Watch Point

A war souvenir from the river Elbe in shape of a 3646

by on Nov.14, 2017, under Watch Point

Rahmen_Bild_2017_3646_B_Sothebys04Sotheby’s will auction a Ref. 3646 / Type B “Radiomir Panerai” with engraved caseback in their New York auction Important Watches on 6 December 2017. The watch (lot 946) has been recorded in our database in 2016, along with information which we have received from the descendants of a British Army veteran who brought this watch back home as a souvenir from the Second World War.

Featuring the small Oyster Watch Co hallmark on its inner caseback, an onion shaped “Brevet +” crown (Type 11) and Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement, the watch with a “Radiomir Panerai” sandwich dial stands in our database as another surfaced Ref. 3646 / Type B with an engraved caseback, providing a very interesting story in terms of how these watches changed ownership at the end of the war.

Rahmen_Bild_2017_3646_B_Sothebys03The history behind the engraving on the caseback of the watch in auction at Sotheby’s has been provided to us by the family of Captain Coltart.

Here is a little information on the watch since it came into the Coltart’s possession in 1945: Captain John Maxted Coltart, initially a member of the Black Watch Regiment (RHR) was transferred to the Gordon Highlanders of the 15th Scottish Regiment for the balance of the war.  After his marriage on March 17, 1945 he returned to duty in Germany to do his part in the crossing of the Elbe. He had tales of the struggle to build and maintain the bridge across the Elbe between Tespe on the South shore and the bridgehead at Tesperhude on the North bank. The bridge was under continuing assault by artillery fire, swimmers in the water and terrifyingly fast jet planes which had just entered the war. Captain Coltart brought a number of war souvenirs back to Scotland, including a Luger pistol, the Panerai divers watch and a dagger. He brought them to Canada when he and his family immigrated in 1955. His daughter inherited the watch upon his death in 1984. She had no idea the watch had value other than a keepsake until a Scottish cousin with a good memory emailed a clipping describing the sale of a similar Panerai watch. Captain Coltart had the back of the watch engraved to commemorate the last battle he took part in and the location where he obtained the watch. At this point it is unclear exactly how he managed to collect these mementos but it is clear that they were obtained while on active duty in Germany during the Second World War and have been in the family ever since.

On “Operation Enterprise” (source: wikipedia):
The particular distinction for the 15th Scottish was to be selected to lead the last set piece river crossing of the war, the assault across the River Elbe (“Operation Enterprise”) on 29 April 1945 spearheaded by the 1st Commando Brigade (commanded by Brigadier Derek Mills-Roberts), after which they fought on to the Baltic occupying both Lübeck and Kiel. The 15th (Scottish) was the only division of the British Army during the Second World War to be involved in three of the six major European river assault crossings; the Seine, the Rhine and the Elbe.

preview_Roesel_824-825
The crossing of the river Elbe at Lauenburg has been part of our research for our book “History2”, chapter IX (page 825-845 with historic maps and photos taken during “Operation Enterprise” in the river Elbe area at Tespe – Artlenburg – Lauenburg) in which a surviving frogmen particularly mentioned the railway bridge of Lauenburg (see photo above, page 824-825) being one of their mission targets in the last days of the Second World War (19 April 1945), followed by the attemp to destroy the 946 ft. “Class 40 Bailey Pontoon Bridge” at Artlenburg (west of Lauenburg, 28/29 April 1945) by a group of German frogmen (see photos on page 842 and 843).

Rahmen_Bild_2017_3646_B_Sothebys01Photo left: view onto the Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement of the watch in auction. Similar watches of the Ref. 3646 / Type B with “Radiomir Panerai” sandwich dials have been published earlier here and here.

A special thanks to the descendants of Captain Coltart who provided us information on the Ref. 3646 / Type B and its story behind. We hope that this watch will find a good new home and remains surfaced in the Vintage Panerai collectors world.
[Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

[Photos of the Ref. 3646 / Type B watch with kindly permission / courtesy of www.sothebys.com]

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Ref. 6152/1 “Marina Militare” @ Phillips Winning Icons

by on Oct.07, 2017, under Watch Point

Rahmen_Bild_hoch_2017_PNY_39Phillips will feature a rare Ref. 6152/1 with “Marina Militare” dial in their Winning Icons – Legendary Watches of the 20th Century, which will be held on Thursday, 26 October 2017. The watch was recorded in our database in 2007 with a “non-matching” Ref. 6152 caseback. Taking the documented history for granted, this watch came directly from a veteran of the COMSUBIN and sold to the collector (the current owner / consignor) in the same year.

In 2013, the current owner of this Ref. 6152/1 added a very rare Ref. 6152 / Type B into his collection, which was recorded in our database with a “non-matching” Ref. 6152/1 caseback (read more here). Due to these circumstances, the owner of both watches (the Ref. 6152 with “non-matching” 6152/1 caseback and the Ref. 6152/1 with “non-matching” 6152 caseback) was able to swop the casebacks to get “matching” casebacks on both of his watches. The result was, that his 6152 / Type B has a “matching” 6152 caseback and the current lot 39 comes with “matching” Ref. 6152/1 caseback (engraved with S.M.Z M.M. 170). Lot 39 is published in our book “The References” 1950’s-1960’s on page 894-901.

Furthermore we take into account that over the years we have recorded several Ref. 6152/1 watches with “non-matching” casebacks of the Ref. 6152. The first surfaced Ref. 6152 / Type B watch was recorded in 2010 with a “non-matching” caseback of a Ref. 6152/1, too. The owner of this watch was able to swop the caseback with a “matching” Ref. 6152 caseback as well. More about this can be read on page 767 in chapter VI.II of our book “The References” 1950’s-1960’s.

At the release date of our book “The References” 1950’s-1960’s, 87 specimen of the Ref. 6152/1 with Rolex movement were recorded in our database, and only 23 of them come with an 8 mm crown like the present watch on auction (the other 64 Ref. 6152/1 watches with Rolex movements have a Panerai crown-protecting devicve). Lot 39 is one of only eight watches of the Ref. 6152/1 with Rolex crown, which comes with a “Marina Militare” dial, known until today.

Further info on this watch (lot 39) can be found here.

We hope that this rare 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.phillips.com]

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Ref. 3646 / Type E “California Dial” @ Phillips Winning Icons

by on Oct.05, 2017, under Watch Point

Rahmen_Bild_hoch_2017_PNY_16Phillips will feature a rare Ref. 3646 / Type E with “California Dial” dial in their Winning Icons – Legendary Watches of the 20th Century, which will be held on Thursday, 26 October 2017. The watch comes with an onion shaped Rolex crown (Type 11) and Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 mod. movement. The watch is recorded in our database since 2003. It is one of only two watches in the 3646 / Type E number group with the lettering “ROLEX” (presumably added later) engraved on the right-hand side of the central bridge (wheel train bridge).

At the release date of our book “The References” 1930’s-1940’s, 26 specimen of the 3646 / Type E number group were recorded in our database (read page 532-573 in chapter II.V). Only one further 3646 / Type E watch with “California Dial” surfaced since then, and it was auctioned in 2016 at Phillips, too. Lot 16 is published in our book “The References” 1930’s-1940’s on page 552-559.

Further info on this watch (lot 16) can be found here.

We hope that this rare 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.phillips.com]

 

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“The Rösel Radiomir” @ Phillips GWA6

by on Sep.25, 2017, under Watch Point

Rahmen_Bild_hoch_2017_GWA6_210Phillips will feature a rare Ref. 3646 / Type C with anonymous “Kampfschwimmer” dial in their Geneva Watch Auction: SIX, which will be held on Sunday, 12 November 2017. The watch comes with a tubular shaped Rolex Oyster crown (Type 13) and Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement.

Further info on this watch (lot 210) can be found here.

What makes this watch special for us:
The collectible items of the former combat swimmer Helmut Rösel, which was submitted for auction at Dr. Crott in November 2012 for the first time, contains not only his “Kampfschwimmer” watch but also several documents from his time as a combat swimmer, some of which are extremely rare in this day and age. Additional letters written personally by the first owner and a 1994 jewellery certificate for his 3646 are precious pieces of evidence which makes this a “full set” of which not many exist.

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The Ref. 3646 / Type C “Kampfschwimmer” and the history behind is featured in our book “History2” in chapter IX with 98 pages, 63 photos and 4 technical illustrations. Furthermore it is published in our book “The References” 1930’s-1940’s in chapter II.III on page 322-349. Read more about “The Rösel Radiomir” here.

We hope that this rare 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.phillips.com]

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“The Admiral’s Watch” @ Phillips GWA6

by on Sep.25, 2017, under Watch Point

Rahmen_Bild_hoch_2017_GWA6_209Phillips will feature a very rare Ref. 6152/1 “Luminor Panerai” in their Geneva Watch Auction: SIX, which will be held on Sunday, 12 November 2017.

It is one of very few existing Ref. 6152/1 watches with a rotating plexi bezel. Until today we have just four 6152/1 watches in our records that still feature such an additional rotating bezel – and one of them is the watch up for auction. The Rolex movement of the watch with “Luminor Panerai” dial is a typical Cal. 618 / Type 4 version with incabloc shock protection and 17 jewels. The watch came from the descendants of Admiral Gino Birindelli (1911 – 2008) and was auctioned for the first time only a few years ago at Sotheby’s in May 2014.

Further info on this watch (lot 209) can be found here.

heritage_696_birindelliWhat makes this watch special for us:
During the 2nd world war, Birindelli was a SLC pilot in the very early missions of the Mezzi d’Assalto against Alexandria (G.A.1) and Gibraltar (B.G.1 and B.G.2) in 1940. He was in fact the first SLC pilot who entered an enemy harbor with his device in the night of 30 October 1940, for which he was awarded with the gold medal for galantry at war (M.O.V.M.). Birindelli survived being a prisoner of war from October 1940 to March 1944. After the 2nd world war his career in the Italian Navy continued and became quite unique. Birindelli was commander of the Incursori (COMSUBIN) from 26 September 1948 to 30 April 1950, once again from 1 May 1954 to 5 June 1956. He was promoted to Rear Admiral in 1959, headed the I Divisione Navale as well as the fleet command (Comandante in Capo della Squadra Navale). Gino Birindelli headed the Allied naval forces in southern Europe before he retired in December 1973 in the rank of Ammiraglio di Squadra. Read more on Admiral Gino Birindelli here.

heritage_1392_birindelli_1012-1013

The watch of Admiral Gino Birindelli and the unique story behind his career can be read in our book “The References” 1950’s-1960’s (chapter VIII.II, page 1006 to 1043).

We hope that this remarkable 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.phillips.com]

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Engraved Ref. 3646 / Type D @ Dr. Crott

by on Jan.22, 2017, under Watch Point

Watch_Point_2017_01_3646_KG_DrCrott1Dr. Crott Auctioneers will have a Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” with painted brass dial and rare engraved caseback (bearing the initials of the first owner “KG”) in their upcoming 95th Auction on May, 6th 2017 (Lot 424).

The watch has been recorded into our database since 2004 when it was on display in a museum. After seeing it again for the second time in 2006, it surfaced now, eleven years later, for sale on auction to find a new home.

Watch_Point_2017_01_3646_KG_DrCrott2Noteworthy about this watch is the original leather strap (double keeper) and the coated brass buckle as well as the unpolished condition of the case with flat bezel and typical internal details (decorative polish on the inside of the caseback, Rolex SA hallmark with reference and individual case number, Rolex 618 / Type 1 movement) matching our database criteria for being a Ref. 3646 / Type D.

A tubular crown (signed “Oyster Patent” / Type 13) is screwed down on the neck of the 47 mm cushion shaped case. At this stage of our research, we are not able to link the engraved initials “KG” definitely to one of the frogmen veterans in our records.

Watch_Point_2017_01_3646_KG_DrCrott3Features of the watch:
Reference: 3646 / Type D
Dial: “Kampfschwimmer”  (painted brass, anonymous)
Case number: 260XXX
Movement: Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1

Watches of the Reference 3646 / Type D are featured in our book “The References” 1930’s-1940’s in chapter II.IV (page 398-531) including a historic photo of a “Kampfschwimmer” wearing a 3646 with brass dial on page 475. Brass dialed Ref. 3646 / Type D are featured on page 468-493). In this part of the book, an overview of different decorative polish on the inside of the caseback (Type A – Type G) can be found on page 486. A Ref. 3646 / Type D with painted brass dial is featured in our book “History1” in chapter III together with information about the first owner, a German “Kampfschwimmer”.

We hope the 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.uhren-muser.com]

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Ref. 3646 / Type C @ Bonhams

by on Dec.03, 2016, under Watch Point

rahmen_bild_2016_1000x700_bonhams_c_rpBonhams London will auction a Ref. 3646 / Type C with “Radiomir Panerai” dial in their upcoming Fine Watches and Wristwatches sale on December, 14th (Lot 88). The high bezel, as well as the Rolex 618 / Type 1 movement in combination with the half polished inner caseback, bearing the Rolex SA hallmark with reference and case number, are typical features of Ref. 3646 / Type C watches.

The watch is recorded in our database since November 2016. 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). A watch with a similar shaped crown neck can be found on page 306-321. A chart on different decorative polish styles on the inside of casebacks on Ref. 3646 / Type A – G watches can be found on page 486 in chapter II.IV.

Additional Bonhams lot details / salesroom notices on Lot 88:
17-jewel manual wind movement, matte black sandwich dial with baton hour markers and Arabic numeral quarters, blued steel pointed baton hands with luminous inserts, polished cushion form case with screw down back, screw down crown, fixed wire lugs, fitted brown leather strap with polished buckle, together with Panerai Certificate of Authenticity, case and movement signed Rolex, dial signed Panerai 47mm. Please note this watch does not have a sandwich dial. The dial is inserted with luminous material.

We hope that this Ref. 3646 / Type C with “Radiomir Panerai” dial will find a good new home and remains surfaced in the Vintage Panerai collectors world. [Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

[Photos with kindly permission / courtesy of www.bonhams.com]

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Two “Radiomir Panerai” Ref. 3646 watches @ Christie’s

by on Oct.09, 2016, under Watch Point

rahmen_bild_hoch_2016_christies_typeb_rpChristie’s features two Ref. 3646 watches in their upcoming auction on 14 November 2016 in Geneva (Sale 1417).

The first Vintage Panerai watch in Christie’s Sale 1417 is a Ref. 3646 / Type B with dark red aged “Radiomir Panerai” sandwich dial and Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement. The watch is recorded in our database since 2010, back then with a cylindrical “Oyster Patent +” crown (Type 13). The onion shaped crown which is acutally fitted to the watch appears to be a replacement for the earlier cylindrical shaped crown during the last years (after March 2011).

rahmen_bild_2016_christies_typeb_backsideThe inner caseback bears the small Oyster Watch Co hallmark, which is a typical feature of Ref. 3646 / Type B watches. The outer caseback shows the remaining engravings of a rare matriculation number of the Italian Decima Flottiglia MAS (short “Xa FLOTMAS No. 038”). Information about Ref. 3646 watches with a “Xa FLOTMAS” engraving on their casebacks can be found on page 301-303 in chapter II.III.

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.

Further info on this watch (lot 99 / page 69) can be found here.

rahmen_bild_hoch_2016_christies_typec_rpThe second Vintage Panerai watch in Christie’s Sale 1417 is a Ref. 3646 / Type C with “Radiomir Panerai” sandwich dial and Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement. The watch is recorded in our database since 2011, back then with “double pencil” shaped brass hands, which have been replaced with blued steel hands in March 2013 on demand of the former owner. The watch was listed for sale at Chrono24 earlier this year.

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).

Further info on this watch (lot 209 / page 145) can be found here.

We hope the watches will find good new homes and remain surfaced in the Vintage Panerai collectors world. [Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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

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Ref. 6154 “Small Egiziano” @ Phillips GWA4

by on Sep.24, 2016, under Watch Point

rahmen_bild_2016_phillips_gwa4_6154Phillips will feature a very rare Ref. 6154 “Small Egiziano” in their Geneva Watch Auction: FOUR. Between the different Vintage Panerai references, the 6154 is one of the rarest and most attractive because of its unique flat case design and only a small number of watches existing today. The auction lot includes a Guido Panerai & Figlio leather strap with “GPF – Mod. Dep.” pin buckle, a depth gauge and a rare underwater torch, known to be used by Egyptian frogmen in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

This particular watch can be traced back to the year 1995 when it was auctioned at Antiquorum in Geneva. Two years later, in 1997, it was published in the book “Militari da polso” on page 60. The watch was also published in our book “The References” (2009 edition) on page 197 and again – in detail – in our new book “The References” 1950’s-1960’s on page 808-817. The watch appears with brown faded “Radiomir Panerai” dial, 8 mm Rolex crown and Rolex 618 / Type 1 movement.

Read the historical background on watches and instruments from Guido Panerai & Figlio used by the Egypt frogmen in chapter VII and IX of “The References” 1950’s-1960’s, including rare photos of an Egyptian frogmen wearing Guido Panerai & Figlio instruments (page 794, 1064 and 1068). 

Further info on this watch (lot 153) 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.phillips.com]

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Ref. 6152/1 “Luminor Panerai” @ Phillips GWA4

by on Sep.24, 2016, under Watch Point

rahmen_bild_2016_phillips_gwa4_6152-1Phillips will feature a Ref. 6152/1 “Luminor Panerai” in their Geneva Watch Auction: FOUR. The watch is recorded in our database since 2010 and appears to be a perfect example for a 6152/1 with Rolex 618 / Type 4 movement in excellent condition.

The “Luminor Panerai” dial is the most used in all Ref. 6152/1 watches recorded in our database, as well as the Rolex 618 / Type 4 movement is working in more than 80 % of all recorded watches of the Reference 6152/1. The crown-protecting device of this watch is signed “BREV. ITAL.” and additionally numbered “10” on the underside.

Chapter VIII.II of our book “The References” 1950’s-1960’s is featuring similar watches like this specimen on auction at Phillips, with Rolex movement and Panerai crown-protecting device, on page 922-1057. An overview about the “BREV. ITAL.” signatures on watches with crown-protecting device can be found on page 975.

Further info on this watch (lot 82) 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.phillips.com]

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