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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New in our database: A Ref. 3646 / Type B “Radiomir Panerai”

by on May.24, 2017, under Allgemein

Rahmen_Bild_2017_3646_B_RP1Another Ref. 3646 / Type B watch with “Radiomir Panerai” sandwich dial has been added into our database. The actual owner of the watch provided us further information on the first owner with the very rare ID of the german frogman Robert E., dating back to the last months of the Second World War.

The watch appears with its original leather strap and nickel-plated brass pin buckle. The inner caseback bears the typical Rolex hallmark, case and reference number, known in watches of the Ref. 3646 / Type B as well as the Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement. The initial Rolex screw-down crown has been replaced with the crown mounted on the watch, shown in the actual photos.

Rahmen_Bild_2017_3646_B_RP2At the age of 17, Robert E. posted to the Kommando der Kleinkampfverbände in February 1945. He took part at a special training course for frogmen and divers, held at a small Danish Island (see page 203 of our book “History1”) documented in his ID by the stamp “Kampfschwimmer- und Tauchlehrgang”.
Another signature in his ID is showing a stamp of the Kampfschwimmergruppe Ost (eastern combat swimmer group), to which he was posted after the training, dating back to April 1945.

A very interesting supplementary note can be found in his ID, hand written below the field post number: Ausgabe einer Dienstarmbanduhr Modell “Radiomir” confirming that a diving watch was issued to him for duty, even more mentioning the particular model being a “Radiomir”.

Rare documentation, such as an ID of a frogman, providing interesting information about which ways these watches took many years ago. Thanks to the owner for providing the additional info aside the details of the watch, being a new entry in our Vintage Panerai database!

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Watches of the Reference 3646 / Type A – Type G

by on May.13, 2017, under Allgemein

3646_Type_E_California_Dial_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 E with “California Dial”, which is featured in chapter II.V (page 544-551).

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. Read about the 3646 watches with disappeared hallmarks here.

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by on May.03, 2017, under Allgemein

trittico_uno_600x600Compass, watch and depth gauge made by Guido Panerai & Figlio: a “Trittico”. Huge and impressive instruments worn on the wrist. Compasses, watches of the Ref. 6152/1 and depth gauges are featured in several versions (with “Radiomir” and “Luminor” luminous material) in the chapters VIII.II, XI.I and XI.II of the second volume of our book “The References”.

Chapter VIII.II is about the watches of the Ref. 6152/1 with crown-protecting device and Rolex movement and holds information about nine different models (page 922 to 1057) with “Marina Militare”, “Radiomir Panerai” and “Luminor Panerai” dials (as shown in the photo). Chapter XI.I is about compasses from Guido Panerai & Figlio. Five different models are featured from page 1320 to 1333. Three with “Radiomir”, two with “Luminor” dials. Chapter XI.II is featuring depth gauges. Ten different models are featured from page 1334 to 1367. Six with “Radiomir” dials, aimed to 7, 30, 35 (2 versions: adjustable and non-adjustable dial), 50 and 60 meters. Four with “Luminor” dials, aimed to 7, 15, 16, 30 and 40 meters. Last but not least, chapter XII gives an overview of the straps and buckles used on watches and instruments from Guido Panerai & Figlio in this era.

Information on “The References” 1950’s-1960’s can be found here.

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Arrivederci, Isidoro Mario Nardin

by on Apr.26, 2017, under Allgemein

Nardin_condolences_fullSad news from Italy reached us today: Isidoro Mario Nardin, WW2 veteran of the “Gruppo Gamma”, passed away earlier this year, 27 February 2017, at the age of 94. We send our belated condolences to his family.

We first met Isidoro Mario Nardin in person back in 2006 when he was proudly showing his watch to us. Eight years later, and with the valueble support of Paolo Ferraro, the son of Luigi Ferraro M.O.V.M., it was possible to contact Isidoro Mario Nardin (the third owner of the Ref. 3646 / Type C which initially belonged to Licio Visintini M.O.V.M.) to be able to present the watch in detail in chapter II.III of our book “The References”.


Beside many photos of the watch with the engraved caseback bearing the three names of its owners (see above page 358-359), a historic photo from 1946 showing Isidoro Mario Nardin in full diving gear, is closing the chapter on watches of the Ref. 3646 / Type C (see below page 396-397).


“Arrivederci!” Sig. Nardin, rest in peace!
[Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann] 

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One more engraved Ref. 3646 / Type B with “Radiomir Panerai” dial surfaced

by on Mar.20, 2017, under Allgemein

Rahmen_Bild_hoch_2017_3646_C_rpd_KS_2You never know how long it takes until a “new”, yet unknown watch surface after many years. This happened quickly twice in the last weeks, with another addition into our database in shape of a Ref. 3646 / Type B with “Radiomir Panerai” sandwich dial and completely engraved “Kampfschwimmer” caseback.

Different to the Ref. 3646 / Type C with riveted plastic dial introduced earlier here (which included a month-lasting research for the family of the frogman), this rare Ref. 3646 / Type B “Radiomir Panerai” watch was introduced to us by the grandson of the frogman. Complete with the original strap and nickel-plated brass buckle, the watch with the small Oyster Watch Co hallmark on its inner caseback appears after 72 years with the original domed plexiglas, onion shaped “Brevet +” crown (Type 11) and Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement.

Rahmen_Bild_hoch_2017_3646_B_HE_2The caseback of the watch bears the initials “HE” of the first owner. The frogman belonged to the “Einsatzgruppe Heyden” which is engraved around the word “Kampfschwimmer” and the year of service, 1945. Lieutenant-Commander Günter Heyden was a founding member of the newly formed German commando frogmen (Kommando Spezialkräfte Marine) in the 1950’s.

The watch is accompanied with historic photos of the veteran as well as a very rare pay book (silmiar to only two others known which are made of the same material, see page 138 in our book “History1”) and which was issued to the members of the “Lehrkommando 700″ in the last months of the Second World War. Not enough rarity, there is a swordfish probation insignia (see page 802-804 in our book “History2”) and a nose clip which was used by the frogmen during the use of a small breathing apparatus (without face mask, see page 671 of our book “The References” 1930’s-1940’s and page 718 of our book “History2”).

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.

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