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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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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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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30 September 1940 – today in history…

by on Sep.30, 2018, under Allgemein

R_SMG_Gondar_Crest_600x600The afternoon of 30 September 1940 marks the end of the mission „Operazione G.A.2“. Just five weeks after the sinking of the Iride, the Gondar (photo: historic crest of the submarine, showing SLC containers on its deck) was the second transport submarine of the Mezzi d’Assalto to be sunk.

The submarine Gondar (built in 1937) under the command of Tenente di Vascello Francesco Brunetti was dispatched from La Spezia with Alexandria as her target. On board the Gondar was the officer-in-charge of mission G.A.2, Mario Giorgini, three SLC teams and a reserve team.

When the Gondar reached the target area on 29 September 1940, she received a sobering radio message from reconnaissance: The British fleet had left the Port of Alexandria – so mission G.A.2 was aborted. The Gondar headed now for Tobruk and was already on its return journey when it was discovered by the Australian destroyer, HMAS Stuart. A second destroyer, HMS Diamond and a corvette now tracked the Gondar throughout the night alongside HMAS Stuart.

R_SMG_Gondar_SeaD_600x600After hours of attempting to evade capture, the Gondar gave up in the early hours of 30 September 1940. Commander Brunetti gave the order to dive down and abandon the Gondar, which effectively saved his team and the SLC pilots from going down after being sunk by the mighty enemy. A British Sunderland flying boat bombarded the Gondar while the crew was already in the water – effectively sealing the fate of the second transport submersible for SLCs (see historic photos on the left). For one of the two inventors of the new weapon, Elios Toschi, this second journey was also to be his last. He was taken prisoner by the British alongside the crew of the Gondar and his comrades – “missione fallita”.

The launch of the new weapon appeared to be ill-fated: Two operations (G.A.1 and G.A.2) failed, two valuable transport submersibles had been sunk and four SLC teams and their officers-in-charge had been taken as prisoners of war. It was to take over a year until another attempt could be made to penetrate the Port of Alexandria in December 1941…

Read more about “The birth of a legend – the first Panerai watches (1935-1939)” in chapter I on page 34-39, followed by the timeline of the missions during the Second World War in chapter II.I on page 106-109. Mario Giorgini, officer-in-charge of the mission G.A.2 is also featured in the second volume of “The References” on page 1016-1022. The Gondar is also featured in our book “History1” in chapter IV on page 288-357.

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Piers Motley to auction a Ref. 3646 / Type E

by on Aug.22, 2018, under Allgemein

Rahmen_Bild_2018_1000x700_PMA01Another souvenir from the Second World War in shape of a Ref. 3646 / Type E “Kampfschwimmer” with painted brass dial recently surfaced in the United Kingdom.

Piers Motley Auctions will feature this watch in their September auction. Read more about this interesting new addition to our database in our watch point.

[Photo with kindly permission / courtesy of www.piersmotleyauctions.co.uk]

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Eppli to auction an engraved Ref. 3646 / Type D

by on Aug.07, 2018, under Allgemein

Rahmen_Bild_2018_Eppli_TypeD_6Auction House Eppli (Stuttgart/Germany) features a Ref. 3646 / Type D with anonymous, painted brass dial and engraved caseback in their auction on September 1st, 2018 (Lot 560). Eppli is known for auctioning another Ref. 3646 / Type D with brass dial two years ago in April 2016.

This Ref. 3646 / Type D has been consigned for auction at Eppli by the family of the first owner Horst Muntau, who was a “Kampfschwimmer” in the Kriegsmarine / German Navy at the end of the Second World War.

Rahmen_Bild_2018_Eppli_TypeD_5Several documents of this era, as well as historic photos of Horst Muntau are part of the lot and making it a very rare “full set”. This 3646 / Type D is recorded in our database since April 2018 and appears for auction for the first time.

The watch features a typical Rolex 618 / Type 1 movement and comes with an original leather strap sewn onto the soldered lugs of the cushion shaped case including its original nickel plated brass pin buckle (“ergonomically” customised – bent down, like we know it from many other buckles of this type).

Rahmen_Bild_2018_Eppli_TypeD_7The engraved initials on the caseback “HM” (surrounded by the year of his service as “Kampfschwimmer” in 1945) are matching the name of the “Kampfschwimmer”. We have published more on this watch earlier in our Watch Point.

Recently we have published an update on today’s existing pieces of this number group in our database. With the beginning of August 2018, Horst Muntau’s “Kapmfschwimmer” watch is one of nineteen watches with painted brass dial within the 95 watches of the Ref. 3646 / Type D registered in our database.

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

[Historic photo of Horst Muntau courtesy of Auktionshaus Eppli e.K.]

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