by on Aug.26, 2017, under Allgemein

IMG_5878_ret_instagram_squaredWatches 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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21 August 1940 – today in history…

by on Aug.21, 2017, under Allgemein

R_Somm_Iride_600x600Gulf of Bomba (Lybia). In August 1940, the time had finally come to put the new SLC weapon to the test. Alexandria in the eastern Mediterranean was the main base of the British Mediterranean fleet. The battleships at anchor there were the first targets for missions of the Mezzi d’Assalto involving the SLCs.

The transport submersible Iride, under the command of Tenente di Vascello Francesco Brunetti, prepared for its tour of duty with the SLCs on 21 August 1940, ready to attack the Port of Alexandria in the night of 25/26 August 1940. Eleven servicemen with four SLCs aboard the torpedo boat Calipso were dispatched to the Gulf of Bomba on the Libyan coast. There, the SLCs were tested at held ready for departure until they were ready to launch mission G.A.1 a few days later with the submersible Iride.

GA1_Iride_Bomba_Bay2_600x600Right at the start of its test run, however, the submersible Iride was spotted by three Fairey Swordfish torpedo bombers, which had launched from the aircraft carrier HMS Eagle. The enemy bombers began their attack straight away (see historic map on the left).

The shallow water in the Gulf of Bomba prevented the Iride from descending quickly. Instead, it attempted to ward off the attack at full speed with its anti-aircraft cannons. At the same time, Brunetti tried in vain to direct the bow of the submersible towards the attackers in order to reduce the area of the Iride exposed to attack. However, the Iride was soon hit by a torpedo and sank. The boats quickly dispatched to the scene managed to rescue some of the shipwrecked crew members from the Iride. A dramatic race against time began.

GA1_Iride_Birindelli_600x600 The SLC teams under Gino Birindelli (right in the photo), Teseo Tesei, Elios Toschi, Luigi Durand de la Penne and Emilio Bianchi dived straight down to the wreck of the Iride in order to save the survivors who were trapped down there. Although the equipment belonging to the SLC pilots on board the Iride was lost, but the three SLCs were recovered for use in later missions. The SLCs pilots returned to the Bocca di Serchio on board the Calipso.

During the rescue of the survivors from the Iride, they had pushed themselves to the very limit of what was humanly possible. Loss of human life and equipment was the sobering result of the first mission „Operazione G.A.1“ with the new weapon of the Mezzi d’Assalto.

Read more on Gino Birindelli, one of the surviving SLC teams, in chapter VIII.II on page 1014-1043 or click also here. More information on the historic content in our “The References” book set can be found here. Read about the featured watches from Guido Panerai & Figlio in the first and second volume here.

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by on Aug.13, 2017, under Allgemein

3646_Type_C_Radiomir_600x600More than two hundred watches of the Reference 3646 are registered in our database today. Among all different Vintage Panerai models, the 3646 marks the reference with the most known specimen in our records. In 2009, eight years ago, 143 recorded watches were featured in the first (sold out) edition of our book “The References”. Within the entire serial number sequence of the reference 3646, we differentiate between seven different variations (3646 / Type A – Type G). The photo on the left shows a Ref. 3646 / Type C with “Radiomir Panerai” dial, which is featured in chapter II.III (page 306-321).

In our book “The References” 1930’s-1940’s the watches of the entire reference 3646 are featured in chapter II with more than six hundred pages in the chapters II.I-II.VII following an intro on page 40-49. The seven different variations can be found in our reference quickfinder on page 14-20.

Chapter II.I = Reference 3646 / Type A
(featuring two different watches on page 50-169).

Chapter II.II = Reference 3646 / Type B
(featuring four different watches on page 170-247).

Chapter II.III = Reference 3646 / Type C
(featuring seven different watches on page 248-397).

Chapter II.IV = Reference 3646 / Type D
(featuring nine different watches on page 398-531).

Chapter II.V = Reference 3646 / Type E
(featuring four different watches on page 532-573).

Chapter II.VI = Reference 3646 / Type F
(featuring two different watches on page 574-607).

Chapter II.VII = Reference 3646 / Type G
(featuring two different watches on page 608-645).

See the different inner casebacks of Ref. 3646 / Type A – Type C watches here, as well as the inner casebacks of Ref. 3646 / Type D – Type G watches here. Enjoy reading!

Our “The Reference” books are available in our bookstore.

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Restart after the end of the Second World War

by on Aug.05, 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.

IMG_3176_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.I). 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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25 July 1941 – today in history…

by on Jul.25, 2017, under Allgemein

Giobbe_Malta_600x600Augusta (Sicily) 11 pm. The night of 25 July 1941 marks the beginning of the “Operazione Malta 1”, known by its disastrous result for the Mezzi d’Assalto, only three months after the first successful attack with MT explosive boats against British ships in Souda Bay (Crete) on 26 March 1941. One day later, in the early morning of 26 July 1941, the Decima MAS lost the head of the flotilla (Capitano di Fregata Vittorio Moccagatta), the head of explosive boats (Capitano di Corvetta Giorgio Giobbe), the doctor of the flotilla (Tenente Medico Bruno Falcomatà), SLC pilots (including their inventor, Teseo Tesei) and MT explosive boats pilots during the attack of the harbour of La Valetta (Malta).

Giobbe_Panerai_600x600On a side note of the history, the commander of the explosive boats / “Mezzi di Superficie”, Giorgio Giobbe (1906-1941), is well known for wearing his Panerai watch on his right wrist in a photo taken prior the mission against Malta (see page 111-115 in chapter II.I). More about missions and watches of the Decima MAS can be found here.

Read more about “The birth of a legend – the first Panerai watches (1935-1939)” in chapter I, followed by the timeline of the missions during the Second World War in chapter II.I – more information on the historic content in our “The References” book set can be found here. Read about the featured watches from Guido Panerai & Figlio in the first and second volume here.

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In stock: our coffee table books

by on Jul.16, 2017, under Allgemein

Rahmen_Bild_2017_1000x700_ctb_Ref2Our 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.

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

Each book comes with hardback jacket (leather and canvas, black and blind embossed) in a slipcase (canvas, black embossed). Page size 10.2 x 10.2″ / 26 x 26 cm, trilingual (German, Italian and English language). Read how to place your order here.

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

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Found: another Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer”

by on Jun.29, 2017, under Allgemein

Rahmen_Bild_2017_1000x700_3646_D_KS1Introducing another piece of the puzzle – and one more surfaced in Germany: a Ref. 3646 / Type D with anonymous sandwich dial and rare “Kampfschwimmer” engraving with initials of the first owner and year of service (1945) on its outer caseback. The watch is accompanied with matching paperwork of the first owner, dating back to 1944, as well as a small compass.

The watch has been added into our database in early May 2017 and appears with high bezel (a typical feature of the watches with sandwich dials), onion shaped “Brevet +” crown (Type 11) and Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement. The watch has never been polished and still has its original “volcano dome” plexi as well as the original leather strap and large, nickel-plated brass pin buckle. The blued steel hands still hold their complete luminous material. The inner caseback is signed with the Rolex SA hallmark, reference and case number.

Rahmen_Bild_hoch_2017_700x1000_3646_D_KS2Watches of the Reference 3646 / Type D are featured in our book “The References” 1930’s-1940’s in chapter II.IV (page 398-531). Small compasses are featured in chapter IV (where a similar version is shown on page 672-675). Chapter V holds information on straps and buckles (page 679-685 featuring the “bottle opener” shaped pin buckles).

Thanks to the owner who provided information for our database.
[Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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Summer Read – “back to the fifties and sixties”

by on Jun.13, 2017, under Allgemein

IMG_3811_600x600How about taking a seat in your frontyard, backyard or in a quiet corner of your garden? If your coffee table has a free corner for one of our four books, it could be a cozy time for a summer read:

“History1” – four chapters, 420 pages
“History2” – five chapters, 480 pages
“The References” 1930’s-1940’s – five chapters, 696 pages
“The References” 1950’s-1960’s – seven chapters, 696 pages

The coffee table shot shows the book “The References” 1950’s-1960’s, with the famous “8 GIORNI BREVETTATO” symbol embossed into the green canvas hardcover, on the right. The 696 pages feature watches from Guido Panerai & Figlio made in the 1950’s and 1960’s: Reference 6152, 6154, 6152/1, GPF 2/56 and modified References. Furthermore this book holds a chapter about compasses and depth gauges, as well as straps and buckles of this era.

All books are in stock and can be shipped soon – just visit our bookstore. Use the browse by tags function to read information about the content in each of the four books. Read how to place your order here.

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

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2007 – ten years ago…

by on Jun.10, 2017, under Allgemein

…we started our first book project in summer 2007 – “Vintage Panerai – Watches with History”. Research on watches and the hunt for historic documents, photos and information begun. For the documentation of Mario Arillo’s Ref. 6152/1 “Luminor Panerai” we got several copies of historic photos from its second owner, of which one b&w copy of a photo (far left in the photo below) caught our special attention.

Rahmen_Bild_2017_2007-2017-2The caption under the photo told “Festa di Marina, 10 giugno 1943. Il comandante Mario Arillo, qui con i gradi del capitano di corvetta, riceve dal Re d’Italia, Vittorio Emanuele III, la Medaglia d’Oro al Valore Militare. Decorazione concessa dopo il forzamento del Porto di Algeri della notte del 12 dicembre 1942 da parte di mezzi d’assalto, che erano stati trasportati in prossimà dell’obiettivo dal sommergibile Ambra.”

With the support of Fabio Castellani, the second owner of the watch, we were able to send a letter directly to the family of Mario Arillo (1912-2000), asking for the original photo to make a scan of it for using it in the book and to return it back immedately. A few weeks later, a letter from the family arrived in the author’s mailbox …including the original photo from 1943! After the scan was done with great care, the photo returned to the family, as promised. But to the surprise of the authors, the photo hit their mailbox once again only a few days after it was sent back to La Spezia. This time with a dedication on the backside, handwritten by the commander’s daughter, and with the wish to keep it with us. Memories from ten years ago – this happened in June 2007.

A few months later, in October 2007, our first book was published, the photo found a prominent place on page 130. This sold out book with 228 pages “Vintage Panerai – Watches with History” was replaced five years later, in 2012, by the book “History1” in which we published extended information on 420 pages. With the support of Arillo’s family we were able to document his story in chapter IV on a total of 165 pages and with more than 100 historical photos and illustrations, some of them never published before. The photo found its place on page 344 once again. In 2016, Arillo’s Ref. 6152/1 has been featured in chapter VIII.II of our book “The References” (page 942-955). A short intro about its first owner is opening with the very photo on page 950. It was taken on 10 June 1943, exactly 74 years ago today…

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Missions and Watches of the Decima MAS

by on Jun.01, 2017, under Allgemein

SLC_RC_300x300Watches from Guido Panerai & Figlio are deeply connected to the history of the Royal Italian Navy during the Second World War. In our book “The References” we have included an overview of the missions of the “Decima” aside the legendary watches, which were an important part of the units of the underwater (“Mezzi Subacquei” / “Gamma” frogmen and SLC) and surface (“Mezzi di Superficie” / explosive boats) special forces of the Decima MAS (“Mezzi d’Assalto”).

After the disaster 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 (the photo below shows a historical chart of the new structured Mezzi d’Assalto as of October 1941).

DecimaMAS_1941_300x300Chapter I and II of the first volume (1930’s-1940’s) carry the history of a new weapon – the SLC slow running torpedo, called “maiale” – and the men who trusted on the watches from Guido Panerai & Figlio during their dangerous missions in deep and darkness of the mediterranean sea. Because of the significance of the fascinating history behind these watches, we have dedicated our new book “The References” to the inventors of the SLC, Teseo Tesei and Elios Toschi.

Chapter II of “The References” features some of the rarest Panerai watches owned by famous and high decorated Italian veterans. The first watch of the Reference 3646 / Type A, featured in chapter II.I, belonged to Admiral Ernesto Notari. He was awarded with the Silver Medal for Gallantry at War (M.A.V.M.) for the mission B.G.6 in May 1943.

The documentation of the watch (see above page 70-71) and the history of Ernesto Notari, including a summary of the “Mezzi d’Assalto” missions until 8 September 1943 can be read from page 58 to 153 in chapter II.I.

Chapter II.II, about the watches of the Reference 3646 / Type B, features the watch of the legendary “Gamma” frogman Luigio Ferraro. He was awarded with the Gold Medal for Gallantry at War (M.O.V.M.) for his “Stella” missions in the eastern part of the mediterranean sea in 1943.

The documentation of the watch (see above page 190-191) and the history of Luigi Ferraro can be read from page 190 to 225 in chapter II.II.

A watch of the Reference 3646 / Type C which belonged to the SLC pilot Licio Visintini is featured in chapter II.III. Visintini took part in several missions against the allied fleet in Gibraltar. After surviving from mission B.G.3 and B.G.4 in 1941, Visintini returned undercover to Gibraltar in June 1942 where he built the core of the “Orsa Maggiore” on board the tanker Olterra – the hidden base for the SLC units of the “Decima” in the bay of Gibraltar. Mission B.G.5 turned into a “mission with no return” for Licio Visintini in December 1942…

The documentation of the watch (see above page 352-353) and the history of Licio Visintini can be read from page 350 to 397 in chapter II.III.

Information on “The References” 1930’s-1940’s (first volume) can be found here.

Enjoy reading!
[Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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