Author Archive

…soldered or solid lugs?

by on Apr.07, 2019, 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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Sotheby’s Hong Kong will auction a Ref. 3646 / Type C

by on Mar.31, 2019, under Watch Point

Rahmen_2019_SothebysHK_2276Sotheby’s will auction a Ref. 3646 / Type C with “Radiomir Panerai” sandwich dial, Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement (lot 2276) in their auction Important Watches on 3 April 2019 in Hong Kong.

The watch is recorded in our database since March 2007. In 2015 the watch was auctioned at Christie’s Geneva (Important Watches Sale 1410).

The Ref. 3646 / Type C “Radiomir Panerai” with deep red numerals and indices is featured in our book “The References” 1930’s-1940’s on page 292-297 in chapter II.III.

(Photo of the Ref. 3646 / Type C courtesy of Jared Platt)

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26 March 1941 – today in history…

by on Mar.26, 2019, under Allgemein

Siluri_Umani_MAS_600x600During the winter of 1940-1941 the human torpedo attacks were suspended, at least until the following spring. A detachment of MT explosive boats was based in the Dodecanese, where it trained under the command of Vittorio Moccagatta on the island of Leros with the objective of attacking Souda Bay and the British traffic to Greece.

Vittorio Moccagatta was ordered back to Italy on 23 January 1941, where he became the commander of the 1st MAS Flotilla in La Spezia. His suggestions to the Italian naval commando assumed in the result that the 1st MAS Flotilla became the 10th MAS Flotilla – the Decima MAS – on 15 March 1941, which was divided into two divisions from that time:

Souda_Bay_Sketch_600x600The surface division – Mezzi di Superficie – under the command of Capitano di Corvetta Giorgio Giobbe with a fleet of various explosive boats (category MT, MTM shown by the historic sketches on the left, MTR, MTS, MTMS, SMA, MTL) and motorboats for sabotage operations.

The 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 remaining transport submersibles Scirè and Ambra and the frogmen of the “Gruppo Gamma”. On a side note, in early 1941, the two initial transport submersibles for SLC devices, Iride and Gondar, were already lost with the failure of „Operazione G.A.1“ and „Operazione G.A.2“ in August and September 1940.

Souda_Bay_Map_600x600On 26 March 1941, the surface division – Mezzi di Superficie – of the Decima MAS achieved initial successes: six MT-type explosive boats broke through the blockades in Souda Bay (Crete, see historic map on the left) damaging the heavy cruiser York and the tanker Pericles.

During the night, the servicemen Luigi Faggioni (commander), Angelo Cabrini, Tullio Tedeschi, Alessio De Vito, Lino Beccati and Emilio Barberi) were transported to the target area aboard the destroyers Crispi and Sella. These two destroyers were equipped with electrically powered cranes for placement of the MT-type explosive boats on the water, which was carried out in just a few minutes, ten miles from Souda’s entrance, at 2330 hours on 25 March 1941. Unnoticed by the enemy, the MT-type explosive boats managed to cross three barricades and reached their targets in the early hours of the morning of 26 March 1941.

Souda_Bay_MT_600x600Two MT-type explosive boats attacked the York (the pilots abandoned their boats 80 meters before hitting the ship, see historic photos on the left). Another two MT-type explosive boats attacked the Pericles. Commander Faggioni tried to hit the Coventry but his boat missed the cruiser and exploded on the coast. The sixth MT-type explosive boat missed its target too, but remained intact and was captured by the British. All six pilots of the explosive boats survived the attack and became POW.

Read more about the timeline of the missions during the Second World War in chapter II.I on page 106-146. Vittorio Moccagatta is featured on page 112-113, the attack in Souda Bay is featured on page 108-109.

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Lockdales to auction a Ref. 3646 / Type D from the “L.K. 700”

by on Feb.04, 2019, under Allgemein

Lockdales (Ipswitch, Suffolk, United Kingdom) is featuring a Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” with painted brass dial in their upcoming auction The Fine Sale #163 on 20 February, 2019 (Lot 307).

The watch comes with a rare engraved caseback, bearing the initials of the first owner “HK” surrounded by “L.K. 700 Marine-Kampfschwimmer 1945”. L.K. 700 is a short of Lehrkommando 700. Read more about this special unit in our book “History1”, chapter I, page 28-53.

Noteworthy, this watch is another specimen surfaced in the United Kingdom, where some watches were brought to as souvenirs from the Second World War by allied servicemen. After more than 70 years they re-emerge in different conditions, such as the watch up for auction at Lockdales.

Read more in our Watch Point.

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

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Engraved “Kampfschwimmer” @ Lockdales

by on Feb.03, 2019, under Watch Point

Rahmen_2019_Lockdales_307_side_push_down_crownLockdales (Ipswitch, Suffolk, United Kingdom) is featuring a Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” with painted brass dial in their upcoming auction The Fine Sale #163 on 20 February, 2019 (Lot 307).

The watch appears from the provided photos with a replacement crown, original nickel-plated brass pin buckle and rare engraved caseback, bearing the initials of the first owner “HK” surrounded by “L.K. 700 Marine-Kampfschwimmer 1945”.

The inner caseback bears the typical Rolex SA hallmark, reference and case number known for 3646 / Type D watches. Inside the watch is working a Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement with typical decorations and engravings on the bridges.

Rahmen_2019_Lockdales_307_frontFeatures of the watch:
Reference: 3646 / Type D
Dial: “Kampfschwimmer” (painted brass, anonymous)
Case number: 2605XX
Movement: Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1

Watches of the Reference 3646 / Type D are featured in our new “The References” 1930’s-1940’s in chapter II.IV (page 398-531) including a historic photo of a German “Kampfschwimmer” wearing a 3646 with brass dial on page 475. Similar nickel-plated brass pin buckles of the WW2 era are featured in chapter V Straps and Buckles (page 677-685).

Noteworthy, this watch is another specimen surfaced in the United Kingdom, where some watches were brought to as souvenirs from the Second World War by allied servicemen. After more than 70 years they re-emerge in different conditions, such as the watch up for auction at Lockdales.

Rahmen_2019_Lockdales_307_backA similar Ref. 3646 / Type D watch with painted brass dial is featured in our book “History1” in chapter III together with the history of its first owner, a German “Kampfschwimmer” who provided us very interesting information about his service, training and how some of these Panerai watches “changed ownership” during the time when he was a POW in the summer of 1945 (page 206-207).

Further information on the training commando 700 (L.K. 700 a short of Lehrkommando 700, which is part of the engraving on the caseback of the watch) can be found in our both books “History1” and “History2”.

The Ref. 3646 / Type D watch can be found online here at the salesroom.

We hope this Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” 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.lockdales.com]

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Ref. 6152 / Type A “Radiomir Panerai” @ Artcurial

by on Dec.22, 2018, under Watch Point

Rahmen_Bild_hoch_2018_Artcurial_6152_TypeA_1Artcurial will feature a very rare Ref. 6152 / Type A with “Radiomir Panerai” dial from 1953 in their upcoming Auction on 23 January, 2019 in Monaco (Lot 116). This watch has been featured in our book “The References” 1950’s-1960’s on page 756-759 in chapter VI.I and surfaced for the second time after 2008, where it was auctioned at Antiquorum in Hong Kong (Lot 406) and added into our database.

This 6152 shows clear signs of ageing on its “Radiomir Panerai” dial and hands. The huge Plexiglas crystal (Tropic 24), which is damaged at the bottom at 6 o’ clock is testament to the heavy use to which the watch was subjected as an important item of equipment. It comes from the first serial number sequence of the Reference 6152, produced in 1953, which we entitled 6152 / Type A.

Rahmen_Bild_2018_Artcurial_6152_TypeA_4Features of the watch:
Reference: 6152 / Type A
Dial: “Radiomir Panerai”  (sandwich, engraved)
Case number: 9566XX
Movement: Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 2

The watch features so called “Double Pencil” brass hands, with the minute hand showing a particularly pointy design. This particular variation of the brass hands is known among collectors as the “Double Pencil – Sharp Pin” style (see also page 889 in Chapter VIII.I of our book “The References” 1950’s-1960’s). The caseback of this watch features the words “REGISTERED DESIGN / MODELE DEPOSE”, which are typical of the Reference 6152.

In terms of rarity and known watches in our database, the Reference 6152 can be called the rarest of all three (6152, 6154 and 6152/1). Read more also here.

Rahmen_Bild_2018_Artcurial_6152_TypeA_5Artcurial stated in their lot description, that the watch comes with a tool and various documents from the original owner, Rear Admiral Amedeo Vesco.

During the Second World War, Vesco took part in several missions of the Decima MAS as a SLC pilot of the “Mezzi Subacquei” against the harbour of Gibraltar in May (“Operazione B.G.3”) and September 1941 (“Operazione B.G.4”). He was awarded twice with the Silver Medal for Gallantry at War (M.A.V.M.). After the Second World War, Vesco became commander of the COMSUBIN in 1950 and again from 1951 until 1954. Read more on Amedeo Vesco also here and in our book “The References” 1930’s-1940’s on page 371-379.

We hope this rare watch will find a good new home and that it remain surfaced in the Vintage Panerai collectors world. [Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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

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Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” @ Artcurial

by on Dec.22, 2018, under Watch Point

Rahmen_Bild_hoch_2018_Artcurial_3646_TypeD_4Artcurial will feature a Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” with anonymous sandwich dial in their upcoming Auction on 23 January, 2019 (Lot 79) in Monaco. This Ref. 3646 / Type D watch marked the first new recorded specimen in our database in 2018 inside the Ref. 3646 / Type D number group.

Both, the 47 mm cushion shaped case and the plexi are unpolished. Typical for a Ref. 3646 with sandwich dial, the watch has the high version of the bezel. The blued steel hands appear untouched, with the original luminous material and show only a very small broken out area in the inner area of the hour hand and in the surface of the luminous material of the minute hand.

Rahmen_Bild_2018_Artcurial_3646_TypeD_2Features of the watch:
Reference: 3646 / Type D
Dial: “Kampfschwimmer”  (sandwich, anonymous)
Case number: 2604XX
Movement: Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1

The inner caseback bears the typical Rolex SA hallmark, reference and case number known for 3646 / Type D watches. Inside the watch is working a Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement with typical decorations and engravings on the bridges. The watch does not have the original seals between bezel, case and caseback anymore but the watch comes with its original onion shaped “Brevet +” winding crown.

Noteworthy:
The outer caseback of the watch has no personal engravings of the first owner. The family of the first owner has consigned the watch at Artcurial with an original portrait photo, dated November 1944, taken in Venice/Italy, showing him in his navy uniform during the time he was exercised to become a “Kampfschwimmer”.

We hope this Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” watch will find a good new home and that it remain surfaced in the Vintage Panerai collectors world. [Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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

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Two Vintage Panerai watches to be auctioned at Artcurial

by on Dec.21, 2018, under Allgemein

Artcurial will start into the auction year 2019 with two Vintage Panerai watches: A Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” from the Second World War (Lot 79) and a very rare Ref. 6152 / Type A from the 1950’s (Lot 116).

Rahmen_Bild_hoch_2018_Artcurial_6152_TypeA_3Less than one year after its first appearance at Dr. Crott Auctioneers in Germany (97th Auction May, 2018, Lot 114) the Ref. 3646 / Type D with anonymous “Kampfschwimmer” dial will be up for sale again at Artcurial in Monaco on 23 January, 2019. We featured this watch in our Watch Point here.

Furthermore, Artcurial will have another Vintage Panerai in the same auction: A very rare Ref. 6152 / Type A with “Radiomir Panerai” dial (photo). This watch has been featured in our book “The References” 1950’s-1960’s on page 756-759 in chapter VI.I and surfaced for the second time after 2008, where it was auctioned at Antiquorum in Hong Kong (Lot 406).

More information on both watches is published at our Watch Point.

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

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18 December 1941 – today in history…

by on Dec.18, 2018, under Allgemein

After the failed missions in August and September 1940, the Decima MAS returned to the eastern Mediterranean in order to make another attemp to attack the Harbour of Alexandria with SLC devices of the Mezzi d’Assalto: “Operazione G.A.3”, carried out by Tenente di Vascello Luigi Durand de la Penne and Capo Palombaro I Emilio Bianchi (SLC 221), Capitano Genio Navale Antonio Marceglia and Sottocapo Palombaro Spartaco Schergat (SLC 222), Capitano Armi Navale Vincenzo Martellotta and Sottocapo Palombaro Mario Marino (SLC 223).

Alexandria_GA3_12-1941_600x600What turned out to be one of the most famous SLC missions in the Second World War has been announced in the Italian War Bulletin N. 585 of the 8th of January 1942: “On the night of the 18th December assault craft of the Italian Royal Navy entered the Harbour of Alexandria and attacked two British battleships anchored there. It has only just been confirmed that a battleship of the Valiant class was seriously damaged and put into dock for repairs, and is still there.”

Bulletin N. 586 of the 9th of January 1942, added the following: “In the Operation conducted by assault craft fo the Royal Italian Navy in the Harbour of Alexandria and reported in yesterday’s Bulletin we now have definite further intelligence that, in Addition to the Valiant, a second battleship of the Barham class was also damaged.”

img_0628_600x600Winston Churchill announced in a speech before a secret session of the House of Commons on the 23rd of April 1942: “A further sinister stroke was to come. On the early morning of December 19 half a dozen Italians in unusual diving suits were captured floundering about in the Harbour of Alexandria… Four hours later explosions occurred in the bottoms of the Valiant and the Queen Elizabeth, produced by limpet bombs fixed with extra-ordinary courage and ingenuity, the effect which was to blow large holes in the bottoms of both ships and to flood several compartments, thus putting them both out of Actions for many months…”

Read chapter II.I of our book “The References” 1930’s-1940’s to find out what happened on 18 December 1941 (page 118-125). More on the historic content in our “The References” book set with a total of 1392 pages can be found here and here. You can purchase “The References” 1930’s-1940’s  in our bookstore. Enjoy reading!

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Christie’s New York to auction a Ref. 3646 / Type C

by on Nov.18, 2018, under Allgemein

Rahmen_Bild_2018_Christies_TypeC_1Christie’s will auction a Ref. 3646 / Type C with “Radiomir Panerai” sandwich dial and Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement with onion shaped “Brevet +” crown (Type 11) in their Sale 16202 – An Evening of Exceptional Watches, December 6, in New York (Lot 22). Read more about this new addition in our database at our watch point. Christie’s online catalogue of Sale 16202 can be found here.

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

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