on both watches in our Watch Point.

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

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30 September 1940 – today in history…

by on Sep.30, 2017, under Allgemein

R_SMG_Gondar_Crest_600x600The afternoon of 30 September 1940 marks the end of the mission „Operazione G.A.2“. Just five weeks after the sinking of the Iride, the Gondar (photo: historic crest of the submarine, showing SLC containers on its deck) was the second transport submarine of the Mezzi d’Assalto to be sunk.

The submarine Gondar (built in 1937) under the command of Tenente di Vascello Francesco Brunetti was dispatched from La Spezia with Alexandria as her target. On board the Gondar was the officer-in-charge of mission G.A.2, Mario Giorgini, three SLC teams and a reserve team.

When the Gondar reached the target area on 29 September 1940, she received a sobering radio message from reconnaissance: The British fleet had left the Port of Alexandria – so mission G.A.2 was aborted. The Gondar headed now for Tobruk and was already on its return journey when it was discovered by the Australian destroyer, HMAS Stuart. A second destroyer, HMS Diamond and a corvette now tracked the Gondar throughout the night alongside HMAS Stuart.

R_SMG_Gondar_SeaD_600x600After hours of attempting to evade capture, the Gondar gave up in the early hours of 30 September 1940. Commander Brunetti gave the order to dive down and abandon the Gondar, which effectively saved his team and the SLC pilots from going down after being sunk by the mighty enemy. A British Sunderland flying boat bombarded the Gondar while the crew was already in the water – effectively sealing the fate of the second transport submersible for SLCs (see historic photos on the left). For one of the two inventors of the new weapon, Elios Toschi, this second journey was also to be his last. He was taken prisoner by the British alongside the crew of the Gondar and his comrades – “missione fallita”.

The launch of the new weapon appeared to be ill-fated: Two operations (G.A.1 and G.A.2) failed, two valuable transport submersibles had been sunk and four SLC teams and their officers-in-charge had been taken as prisoners of war. It was to take over a year until another attempt could be made to penetrate the Port of Alexandria in December 1941…

Read more about “The birth of a legend – the first Panerai watches (1935-1939)” in chapter I on page 34-39, followed by the timeline of the missions during the Second World War in chapter II.I on page 106-109. Mario Giorgini, officer-in-charge of the mission G.A.2 is also featured in the second volume of “The References” on page 1016-1022. The Gondar is also featured in our book “History1” in chapter IV on page 288-357.

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Two “Watches with History” @ Phillips GWA6

by on Sep.26, 2017, under Allgemein

canvas210Phillips will auction two Vintage Panerai watches on Sunday, 12 November 2017 during their Geneva Watch Auction: SIX. Lot 209 is a Ref. 6152/1 “Luminor Panerai” and Lot 210 (photo) is a Ref. 3646 / Type C “Kampfschwimmer”.

Read more on both “Watches with History” in our Watch Point. Lot 209 is featured in our book “The References” 1950’s-1960’s – more info here. Lot 210 is featured in our book “History2” – more info here.

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

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#solidlugsaturday

by on Aug.26, 2017, under Allgemein

IMG_5878_ret_instagram_squaredWatches of the Reference 6152/1 are featured in four of the twelve chapters of our book “The References” and are part of the second volume (1950’s-1960’s). The photo shows a 6152/1 with Rolex movement, “Luminor Panerai” dial and crown-protecting device (chapter VIII.II, page 942-955).

How do we explain four different versions in our new book “The References” 1950’s-1960’s? Watches of the Reference 6152/1 are presented in order of the movement version, the type of winding crown used and sorted chronological by their casing reference number, as follows:

Chapter VIII.I = Reference 6152/1
with Rolex movement and 8 mm Rolex crown
(featuring four different watches on page 878-921).

Chapter VIII.II = Reference 6152/1
with Rolex movement and Panerai crown-protecting device
(featuring ten different watches on page 922-1057).

Chapter X.III = Modified Reference 6152/1
with Angelus movement and 8 mm Rolex crown
(featuring three different watches on page 1212-1259).

Chapter X.IV = Modified Reference 6152/1
with Angelus movement and Panerai crown-protecting device
(featuring four different watches on page 1260-1313).

Each of the four chapters shows the different movement and dial versions recorded in our database with charts, e.g. illustrating the relationship between registered watches with 8 mm Rolex crown and Panerai crown-protecting device of the Reference 6152/1. Additional information on different hands, caseback engravings for different forces which used the watches as well as historical background on two 6152/1 watches first owners can be found, too. Enjoy reading!

Our “The Reference” books are available in our bookstore.

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21 August 1940 – today in history…

by on Aug.21, 2017, under Allgemein

R_Somm_Iride_600x600Gulf of Bomba (Lybia). In August 1940, the time had finally come to put the new SLC weapon to the test. Alexandria in the eastern Mediterranean was the main base of the British Mediterranean fleet. The battleships at anchor there were the first targets for missions of the Mezzi d’Assalto involving the SLCs.

The transport submersible Iride, under the command of Tenente di Vascello Francesco Brunetti, prepared for its tour of duty with the SLCs on 21 August 1940, ready to attack the Port of Alexandria in the night of 25/26 August 1940. Eleven servicemen with four SLCs aboard the torpedo boat Calipso were dispatched to the Gulf of Bomba on the Libyan coast. There, the SLCs were tested at held ready for departure until they were ready to launch mission G.A.1 a few days later with the submersible Iride.

GA1_Iride_Bomba_Bay2_600x600Right at the start of its test run, however, the submersible Iride was spotted by three Fairey Swordfish torpedo bombers, which had launched from the aircraft carrier HMS Eagle. The enemy bombers began their attack straight away (see historic map on the left).

The shallow water in the Gulf of Bomba prevented the Iride from descending quickly. Instead, it attempted to ward off the attack at full speed with its anti-aircraft cannons. At the same time, Brunetti tried in vain to direct the bow of the submersible towards the attackers in order to reduce the area of the Iride exposed to attack. However, the Iride was soon hit by a torpedo and sank. The boats quickly dispatched to the scene managed to rescue some of the shipwrecked crew members from the Iride. A dramatic race against time began.

GA1_Iride_Birindelli_600x600 The SLC teams under Gino Birindelli (right in the photo), Teseo Tesei, Elios Toschi, Luigi Durand de la Penne and Emilio Bianchi dived straight down to the wreck of the Iride in order to save the survivors who were trapped down there. Although the equipment belonging to the SLC pilots on board the Iride was lost, but the three SLCs were recovered for use in later missions. The SLCs pilots returned to the Bocca di Serchio on board the Calipso.

During the rescue of the survivors from the Iride, they had pushed themselves to the very limit of what was humanly possible. Loss of human life and equipment was the sobering result of the first mission „Operazione G.A.1“ with the new weapon of the Mezzi d’Assalto.

Read more on Gino Birindelli, one of the surviving SLC teams, in chapter VIII.II on page 1014-1043 or click also here. More information on the historic content in our “The References” book set can be found here. Read about the featured watches from Guido Panerai & Figlio in the first and second volume here.

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#solderedlugsunday

by on Aug.13, 2017, under Allgemein

3646_Type_C_Radiomir_600x600More than two hundred watches of the Reference 3646 are registered in our database today. Among all different Vintage Panerai models, the 3646 marks the reference with the most known specimen in our records. In 2009, eight years ago, 143 recorded watches were featured in the first (sold out) edition of our book “The References”. Within the entire serial number sequence of the reference 3646, we differentiate between seven different variations (3646 / Type A – Type G). The photo on the left shows a Ref. 3646 / Type C with “Radiomir Panerai” dial, which is featured in chapter II.III (page 306-321).

In our book “The References” 1930’s-1940’s the watches of the entire reference 3646 are featured in chapter II with more than six hundred pages in the chapters II.I-II.VII following an intro on page 40-49. The seven different variations can be found in our reference quickfinder on page 14-20.

Chapter II.I = Reference 3646 / Type A
(featuring two different watches on page 50-169).

Chapter II.II = Reference 3646 / Type B
(featuring four different watches on page 170-247).

Chapter II.III = Reference 3646 / Type C
(featuring seven different watches on page 248-397).

Chapter II.IV = Reference 3646 / Type D
(featuring nine different watches on page 398-531).

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

Chapter II.VI = Reference 3646 / Type F
(featuring two different watches on page 574-607).

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

See the different inner casebacks of Ref. 3646 / Type A – Type C watches here, as well as the inner casebacks of Ref. 3646 / Type D – Type G watches here. Enjoy reading!

Our “The Reference” books are available in our bookstore.

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Restart after the end of the Second World War

by on Aug.05, 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.

IMG_3176_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.I). 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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25 July 1941 – today in history…

by on Jul.25, 2017, under Allgemein

Giobbe_Malta_600x600Augusta (Sicily) 11 pm. The night of 25 July 1941 marks the beginning of the “Operazione Malta 1”, known by its disastrous result for the Mezzi d’Assalto, only three months after the first successful attack with MT explosive boats against British ships in Souda Bay (Crete) on 26 March 1941. One day later, in the early morning of 26 July 1941, the Decima MAS lost the head of the flotilla (Capitano di Fregata Vittorio Moccagatta), the head of explosive boats (Capitano di Corvetta Giorgio Giobbe), the doctor of the flotilla (Tenente Medico Bruno Falcomatà), SLC pilots (including their inventor, Teseo Tesei) and MT explosive boats pilots during the attack of the harbour of La Valetta (Malta).

Giobbe_Panerai_600x600On a side note of the history, the commander of the explosive boats / “Mezzi di Superficie”, Giorgio Giobbe (1906-1941), is well known for wearing his Panerai watch on his right wrist in a photo taken prior the mission against Malta (see page 111-115 in chapter II.I). More about missions and watches of the Decima MAS can be found here.

Read more about “The birth of a legend – the first Panerai watches (1935-1939)” in chapter I, followed by the timeline of the missions during the Second World War in chapter II.I – more information on the historic content in our “The References” book set can be found here. Read about the featured watches from Guido Panerai & Figlio in the first and second volume here.

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In stock: our coffee table books

by on Jul.16, 2017, under Allgemein

Rahmen_Bild_2017_1000x700_ctb_Ref2Our four books are in stock and can be shipped immediately – just visit our bookstore. Use the browse by tags function to get further information about the content in each of the four books.

“History1” (420 pages)
“History2” (480 pages)
“The References” 1930’s-1940’s (696 pages)
“The References” 1950’s-1960’s (696 pages)

Each book comes with hardback jacket (leather and canvas, black and blind embossed) in a slipcase (canvas, black embossed). Page size 10.2 x 10.2″ / 26 x 26 cm, trilingual (German, Italian and English language). Read how to place your order here.

Visit our bookstore and enjoy reading soon!
[Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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Found: another Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer”

by on Jun.29, 2017, under Allgemein

Rahmen_Bild_2017_1000x700_3646_D_KS1Introducing another piece of the puzzle – and one more surfaced in Germany: a Ref. 3646 / Type D with anonymous sandwich dial and rare “Kampfschwimmer” engraving with initials of the first owner and year of service (1945) on its outer caseback. The watch is accompanied with matching paperwork of the first owner, dating back to 1944, as well as a small compass.

The watch has been added into our database in early May 2017 and appears with high bezel (a typical feature of the watches with sandwich dials), onion shaped “Brevet +” crown (Type 11) and Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement. The watch has never been polished and still has its original “volcano dome” plexi as well as the original leather strap and large, nickel-plated brass pin buckle. The blued steel hands still hold their complete luminous material. The inner caseback is signed with the Rolex SA hallmark, reference and case number.

Rahmen_Bild_hoch_2017_700x1000_3646_D_KS2Watches of the Reference 3646 / Type D are featured in our book “The References” 1930’s-1940’s in chapter II.IV (page 398-531). Small compasses are featured in chapter IV (where a similar version is shown on page 672-675). Chapter V holds information on straps and buckles (page 679-685 featuring the “bottle opener” shaped pin buckles).

Thanks to the owner who provided information for our database.
[Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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