More 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. Seven 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-G).
In our new 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. The coffee table shot on the left shows one of seven specimen of the Ref. 3646 / Type C, introduced on page 322-349. Read also the extensively documented story of Helmut Rösel, first owner of this watch, in chapter IX of our book “History2”. Each of the seven variations of the reference 3646 are published here:
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).
Aside numerous photos and technical illustrations of these 30 different watches, we have also published several yet unreleased historic photos of frogmen wearing watches of the reference 3646 during the Second World War.
One of these rare photos shows “Kampfschwimmer” Werner Bullin on page 275 in chapter II.III, wearing his 3646 with “Radiomir Panerai” dial. The coffee table shot on the left shows this photo which was taken at Piazza San Marco / Venice in summer 1944. Another rare photo has been introduced earlier here. Read the extensively documented story of Werner Bullin and Heinz Günter Lehmann over the 75 pages of chapter I in our book “History1”.
The new “The References” books can be ordered only in our bookstore. Enjoy reading!
Attractive to the eyes of many Vintage Panerai collectors, brown faded dials are featured in our book “The References” in chapter II.I (3646 / Type A) on page 58-91. Read more on this famous watch here. The detail in the photo on the left shows the brown faded “Radiomir Panerai” dial of a Ref. 6154 in chapter VII (one of five different watches of this reference introduced in this chapter on page 784-867). Read more about this reference here.
Chapter VIII.I features a Ref. 6152/1 (with Rolex movement) with brown aged “Radiomir Panerai” dial on page 902-909, followed by two Ref. 6152/1 watches with Angelus movement in chapter X.III on page 1236-1259 (both with “Luminor Panerai” dials). Read more about the Ref. 6152/1 watches with Angelus movements here. Last but not least, a Guido Panerai & Figlio depth gauge, calibrated to 30 metres, with brown aged “Radiomir Panerai” dial is featured in chapter XI.II on page 1336-1337. Find more about the chapter XI.I and XI.II featuring different instruments here.
Our new “The References” books are in stock and ready for shipping – just visit our bookstore and enjoy reading soon! [Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]
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).
The 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.
The 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]
November will bring remarkable Vintage Panerai watches to auction. Phillips announced to have three columns of the Panerai DNA in their Geneva Watch Auction: FOUR.
A German “Kampfschwimmer” Ref. 3646 / Type D, used in the Second World War, has been introduced in our Watch Point here. This warbird with anonymous sandwich dial is one of the very few watches with original strap and pin buckle – unpolished and with quite some patina.
The “Maserati” amongst Vintage Panerai references because of its flat, elegant and streamlined case is introduced in our Watch Point here. This rare Ref. 6154 “Small Egiziano” with brown “Radiomir Panerai” dial is up for auction being a “collectors’ set”, including a Guido Panerai & Figlio depth gauge, underwater torch and replacement strap with “GPF – Mod. Dep.” pin buckle.
The third column of the Panerai DNA in the Phillips Geneva Watch Auction: FOUR is a Ref. 6152/1 “Luminor Panerai” with Rolex movement and the legendary crown-protecting device from Panerai – an icon of the brand. Read more about this watch in our Watch Point here.
[Photos with kindly permission / courtesy of www.phillips.com]
Phillips will feature a Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” in their Geneva Watch Auction: FOUR. The watch is recorded in our database since 2006, when it was auctioned for the first time in Germany at Dr. Crott Auctioneers. By its inner and outer details it is representing a typical “Kampfschwimmer” watch with anonymous sandwich dial, onion shaped “Brevet +” crown (Type 11) and Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement.
It appears to be one of only a few specimen which still have their original leather strap and original pin buckle. This particular watch is featured – in detail – in our new book “The References” 1930’s-1940’s in chapter II.IV (Ref. 3646 / Type D) on page 516-523 as well as in chapter V (Straps and Buckles) on page 678.
Further info on this watch (lot 152) 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]
Introducing another piece of the puzzle – and one more surfaced in the United Kingdom: a Ref. 3646 / Type D with black painted brass dial and rare “Kampfschwimmer” engraving with initials of the first owner on its outer caseback. After more than 70 years the watch changed ownership once again and recently found a good new home at a Panerai collector from Germany, who provided the photo shown on the left.
The watch has been added into our database in March 2016 and comes with flat bezel (a typical feature of the watches with flat dials), onion shaped “Brevet +” crown (Type 11) and Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement. The watch has never been polished and has still its original plexi, showing the typical traces of aging. The inner caseback is signed with the Rolex SA hallmark, reference and case number. A similar 3646 / Type D watch with flat bezel and black painted brass dial will be auctioned in Glasgow on September 23rd, 2016 at Great Western Auctions.
A Ref. 3646 / Type D watch with black 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 (prisoner of war) in the summer of 1945 (page 206-207).
Watches of the Reference 3646 / Type D are also featured in our new book “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.
The Great Western Auctions Ltd. (GWA) in Glasgow / United Kingdom is selling a Ref. 3646 / Type D with anonymous, black painted brass dial in their upcoming Fine Art & Antiques auction (Lot 237) on friday, September 23rd, 2016.
The 3646 / Type D is recorded in our database since August 2016. The watch features a typical Rolex 618 / Type 1 movement, flat bezel and an onion shaped “Brevet +” crown (Type 11), original leather strap and large, nickel-plated brass pin buckle. The outer caseback of the watch has no personal engravings of the first owner. The inner caseback (with full polish decoration) bears the typical Rolex SA hallmark, reference and case number known for 3646 / Type D watches.
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).
We hope that 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.greatwesternauctions.com]
After the watch was auctioned earlier this year in May at Phillips (The Geneva Watch Auction THREE, lot 122, read the note in our watch point here), we continued research on the known personal dates, scratched with a sharp tool onto the caseback of the watch: Name, date of birth and home town of Heinrich Hauenstein.
[Photo with kindly permission / courtesy of www.phillips.com]
Having already a few watches with personalized casebacks recorded in our database, we wanted to find proof about the personalized dates in general and if further information about the history of the first owner of this watch could be found more than 70 years after its use.
Since we exchanged information about Heinrich Hauenstein with his family, we know that he has passed away in 1976 at the age of 55. He was married but had no children. In 1951 he was a founding member of a shooting club in his hometown Solnhofen (Bavaria/Germany).
The family has recently shared a historical photo of Heinrich Hauenstein with us, dated October 1942 on the backside, showing him as a sailor of the German Kriegsmarine / Navy. To put a face behind the name on the caseback, we are pleased to publish here the photo from 1942 aside the auction catalogue from Phillips.
[Historical portrait photo with kindly permission / courtesy of Heinrich Hauenstein’s family]
One of the rarest historical documents which we came across during the research of our book “History2”: a handwritten battle report of a frogmen mission at the Pomeranian coast, dated April 3rd, 1945.
Documents from the last weeks of the Second World War are today, without a doubt, very hard to find – if existing after more than 70 years at all… With the support of the family of the German “Kampfschwimmer”, who once wrote this report after he returned safely from the combat zone, we were able to include this battle report (page 672-673 shown on the coffee table shot on the left) in chapter VII of “History2” (featuring the chapters V-IX with a total of 480 pages).
Interesting details in his handwritten battle report are the times which he mentioned aside other details, all easily readable on the sandwich dial of the Ref. 3646 / Type D (with 5 minute markers / indices) he was wearing during the mission: He wrote down 21:50, 23:30, 23:45, 23:50-0:30 and finally 2:05 AM – the moment he left the waters – after 4:15 hours trying to attack the Wollin railroad bridge together with a group of four frogmen from the “Einsatzgruppe Keller”, towing two mines thru the waters of the Dievenow.
One of these five frogmen is featured in our book “History1”. Several pages of his diary are published in chapter II, where he wrote down what happened during the frogmen attack of the Gristow bridge at the Pomeranian coast (page 134-143).
Read more on further rare documents which helped us to capture the history behind the Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” watch, shown on the coffee table shot on the left here. Photos from the years 1944 and 1945 showing this watch on the frogman’s wrist, as well as his identification papers and travel documents issued in Venice, helped us to reconstruct the route he took to the mission grounds.
Obviously his handwritten battle report never reached the headquarters but somehow he managed to keep it safe for his personal records, giving us today, more than 70 years later, a detailed inside view on a mission he carried out together with four frogmen at the Eastern Front in April 1945…
Our two “History” books can be ordered only in our bookstore.
Enjoy reading stories behind these watches!
[Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]
A long overdue meeting finally became reality: The invitation to visit one of the last WW2 “Kampfschwimmer” frogmen just had to be returned… one day! What better occasion for that one day than a personal shake hands on this veteran’s 93rd birthday? It was without a doubt an unforgettable meeting. Surrounded by his family and friends we finally met in person. Sitting together on his table, having a traditional Bavarian “Brotzeit” was more than a good time. Thanks for your hospitality, Jochen – stay in such a good shape!
Since 2010 we have been connected with veteran Jochen Burnus to publish the history behind a Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” in our book “History2”. Many personal documents and memories were provided by him for our research which helped us to capture not only the history of his friend Sigi, a member of the “Einsatzgruppe Keller” but also his personal history as a German frogman who ended up in American captivity in April 1945 after his mission against a pontoon bridge of the 83rd Thunderbolt Division at the river Elbe.
By his extraordinary good memories Jochen Burnus was able to give us a very detailed report on what happened before, during and after his mission, from training in northern Italy to the combat zones during the last months of the Second World War.
One part of chapter V is dedicated to his work as a recovery diver in Hamburg in the late 1940’s and bomb squad in the numerous waterways of Berlin in the 1950’s, followed by his career as professional diver across Europe until the end of the 1960’s. Accompanied with more than 60 historical photos and maps from various sources, the 112 pages of chapter V became the starting chapter of “History2” with a total of 480 pages. More information on chapter V can be found also here.
Our “History” books can be ordered only in our bookstore.
Enjoy reading stories behind these watches!
[Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]