The Red Sea, the Straits of Tiran, the Gulf of Aqaba, even the shores of Dakar (Senegal) and Abidjan (Ivory Coast) – target zones of the Egypt frogmen during the Suez Crisis, the Six-Day War and the Yom Kippur War.
Not very much has been ever published before about missions against enemy ports, ships and oil platforms during the conflicts between Egypt and Israel. In the mid-50’s, both Egyptian and Israeli special forces attended separate training courses in Italy to learn the skills for underwater missions from their Italian instructors. After our search for historical documents and with the support of a high decorated Egypt frogmen veteran we were able to put a spotlight on some of the missions carried out decades ago.
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 (second volume), accompanied with rare historic photos (page 794-795 shown in the coffee table shot above). The new “The References” books (two volumes with 696 pages each) can be ordered only in our bookstore. Enjoy reading!
The second volume of our new book “The References” 1950’s-1960’s starts with a view on the three famous References and the historical background on the years after the Second World War (page 704-719). A sigificant and impressive quotation of Admiral Gino Birindelli (commander of the Italian COMSUBIN underwater special forces in the years 1948-1950 and 1954-1956) marks the beginning of the second volume with a total of 696 pages.
New maritime special units were set up during the same period in which Guido Panerai & Figlio was producing watches with the References 6152, 6154 and 6152/1 – big and bold cases with strong lugs and 8 mm Rolex crown, soon followed by the additional crown-protecting device on watches of the Reference 6152/1 and GPF 2/56. The coffee table shot shows page 810-811, one of the Reference 6154 watches featured in chapter VII.
Chapter VI features comparing photos and technical illustrations to show the differences between the References 6152, 6154 and 6152/1 which were produced from the early 1950’s onwards. Aside an unique “pile shot”, which shows a side view on three different 61XX watches on page 732, different case dimensions, markings and hallmarks are described. The coffee table shot shows technical illustrations on page 738-739.
Information on “The References” 1950’s-1960’s (second volume) can be found here.
[Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]
… features of the Vintage Panerai 6154. Watches of the reference 6154 are featured in chapter VII of our new “The References” books and part of the second volume (1950’s-1960’s). The photo shows a typical brown faded “Radiomir Panerai” dial with many fissures in the numbers and markers (page 848-849).
Enjoy reading! Our new “The Reference” books are in stock and can be ordered only in our bookstore.
During the paneristi.com Singapore GTG 2013 a couple of Vintage Panerai watches were present. One of them was a very rare Ref. 6154 “Small Egiziano” / “Egiziano Piccolo” with its typical brown aged dial.
Features of the watch:
Dial: “Radiomir Panerai” (sandwich, engraved)
Case number: 997575
Movement: Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 mod.
View on the inner caseback of a Ref. 6154 “Egiziano Piccolo” – the unique and beautiful decorated Montres Rolex S.A. Symbol, different to the other references made for Panerai in the 1950s (6152, 6152/1).
You can find an overview on the differences in the inner caseback of the three references 6152, 6154 and 6152/1 here.
Ralf captured the wonderfully aged brown “Radiomir Panerai” dial of this Ref. 6154 “Egiziano Piccolo” (small Egiziano). Faded Colors and cracked luminous markers and numbers are giving this watch a very Special appearance and unique look. In its flat 47 mm stainless steel case, it is today one of the rarest Vintage Panerai watches. The reference 6154 was produced for the Egyptian Navy in 1954 in very small numbers – until today only a few watches surfaced into the Vintage Panerai world.
Compared with the references 6152 and 6152/1, the 6154 is even more elegant and almost “streamlined” which gives it a special nickname in the Vintage Panerai world: “the Maserati amongst Ferraris”. Find out more about the special shape of the 6154 here.
Ralf captured his stunning Ref. 6154 “Egiziano Piccolo” in a bright afternoon sun last summer. Today I stumbled over another photo of those which he sent me for use in our blog – the view from the side shows the unique flat 47 mm case and the wonderful dial.
Without a doubt this reference is one of the greatest watches produced by Panerai. It was produced for the Egyptian Navy in 1954. The brown aged “Radiomir Panerai” dial and the 8 mm Rolex crown gives it an striking appearance.
You can find a photo of the inner caseback with the special Rolex decoration here.
A very rare Vintage Panerai watch will be up for auction at Christie’s on december, 14th in New York, Rockefeller Plaza: LOT 268, a very rare Ref. 6154 “Small Egiziano” aka “Egiziano Piccolo”. The watch is part of Sale 2610 Important Watches.
Since our book “The Reference” was published in 2009, only a few more pieces of this famous reference surfaced and were added into our database, which makes it one of the rarest Vintage Panerai models today. It appears as one of the Ref. 6154 watches which have been supplied with a Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 2 movement, aside the other half of the today existing watches of this reference is supplied with Cal. 618 / Type 1 / Type 1 mod. movements.
We hope that this watch will find a good new home and remains surfaced in the Vintage Panerai collectors world.
[Photos with kindly permission of Christie’s · courtesy of E. Catenazzi / www.christies.com]
The references produced in the 1950’s and 1960’s show clearly differences in caseback markings. Beside the different shapes of center cases and lugs between 6152, 6154 and 6152/1, different Rolex markings are visible when caseback removed.
The illustration shows the following caseback versions:
Ref. 6152 Rolex (with case number)
Ref. 6154 Montres Rolex S.A. (with case number)
Ref. 6152/1 Montres Rolex S.A. (without case number)
You can read and see more about the different versions of Ref. 615X watches in our 2nd book “Vintage Panerai – The References”.
Even with an impressive case size of 47 millimeters, the Ref. 6154 watch looks pretty small compared to the instruments around, which have a case size of 70 x 90 mm.