Author Archive

Spot on: chapter VI of “History2″

by on Aug.01, 2014, under Allgemein

CHAPTER VI – “Manfred Lau”
(82 pages, 39 photos)

The chapter about the contemporary witness and author of the book “Schiffssterben vor Algier”, Manfred Lau, with whom we have been friendly since 2003, is a very special one. It is the “chapter without a watch”. Nevertheless, precisely his personal story is of great interest to us, as he is a veteran of the “Lehmann pig group”, who were trained for deployments with two-man torpedoes (SLC and SSB devices) on the island of Le Vignole in the Lagoon of Venice. In impressive and precise detail he describes the difficult journey from Hamburg through a Germany that was, by the autumn of 1944, severely marked by the scars of war, and down to northern Italy, where the secret training centre of the combat swimmers was located. The detailed memories of his training period to become a pilot of the two-man torpedoes, almost 70 years ago, and supplemented with historical maps and pictures, take the reader on a journey to the Adriatic coast. There the midshipman ended his time as a sea fighter with a march into captivity, from which he returned to Germany in 1948.

Vintage Panerai “History2″
26 x 26 cm, 480 pages,
trilingual (= german, italian and english language in one book),
hardback jacket, slipcase.

“History2″ is in stock and can be ordered directly at our bookstore.

Enjoy reading!
[Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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Spot on: chapter V of “History2″

by on Jul.25, 2014, under Allgemein

CHAPTER V – “Jochen Burnus”
(112 pages, 67 photos, 4 technical illustrations)

The chapter on Jochen Burnus describes his period of duty as a combat swimmer, from his posting away from Yugoslavia in 1944 and his training in northern Italy to his missions at the Elbe, where he ended up in American captivity on April 20th, 1945. After his release he worked in Hamburg Harbour as a recovery diver, together with other former combat swimmers, including Siegfried Köneke, who also belonged to the “Einsatzgruppe Keller” in the Second World War. Burnus later received his friend’s Panerai watch (Ref. 3646 / Type D) from Köneke’s parents, after Sigi was killed at the age of 28 in tragic circumstances while working in Hamburg Harbour on March 14th, 1949. Thus the stories of two combat swimmers merge inseparably and allow us to trace the journey of a combat swimmer watch and its earlier owners from 1944 to the present day.

Vintage Panerai “History2″
26 x 26 cm, 480 pages,
trilingual (= german, italian and english language in one book),
hardback jacket, slipcase.

“History2″ is in stock and can be ordered directly at our bookstore.

Enjoy reading!
[Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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Taking a close look at a Ref. 3646 / Type C… “Red Radiomir”

by on Jul.23, 2014, under Allgemein

Spot on “Red Radiomir”! Only a few watches have been aged in the way that the black color of the dial faded to grey and the luminous “Radiomir” of the four numbers 3, 6, 9 and 12, as well as the eight 5-minutes-markers turned into a deep and intensive red color. More info on this amazing 3646 / Type C watch has been published earlier  and back in 2010.

A similar watch with dark red aged “Radiomir Panerai” dial is featured in our book “History1” in chapter I.

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The story behind “History2″

by on Jul.21, 2014, under Allgemein

Our first book, published in 2007 and entitled “Watches with History” opened with the words “In this book we would like to give the reader an overview of historic Panerai watches and their documented history.” 2013, six years passed since then, during which we have embarked on many interesting trips into the past while researching this subject. In 2012 we were able to take an even deeper and more comprehensive look at the wearers and the uses of these watches in the book “History1”. In the book “History2” we once again take our readers on a journey through time with five more stories; five exciting and moving fates of courageous men, for whom their Panerai watch was not an item of jewellery, but rather an important piece of equipment. At the end of each chapter we document the current condition of the watch in question, its special features and technical details with a current extract from our database, which we have set up and which we are expanding constantly.

While many of the questions today about historic Panerai watches and their wearers are often the same, the traces we have followed on our research trails and the answers we have found could not be more different. The starting point of our journeys of discovery is always a Panerai watch that still exists today. Every story that we have brought to light has taken us to our destination by very different paths. These stories, which have in the most literal sense “resurfaced”, provide the reader with answers to the questions: Who used the watch? Where and under what conditions did the training of the special marine units take place? When and to what purpose were the missions carried out? And further: How and by which means were the combat swimmer missions conducted? How do the veterans now assess their deployments at that time? We have pursued these questions and, thanks to the help of some of the surviving veterans of the Second World War, their descendents, and through the analysis of previously unknown documents such as personal notes, interviews conducted with the veterans or documents from enemy archives and their espionage departments, we managed to compile very impressive and authentic chapters.

It was and remains very important to us to endow the veterans with a “voice” in this book, to tell their true story. This book does not represent a political statement about the period of the Second World War – rather, we have tried document the historically provable facts about the circumstances and events of that time. This book outlines the personal experiences of the combat swimmers and describes in the smallest detail their fate, which has, during conversations or in written correspondence, evoked at times painful memories and great emotions after many decades. Without their inspiration and great support, this book would never have been possible in such comprehensive form. For this we wish to express our deep gratitude to “our” veterans.

The four watches presented in this book (Reference 3646) were in action under “real” battle conditions in the Second World War. They accompanied their original owners since combat swimmer training and indeed for many years after the war.

Our book “History2″ is in stock. It can be ordered directly at our bookstore. Enjoy reading!
[Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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Spot on: chaper IV of “History1″

by on Jul.18, 2014, under Allgemein

CHAPTER IV – “Mario Arillo”
(165 pages, 106 photos, 7 technical illustrations)

The chapter on Mario Arillo begins with an interview conducted with him in 1989. Numerous as yet unpublished pictures and documents from the family possessions of the famous submarine commander from La Spezia augment the personal descriptions of his missions as a means of transport for Italian Gamma swimmers and the SLC units of the Decima MAS.

 

Vintage Panerai “History1″
26 x 26 cm, 420 pages,
trilingual (= german, italian and english language in one book),
hardback jacket, slipcase.

“History1″ is in stock and can be ordered directly at our bookstore.

Enjoy reading!
[Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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Spot on: chapter III of “History1″

by on Jul.11, 2014, under Allgemein

CHAPTER III – “Karl-Heinz Kiefer”
(55 pages, 39 photos, 3 technical illustrations)

The story of Karl-Heinz Kiefer, who received fast-track training in the last months of the war, already provided proof in the first edition of this book about period of use of the rare watch-face version of his Panerai watch (Ref. 3646 / Type D with brass dial), which for a long time had been ascribed to an earlier date. Now, his winter training in a toughening-up camp at the Baltic Sea in early 1945 is described in detail.

Vintage Panerai “History1″
26 x 26 cm, 420 pages,
trilingual (= german, italian and english language in one book),
hardback jacket, slipcase.

“History1″ is in stock and can be ordered directly at our bookstore.

Enjoy reading!
[Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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Spot on: chapter II of “History1″

by on Jul.04, 2014, under Allgemein

CHAPTER II – “Heinz Pape”
(91 pages, 44 photos, 3 technical illustrations)

For the most part the chapter about Heinz Pape is taken from his surviving diary and presented as a first-person narrative, with comprehensive supplementation. Thanks to extremely rare aerial photographs of the assignment targets described by him and the examination of maps it was possible to analyse his diary entries from WW2 precisely and thus present them to the reader in such an impressive manner – an unique story of a  “Kampfschwimmer” unit and his Panerai watch, a Ref. 3646 / Type D with its well known and typical anonymous dial

Vintage Panerai “History1″
26 x 26 cm, 420 pages,
trilingual (= german, italian and english language in one book),
hardback jacket, slipcase.

“History1″ is in stock and can be ordered directly at our bookstore.

Enjoy reading!
[Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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The Kaufhold Radiomir featured at watchtime.net

by on Jun.30, 2014, under Allgemein

The german watch portal www.watchtime.net featured the Vintage Panerai Ref. 3646 / Type DThe Kaufhold Radiomir – with an overview about the details of the watch and the history behind its first owner, german frogmen Hanns-Martin Kaufhold.

“The Kaufhold Radiomir” is fully described in our book “History2″ in Chapter VII on 70 pages with 58 photos and 6 technical illustrations. Thanks to www.watchtime.net for putting a spotlight onto Panerai’s DNA. [Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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Spot on: chapter I of “History1″

by on Jun.27, 2014, under Allgemein

CHAPTER I – “Heinz Günter Lehmann”
(75 pages, 38 photos, 4 technical illustrations)

The story of the German elite swimmer Heinz Günter Lehmann and his “Radiomir Panerai” watch (Ref. 3646 / Type C) is told with numerous photos, covering the period from his training in the lagoon of Venice in the summer of 1944 to his countless sporting successes on the international stage after the Second World War. Rare photos and documents, from national and international archives, allied intelligence documents as well as photos provided by his family were added together, followed by the technical details of his watch in chapter I.I with a current excerpt from our historical Panerai database.

Vintage Panerai “History1″
26 x 26 cm, 420 pages,
trilingual (= german, italian and english language in one book),
hardback jacket, slipcase.

“History1″ is in stock and can be ordered directly at our bookstore.

Enjoy reading!
[Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]


[Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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The Rolex Cal. 618 movement – engine of the 3646

by on Jun.24, 2014, under Allgemein

Used in Ref. 3646 watches from Type A to Type G, the Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement comes without Incabloc shock protection.

Typical for this non-incabloc version is the serif font for the letters A-R (french) and F-S (english) engraved on the regulation device. The screwed off caseback next to the case shows the decorations on the inner caseback (completely decorated). More Information about the different finishings on inner casebacks of 3646 watches can befound in our book “History1″ (page 166-167) and in our book “History2″ (page 546-547).

See also a comparing between the Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 and the Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 4 movement).

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