One more engraved Ref. 3646 / Type B with “Radiomir Panerai” dial surfaced

by on Mar.20, 2017, under Allgemein

Rahmen_Bild_hoch_2017_3646_B_HEYou never know how long it takes until a “new”, yet unknown watch surface after many years. This happened quickly twice in the last weeks, with another addition into our database in shape of a Ref. 3646 / Type B with “Radiomir Panerai” sandwich dial and completely engraved “Kampfschwimmer” caseback.

Different to the Ref. 3646 / Type C with riveted plastic dial introduced earlier here (which included a month-lasting research for the family of the frogman), this rare Ref. 3646 / Type B “Radiomir Panerai” watch was introduced to us by the grandson of the frogman. Complete with the original strap and nickel-plated brass buckle, the watch with the small Oyster Watch Co hallmark on its inner caseback appears after 72 years with the original domed plexiglas, onion shaped “Brevet +” crown (Type 11) and Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement.

Rahmen_Bild_2017_3646_B_HEThe caseback of the watch bears the initials “HE” of the first owner. The frogman belonged to the “Einsatzgruppe Heyden” which is engraved around the word “Kampfschwimmer” and the year of service, 1945. Lieutenant-Commander Günter Heyden was a founding member of the newly formed German commando frogmen (Kommando Spezialkräfte Marine) in the 1950’s.

The watch is accompanied with historic photos of the veteran as well as a very rare pay book (silmiar to only two others known which are made of the same material, see page 138 in our book “History1”) and which was issued to the members of the “Lehrkommando 700″ in the last months of the Second World War. Not enough rarity, there is a swordfish probation insignia (see page 802-804 in our book “History2”) and a nose clip which was used by the frogmen during the use of a small breathing apparatus (without face mask, see page 671 of our book “The References” 1930’s-1940’s and page 718 of our book “History2”).

Watches of the Ref. 3646 / Type B are featured in our book “The References” (first volume / 1930’s-1940’s) in chapter II.II on page 170-247.

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Surfaced after 72 years: one more Ref. 3646 / Type C with riveted plastic dial

by on Mar.19, 2017, under Allgemein

When we started to search for the veteran at the beginning of 2017, we could not know wether the search would be successful or not (like many times before). We knew the frogman only by his name, featured in battlefield reports since the mid 1950’s several times, and we knew the city in Germany where he lived after the end of the Second World War.

When we virtually knocked at his door, nobody was there to open anymore. With a big portion of luck and the cooperation of his family, we connected a few months later to finally ask his family some questions, which the veteran himself was sadly not able to answer anymore. We provided some photos of the German “Kampfschwimmer” from 1944 and 1945 to the family, which they had never seen before, but which were part of our records since several years.

Rahmen_Bild_hoch_2017_3646_C_rpd_KSRecently we got photos of the Vintage Panerai watch, which the frogman stored in a safe place before the war was over and before he became a POW of the British. Before we saw the first photos, our “wild guess” was, that it could be a Ref. 3646 / Type D. But the soon later arrived photos of the dial let us think it might be an earlier version: a 3646 with riveted plastic dial. Maybe it would be a Ref. 3646 / Type B like most of the watches with such dials are recorded? The final proof to which number group it belongs to, was the look onto the inner caseback of the watch: a Ref. 3646 / Type C with Rolex SA hallmark in the center and a seven digit number underneath the reference number 3646. So, one more piece of the Vintage Panerai puzzle added in shape of a Ref. 3646 / Type C with riveted plastic dial.

The remarkable “untouched” condition, since it was keepsake for the veteran and has remained in the possession of the frogman’s family during all these years (72 years, to be exactly), can be pointed out by the fact that the watch has still the original leather strap sewn onto the soldered lugs of the cushion shaped case and the nickel-plated brass buckle (in the typical “bottle opener” shape with sharp edges) as well as a Rolex 618 / Type 1 movement with details known in more than 90% of all recorded watches of the Ref. 3646 / Type C in our database. The still complete luminous material on the blued steel hands can be rarely found on watches of this age, as well as the original domed plexi and the onion shaped crown (“Brevet +” / Type 11). More about watches of the Ref. 3646 / Type C can be found in our book “The References” 1930’s-1940’s on page 248-397 in chapter II.III.

We hope that the watch remains as a keepsake for the family and maybe the veteran’s grandchildren enjoy wearing it in the future. [Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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“Marina Militare” on the front and back of a Ref. 6152/1

by on Mar.18, 2017, under Allgemein

Rahmen_Bild_hoch_2017_6152-1_MMOf the less than 70 registered watches of the Reference 6152/1 with Rolex movement and crown-protecting device, almost a third feature a “Marina Militare” dial. The specimen shown here was a new entry into our database in 2016, which is also engraved on the caseback with the “long version” marking Sommozzatori Marina Militare, together with a three-digit number (S.M.Z. M.M. XXX). Less than fourty casebacks with such a matriculation number are recorded in our database until today, used on both, Ref. 6152/1 watches with 8 mm Rolex crown and Ref. 6152/1 with the crown-protection device from Guido Panerai & Figlio, no matter which movement is inside (Rolex or Angelus).

This 6152/1 is powered by a Rolex 618 / Type 4 movement, which can be found in more than 80% of all Ref. 6152/1 watches, recorded in our database until today (Type 4 = 17 Rubis and Incabloc shock protection.

Find information about the different matriculation numbers on Ref. 6152/1 watches in our book “The References” 1950’s-1960’s in chapter VIII.I (page 913-917). Watches of the Reference 6152/1 with Rolex movement and crown-protecting device can be found in chapter VIII.II (page 922-1057).

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A rare bird surfaced – in shape of a Ref. 6152/1 with C.C. engraved caseback

by on Mar.13, 2017, under Allgemein

Rahmen_Bild_hoch_2017_6152-1_CC1Introducing another piece of the Vintage Panerai puzzle – and one more from the watches, which were used by the Carabinieri, bearing a rare engraving on its caseback. Until today we have recorded only seven Ref. 6152/1 in our database with C.C. engraving and matriculation number on their casebacks.

Beside this watch, four similar specimen with “Luminor Panerai” dial and crown-protecting device are part of our database. The new owner has recently provided photos and informations, after purchasing the watch from the family of a Carabinieri veteran, for our records.

Rahmen_Bild_hoch_2017_6152-1_CC2More than 50% of all recorded Ref. 6152/1 watches with crown-protecting device bear a “Luminor Panerai” dial. Inside the watch works a Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 4 movement which is known in more than 80% of all Ref. 6152/1 watches, recorded in our database until today.

Read more about watches with C.C. engraving on page 964-971 in our book “The References” 1950’s-1960’s. Read also more on Vintage Panerai watches with engraved matriculation numbers here.

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…soldered or solid lugs?

by on Mar.11, 2017, under Allgemein

soldered_or_solid_900x900No matter what’s your favourite Vintage Panerai case design, our book set “The References” features both versions: soldered lugs and solid lugs – 70 watches on 1392 pages.

The tag 696 is connected with all stories published about the first volume on 696 pages: watches, history, instruments and straps of the 1930’s-1940’s. 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 tag 1392 is connected with all stories published about the second volume on the follwing 696 pages (from page 697 to page 1392): watches, history, instruments and straps of the 1950’s-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.

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

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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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