Eppli to auction an engraved Ref. 3646 / Type D

by on Jun.09, 2018, under Allgemein

Auction House Eppli (Stuttgart/Germany) features a Ref. 3646 / Type D with anonymous, painted brass dial and engraved caseback in their September auction. Eppli is known for auctioning another Ref. 3646 / Type D with brass dial two years ago in April 2016.

Rahmen_Bild_2018_Eppli_TypeD_1This 3646 / Type D is recorded in our database since April 2018 and appears for auction for the first time. The watch features a typical Rolex 618 / Type 1 movement and comes with an original leather strap sewn onto the soldered lugs of the cushion shaped case including its original nickel plated brass pin buckle (“ergonomically” customised – bent down, like we know it from many other buckles of this type).

The watch has been consigned for auction at Eppli by the family of the first owner, who was a “Kampfschwimmer” at the end of the Second World War. Several documents of this era, as well as historic photos of the first owner are part of the lot and making it a very rare “full set”.

Rahmen_Bild_2018_Eppli_TypeD_2The engraved initials on the caseback “HM” (surrounded by the year of his service as “Kampfschwimmer” in 1945) are matching the name of the German frogman. We have published more on this watch in our Watch Point.

Watches of the Reference 3646 / Type D are featured in our book “The References” 1930’s-1940’s in chapter II.IV (page 398-531). We hope that this watch will find a good new home and remains surfaced in the Vintage Panerai collectors world. [Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

[Photos courtesy of Auktionshaus Eppli e.K.]

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26 May 1941 – today in history…

by on May.26, 2018, under Allgemein

BG3_Fulgor_Cadiz_600x600In May 1941, the Decima MAS continued its attacks on the Port of Gibraltar. This time, the SLC pilots’ energy was preserved because they were flown over to Spain disguised as crew members and shipping company employees so that they wouldn’t have to go through the lengthy approach by submarine. Once they had arrived in Spain, they travelled overground to the Port of Cádiz, where the Italian tanker Fulgor had been detained since Italy joined the war.

On 15 May 1941, the transport submarine Scirè left the Port of La Spezia with the “maiali” on board, but without their pilots. After passing the Strait of Gibraltar on 22/23 May, Borghese reached the Port of Cádiz and overnight took on board the six SLC pilots who had previously been on the Fulgor: Decio Catalano and Giovanni Giannoni, Amedeo Vesco and Amelio Franchi (replaced by reserve Antonio Marceglia), Licio Visintini and Giovanni Magro.

Siluri_Umani_SLC_600x600Despite the successful deployment of the three SLCs on 26 May 1941, the B.G.3 mission failed due to technical problems and a good deal of bad luck in the last phase of the attack when an explosive charge that had been successfully attached to the hull of a ship became detached at the last second. All six SLC pilots reached the Spanish coast and were able to return to their base at Bocca di Serchio with the aid of the Italian Consul in Algeciras.

However, the mission B.G.3 still had some positive aspects: The British did not notice the operation and the element of surprise was not wasted. The use of the tanker Fulgor as a forward base on Spanish territory proved extremely useful and effective.

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“Luminor Panerai” Depth Gauge

by on May.20, 2018, under Allgemein

IMG_5838_600x600Compasses 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.  

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

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At a glance: The Reference 6152/1

by on May.15, 2018, under Allgemein

IMG_5834_600x600Watches 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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May summary: three watches in two auctions

by on May.04, 2018, under Allgemein

Rahmen_Bild_2018_DrCrott_TypeD_5The month of May will see three Vintage Panerai watches offered in two different auctions. A Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” will be offered in Frankfurt during Dr. Crott Auctioneers‘ 97th Auction on Saturday, 12 May, 2018. Earlier this year, this watch (lot 114) marked the first new recorded specimen in our database for the year 2018 inside the Ref. 3646 / Type D number group. Read more on this “Kampfschwimmer” here in our watch point.

One day later, on 13 May, Phillips offers two Vintage Panerai watches in their Geneva Watch Auction: SEVEN (session two / Sunday). Lot 212 is a Ref. 6152/1 with “Luminor Panerai” dial. Read more on this 6152/1 with a very rare matriculation number of the Guardia di Finanza engraved on the caseback here. The third watch up for auction in May is another Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” which was auctioned 21 years ago in 1997 at Christie’s “Ravenborg Collection of Rolex Watches”. It is now lot 213 in Phillips’ Geneva Watch Auction: SEVEN and you can read more about it here in our watch point (please note also the update on this watch from 7 May, 2018).

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Side view: Badessi’s Radiomir watch

by on May.01, 2018, under Allgemein

Rahmen_Bild_2018_Ambra_Badessi1Chapter IV of our book “History1” begins with an interview conducted with Mario Arillo M.O.V.M., commander of the transport submarine for SLC and Gamma units of the Decima MAS, the Ambra. Numerous unpublished photos and documents from the family possessions of the famous commander from La Spezia augment the personal descriptions of his submarine missions in this chapter. Not many photos exist today, taken during a mission in the Second World War – and even less with a Panerai watch to be spotted on a wrist of one of the units of the Mezzi Subacquei.

In one of these photos, Giorgio Badessi (right), who was one of the six SLC pilots, is clearly wearing his Radiomir watch on the left wrist, sitting on the table together with another SLC pilot, Giorgio Reggioli (in the background), 2nd Officer Zenker (left) and commander Arillo (front) during mission N.A.1.

Rahmen_Bild_hoch_2018_Ambra_Badessi2“Operazione N.A.1”, carried out on 12th of December 1942, was the first combined mission with SLC units and combat swimmers of the Gruppo Gamma, in which a total of 16 units were sent out from the transport submarine Ambra to attack allied ships in the Port of Algiers. A scout (“civetta”) at the water’s surface conveyed important instructions by microphone to the Ambra on the seabed. For the first time, the SLC and Gamma units started their mission from a submerged submarine, see sketch on page 324.

Read more on Chapter IV of “History1” with 165 pages, 106 photos and seven technical illustrations, here. Mission N.A.1, part of the interview with commander Arillo, is featured in this chapter on page 313-345. Do not miss to read how we were able to get these documents to be published in our book “History1” on page 374-377, with special greetings to La Spezia!

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Phillips GWA7 featuring a 3646 / Type D and a 6152/1

by on Apr.21, 2018, under Allgemein

Two Vintage Panerai watches will be up for auction in The Geneva Watch Auction: SEVEN at Phillips on 12 & 13 May 2018. Inbetween a total of 185 watches in this auction, Lot 212 is a Ref. 6152/1 with “Luminor Panerai” dial and rare caseback engraving of the Guardia di Finanza, followed by Lot 213, a Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” with anonymous sandwich dial.

Read more in our watch point.

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“Time Travelling”

by on Apr.14, 2018, under Allgemein

Karlsruhe, 12 September 1998 – it was a saturday morning, just perfect for a little walk and some window shopping at watch dealers, as I got interested in mechanical wristwatches since a couple of years. I walked into the shop of Jewellery Kamphues who is based downtown Karlsruhe since 1905, a house with a long tradition which carried some of the watch brands I wanted to take a look on at that saturday twenty years ago. What I saw in one of the displays inside was a big brown box, loaded with six very untypical, huge but even more attractive watches from a brand I just read in a watch magazine: Officine Panerai. This saturday in September 1998 was a good chance to see these new watches in person.

Rahmen_Bild_2018_1000x700_KH06 After a short presentation by one of the sales persons there, I received a blue squared brochure which carried a list of authorized dealers in Germany (very short back then – see left sheet in the photo), a price list in Deutsche Mark (featuring the famous PAM 21, listed at the bottom being the only Special Edition) and also it carried some kind of a virtual timer which started the interest for this “new brand” with huge watches in me just when I left the shop…

To get a good impression about how things were going with Officine Panerai back in 1998, when I met the brand for the first time, I highly recommend reading the interview by Joe Thompson with Angelo Bonati, which was just recently published at Hodinkee here. I kept this squared brochure from 1998 in my library in all the years and I always wanted to return to Jewellery Kamphues one day. Recently it finally happened.

Rahmen_Bild_2018_1000x700_KH01One of the reasons I wanted to travel to Karlsruhe was, that the manager of the shop contacted me a few months ago, asking if I would have some additional information on a Ref. 3646 / Type D with painted brass dial. I was surprised to take even notice that this watch – which we knew for quite some years – found its way to the dealer where I saw watches from Officine Panerai for the first time back in 1998!

The 3646 / Type D in question was added into our database already back in 2004 when it was on display in a little museum in Hamburg, where my co-author Ralf spotted it. He was allowed to take some photos of the watch but not from the inside (movement, inner caseback) so it remained an incomplete database entry in our records until it was consigned for auction in 2017 (read more in our watch point). Dr. Crott Auctioneers contacted us about the watch before their 95th auction and by its external details (especially the engraved initials on the caseback, as well as the original leather strap and buckle still on the watch) we were able to identify this watch being the same that Ralf discovered already 13 years ago in 2004.

Rahmen_Bild_2018_1000x700_KH03So here it was: the moment to return to the place where I saw watches from Officine Panerai for the first time in 1998 – 20 years ago – and to meet with the managers of the shop which we exchanged some information during the last months about the engraved “Kampfschwimmer” watch from the Second World War.

It was nice to see this Ref. 3646 / Type D again: the unpolished flat case and bezel, the black painted brass dial, the cylindrical Rolex crown (Type 13), the blued steel hands with complete and nicely aged luminous material. “Time Travelling” at its best. To Karlsruhe. To the dealer where it all began for me with Officine Panerai

Rahmen_Bild_2018_1000x700_KH02Actually its great to know where a watch went after the few occasions when it surfaced since we took notice of it. Now it found a great place in a display at Jewellery Kamphues where it is spot on, even customers and visitors of the shop can take a look at it.

Back in 2004 the Ref. 3646 / Type D with engraved “KG” on its caseback was in a little naval museum, more or less resting in a quiet corner. Later the museum moved into another location and since then it disappeared – we lost its track. For the following 13 years we heard no safe and sound of it. To our surprise it surfaced at an auction house in 2017 and now it found a good home in Karlsruhe. It was a pleasure to feel the excitement of the new owner (by the way he was wearing a nice Luminor Marina PVD from the A series), where it is part of a collection of excellent vintage watches.

Thanks for reading. [Volker Wiegmann]

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The 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” @ Dr. Crott is online

by on Apr.11, 2018, under Allgemein

Rahmen_Bild_2018_DrCrott_TypeD_1We introduced this watch, which is new to the market, a few weeks ago here, and the online catalogue of Dr. Crott Auctioneers now features the Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” with anonymous sandwich dial and Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement listed as lot 114. The 97th Auction will be held on 12 May, 2018 at the Sheraton Frankfurt Hotel, Airport.

Find the complete lot description from Dr. Crott Auctioneers in English, Chinese and German language. Read more about this watch also at our watch point here.

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If you ever visit Tuscany – stop by at Forte dei Marmi…

by on Mar.29, 2018, under Allgemein

Rahmen_Bild_hoch_2018_700x1000_FdM1…to see Piazza Emilio Barberi – a place which is breathing history, related to the missions of the Mezzi d’Assalto during the Second World War. Recently we put a spot onto the mission against Suda“Attacco alla Baia di Suda” – with explosive boats here.

The memorial at the Piazza dedicated to him, shows on the left the map of the Suda bay with the route of the men around Emilio Barberi M.O.V.M. (1917 – 2002) in his home town Forte dei Marmi. He was one of the pilots of the MT boats.

Read more about the timeline of the missions during the Second World War in chapter II.I on page 106-146. The attack of the Souda Bay is featured on page 108-109.

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