Author Archive

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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18 November 1944 – today in history…

by on Nov.18, 2018, under Allgemein

img_0626_600x600Read chapter VII of our book “History2” to find out what happened on 18 November 1944. Rare documents helped us to capture the history behind a Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” watch, which can be found in this chapter.

Beside photos from the years 1944 and 1945 showing the watch on the frogman’s wrist, as well as his identification papers and travel documents issued in Venice (see photo), helped us to reconstruct the route Hanns-Martin Kaufhold took to the mission grounds in the last months of the Second World War.

Read more about chapter VII of “History2” (70 pages, 58 photos, 6 technical illustrations) here. and here. You can purchase your copy of “History2” in our bookstore.

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Ref. 3646 / Type C @ Christie’s New York

by on Nov.13, 2018, under Watch Point

Rahmen_Bild_hoch_2018_Christies_TypeCChristie’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). The watch is recorded in our database since October – the second Ref. 3646 / Type C for the year 2018.

According to Christie’s, this Ref. 3646 / Type C has been in the same family since the Second World War.

The inner caseback bears the typical engraving of Ref. 3646 / Type C watches – the Rolex SA hallmark, the reference number and the seven digit case number. The outer caseback of this watch is not engraved / plain. An overview of the caseback markings (different hallmarks inside) in Ref. 3646 watches can be found here: Type A-C and Type D-G.

Watches of the Ref. 3646 / Type C are featured in our book “The References” (first volume / 1930’s-1940’s) in chapter II.III (page 248-397). Earlier this year, Fellows auctioned a similar watch of the same number group with deep red numbers and markers, which marked the first new entry in our database in 2018. Read more here.

Christie’s online catalogue of Sale 16202 can be found here.

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

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

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A lot to read during the holiday season…

by on Nov.10, 2018, under Allgemein

rahmen_bild_2016_x-mas_8474_1000x700Read about watches and instruments from Guido Panerai & Figlio. Vintage Panerai watches from the 1930’s to the 1960’s are described and photographed in intricate detail for the reader, telling the stories of their first users during their dangerous underwater missions.

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

As a reference finder, as an addition to your library at home or as a special christmas gift for your friends: our Vintage Panerai books will be a great read for any Panerai collector. Each book comes with an embossed hardback jacket (leather and canvas) in a slipcase, sized 10.2 x 10.2″, trilingual (= German, Italian and English language).

Our 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. Read how to place your order here.

Take your seat and enjoy reading!
[Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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30 October 1940 – today in history…

by on Oct.30, 2018, under Allgemein

1940. The first mission against the Port of Gibraltar (B.G.1) was aborted when it became clear that the British fleet had already left for Operation “Menace”. The transport submersible Scirè under the command of Junio Valerio Borghese was still 50 nautical miles off Gibraltar. Disappointed, the SLC teams returned to their secret base at Bocca di Serchio, where they intensively discussed the feasibility of this type of attack. This happened at the same time when „Operazione G.A.2“ was about to end with the sinking of the transport submersible Gondar.

R_SMG_Scire_Crest_600x600Initial, decisive proof of the feasibility and the successful, secret penetration of enemy ports was achieved by Comandante Borghese and his men in mission B.G.2. Again, three SLCs were dispatched: Teseo Tesei with Alcide Pedretti, Luigi Durand de la Penne with Emilio Bianchi and Gino Birindelli with Damos Paccagnini.

The Scirè came into position at around 1.30 a.m. on 30 October 1940 in order to allow the SLC teams to disembark from the conning tower of the submersible. The Scirè only remained at the surface for a short time so that the three SLC teams could reach the cylindrical pods on the deck of the submersible. The Scirè then retreated back beneath the surface. Under water, the three teams manoeuvred their SLCs out from the pods and started their attack on the Port of Gibraltar. The three teams experienced problems almost as soon as the attack began. While Tesei and his co-pilot Pedretti had problems with their breathing apparatus, Durand de la Penne and his co-pilot Bianchi experienced problems with their electric engine. Both teams decided to abort the attack and sink their SLCs. However, only De la Penne managed to do this. Tesei’s SLC was washed up on the Spanish coast near La Linea and caused quite a stir among both the Spanish authorities and the British secret service. Both teams swam to the Spanish coast and were able to return safely to Italy with the help of the Italian secret service.

BG2_Gibraltar_600x600The fate of the entire operation now lay in the hands of Gino Birindelli and his co-pilot Damos Paccagnini. Unaware of the fact that their comrades-in-arms had already had to terminate their mission, they launched their attack on the Port of Gibraltar. Although mission B.G.2 was in principle a failure because not one enemy ship was sunk, Birindelli and his co-pilot Paccagnini were able to prove for the first time that a “maiale” was able to enter an enemy port unnoticed.

„Operazione B.G.2“ marked the start of a three year war that took place noiselessly and under water in the Bay of Gibraltar. For Gino Birindelli, however, the mission marked the start of a journey through Allied POW camps that would last many months. Read more on mission B.G.2 and the story of Gino Birindelli in our book “The References” 1950’s-1960’s in chapter VIII.II on page 1014-1043.

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