Tag: Dr. Crott

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 D “Kampfschwimmer” @ Dr Crott

by on Sep.23, 2015, under Watch Point

A new entry in our records, another great example of a typical Ref. 3646 / Type D watch made in 1943 / 1944 and used in the 2nd world war, reached our database: Auctioneers Dr. Crott received a yet unknown Ref. 3646 / Type D watch for their 92nd Auction which will be held in Frankfurt, November 14th 2015 (LOT 27).

Surfaced to the market 70 years after the 2nd world war for the first time, consigned by the family of a german “Kampfschwimmer” veteran, this Ref. 3646 / Type D Vintage Panerai watch is marking one of less than 80 watches of this number group Type D known until today.

Features of the watch:
Reference: 3646 / Type D
Dial: “Kampfschwimmer”  (sandwich, engraved)
Case number: 2606XX
Movement: Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1

Beside the typical features of the watch, such as the high version of the bezel, neccessary for the high sandwich dial from Panerai, the onion shaped Rolex crown (“Brevet +” / Type 11), the short bent soldered lugs and also the Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement, its unpolished case and original “volcano dome” plexi are striking features. Actually the onion crown can’t be screwed down to the case as the tube has no winding grip anymore. Known as “the #1 part to be worn off”, the onion shaped crown is always something to be sensible with. Imagine that the crown has to be used every day and if the watch gets many wrist time (which has obviously been the case in this piece…) one day a new tube is needed. The unpolished surfaces of the cushion shaped case, its original blued hands and the original plexi are giving this Ref. 3646 /Type D watch an unique and rare patina.

The outer caseback of the watch bears no personal engraving, the inside of the caseback shows the typical decoration and the Rolex SA stamp with reference and case number. The blued steel hands hold the original luminous material, the four numbers and eight markers of the Panerai sandwich dial faded from dark yellow to a deep orange.

Similar watches of this type with anonymous “Kampfschwimmer” dials are featured in our books “History1″ (chapter II) and “History2″ (chapter V and chapter VII). Watches of the Ref. 3646 / Type D number group will be featured in chapter II.IV of our upcoming book “The References” (2nd edition).

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]

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WW2 compass @ Dr. Crott

by on Sep.16, 2015, under Watch Point

A rare WW2 frogmen’s compass recently surfaced. Auctioneers Dr. Crott features a rare WW2 compass in their 92nd Auction on november 14th, 2015 (LOT 26). Attributed to Panerai, these compasses have been used by german “Kampfschwimmer” units together with Ref. 3646 watches as part of their underwater equipment.

The wrist compass (53 x 65 mm brass base with solid lugs) has a height of 27 mm including the plexiglass dome, which is screwed onto the base by six screws. The luminous compass rose, a transparent plexiglas disc (diameter 31 mm), has the german language orientation “N – O – S – W” (Nord, Ost, Süd, West), four arrows at 45 degrees and eight pointed markers at 22.5 degrees between the four cardinal points (all luminous). The domed plexiglas is also having a luminous bearing line (applied from the inside of the plexiglas dome).

A black calf leather strap with light alloy buckle is riveted onto the fixed bars of the lugs. The damping liquid can be filled into the compass thru a hole on top of the domed plexiglas, which is closed by a screw. Without the damping liquid, this compass has a weight of 91 grams.

Historic photos, showing the same type of compasses on several “Kampfschwimmer” wrists are featured in chapter II of our book “History1” (page 94, 102) and “History2” (page 674, 756 and 760). Similar compasses (both, italian and german version of the cardinal points, with flexible and solid lugs) are featured in chapter VI of our book “History2” and will be featured in chapter IV of our upcoming book “The References” (2nd edition).

Compared to the today’s known number of Ref. 3646 watches, compasses of the same age can be called very rare. We hope the compass will find a good new home and that it remain surfaced in the Vintage Panerai collectors world – maybe as an additional collectible piece aside a frogmen’s Ref. 3646 watch. [Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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Upcoming auction in November @ Dr. Crott

by on Oct.28, 2014, under Watch Point

The 2nd weekend of November will be interesting to follow the auction at Frankfurt’s Hotel Sheraton (saturday, november 15th). German auctioneer Dr. Crott will have their 90th auction with more than 600 lots. Earlier this year it was possible for us to see the two Vintage Panerai lots in advance for our reviews. Two Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” watches with anonymous sandwich dials will be up for sale (LOT 78 and LOT 79). You can find the reviews in this blog by using the tag function for “Dr. Crott”. Detailled information can also be found at the auctioneers website.

We hope that the watches find good new homes and that they remain surfaced in the Vintage Panerai collectors world.

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Engraved “Kampfschwimmer” @ Dr. Crott’s 90th auction

by on Oct.07, 2014, under Watch Point

Another rare Vintage Panerai Ref. 3646 / Type D is up for sale at Dr. Crott in their 90th auction on november 15th in Frankfurt (LOT 79). Recently captured some photos of the watch, bearing a rare and unique “Kampfschwimmer” engraving, featuring the initials of the first owner (“VK” for Valentin Kohlmann), year of service (1944) and the number of the task force he belonged to (“Meeres-Kämpfer 11. Einsatzgruppe”).

The watch has been delivered to the auctioneer by the veteran’s grandson, accompanied by a rare compass (black 54 mm case, solid lugs, unsigned), photos of Valentin Kohlmann during his service in WW2 and a documentation compiled by his family.

Features of the watch can be lined-up as the following: the aged plexi bears very fine cracks in the outer area near to the bezel, the blued steel hour and minute hand are both coming with the complete luminous material, the four numbers and eight markers of the anonymous “Kampfschwimmer” sandwich dial from Panerai appear in various colors reaching from yellow to orange. The number one wear-and-tear part, the winding crown, has been replaced by a non-screw-down-crown. The original “neck” and the tube for holding a screw-down-crown (Type 11 or Type 13 matching the thread of the tube) are still present.

Once opened the engraved caseback, the engine of the watch can be observed: the typical Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement without incabloc shock protection, the typical decorations on bridges and the “ROLEX 17 RUBIS” engraving on the center bridge. The balance cock is engraved with the S-F / A-R regulation device.

A view onto the fully decorated inner caseback shows the Rolex SA embossing in the center, reference number 3646 and individual case number below, which is recorded in our database in the group of Ref. 3646 / Type D watches.

Features of the watch:
Reference: 3646 / Type D
Dial: “Kampfschwimmer”  (sandwich, engraved)
Case number: 2604XX
Movement: Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1

Similar watches of this type with anonymous “Kampfschwimmer” sandwich dials are featured in our books “History1″ (chapter II) and “History2″ (chapter V and chapter VII). An identical compass is featured in our book “History2” on page 598, 600 and 601 (chapter VI).

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]

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Sneak Preview of a Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer”

by on Sep.06, 2014, under Allgemein

Got the chance to stop by at auctioneer Dr. Crott in Mannheim / Germany for taking a close look at yet surfaced Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer”, which will be auctioned on saturday, november 15th in Frankfurt (LOT 78).

The watch is filling another place of a piece in the big Vintage Panerai puzzle, matching our database criteria in the group of the watches of the Reference 3646 / Type D. It has been recently delivered to the auctioneer being a heirloom of a german watchmaker’s family.

The front view shows the anonymous “Kampfschwimmer” sandwich dial and the bright blue steel hands with their original luminous material (partially off). Small cracks in the plexi are proof of age of the “volcano dome” shaped plexi.

Also the aged numbers and markers of the dial in different colors (from yellow to light orange / amber) are a typical feature of 3646 / Type D watches and can be found on many others. The screw-down caseback of the watch is plain (without individual engravings).

The inner caseback shows the – typical for the Ref. 3646 / Type D criteria – Rolex SA stamp, reference number and case number and has a fully decorated finish. The engine of the watch is the Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement.

Typical for this type of movement is the “ROLEX 17 RUBIS” engraving on the center bridge. As usual on Rolex Cal. 618 movements used in watches of the Reference 3646, the balance cock bears the S-F / A-R regulation device.

Features of the watch:
Reference: 3646 / Type D
Dial: “Kampfschwimmer”  (sandwich, engraved)
Case number: 2606XX
Movement: Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1

The new owner of this watch may decide to change the actual non-screw-down replacement crown with tubular shaped “Oyster Patent” crown (Type 13) or – with some luck – with an onion shaped “Brevet +” crown (Type 11). The “neck” of the cushion shaped case still exists and a good watchmaker should be able to place a tube into it to get a screw-down crown from Rolex on it.

Similar watches of this type with anonymous “Kampfschwimmer” sandwich dials are featured in our books “History1” (chapter II) and “History2” (chapter V and chapter VII).

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]

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Upcoming auctions in May

by on Apr.28, 2014, under Watch Point

May 2014 will be interesting to follow three important auctions, where Vintage Panerai watches will be up for sale. We hope they find a good new home and remail surfaced in the Vintage Panerai collectors world.

Dr. Crott (Frankfurt/Germany) starts the auction month on saturday, may 10th. They have an engraved “Kampfschwimmer” Ref. 3646 / Type D in their 89th Auction (LOT 289). The watch comes with a rare brass dial, corresponding flat bezel, typical Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement, leather strap and very rare chromed brass buckle. The caseback of this Vintage Panerai watch is engraved with the initials of the first owner HV surrounded by Marine-Kampfschwimmer 1944.

Christie’s (Geneva/Switzerland) has another Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” on their Important Watches 1401 for auction (LOT 433) on may 12th. This Vintage Panerai watch comes with anonymous sandwich dial and the typical Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement (with 17 jewels and without Incabloc). The caseback is engraved with the initials of the first owner GF surrounded by Nahkampflehrer von L.K. 700 1945.

Last but not least, Sotheby’s (Geneva/Switzerland) presents a Ref. 6152/1 “Luminor Panerai” in their Important Watches auction (LOT 298) on may 14th. The watch belonged to Admiral Gino Birindelli (M.O.V.M.), commander of the Com.Sub.In. in the 1950s and SLC pilot veteran from WW2. The engine of this Vintage Panerai watch is the typical Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 4 movement (with 17 Jewels and Incabloc). It comes with a rare, rotating plexi bezel of which only a few pieces are existing today.

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A close look at a “Kampfschwimmer” with brass dial

by on Mar.22, 2014, under Allgemein

Another visit at auctioneer Dr. Crott brought us another new database entry for the Reference 3646 / Type D. The yet unknown watch with the case number 260753 will be up for auction in may, bearing the typical features of the number group 260408 – 260838, representing the Reference 3646 / Type D.

Until today we have recorded sixty existing specimen of this type of 3646 watches in our database, which is one of the larger groups inbetween known watches of Type A to Type G. Only a few number of watches comes with a flat brass dial, easy to identify by the closed “6” and “9” which are not cut thru the upper disk (like the sandwich dial construction is done) but embossed from top onto the brass dial, painted black and filled up with luminous material. Both, blued steel hands and brass dial have still the complete luminous material today (see earlier posting on this watch).

The Rolex SA stamp on the inner caseback is one feature aside the Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement with 17 Jewels and no Incabloc shock protection. Typical for this type of movement is the “ROLEX 17 RUBIS” engraving on the center bridge. As usual on movement used in watches of the Reference 3646, the balance cock bears the S-F / A-R regulation device.

The watch comes with the flat version of the bezel, typical on watches with brass dials or the “California Dial” versions. The bezel carries the original Plexiglas, which is today still in good condition. The “neck” of the cushion shaped stainless steel 47 mm case is still existing, on which an onion shaped “Brevet +” crown (Type 11) is screwed down.

The case has not been polished over the last decades and appears today – after 70 years – with a nice patina on case, bezel and caseback.

Especially the individual engraving on the caseback makes it a remarkable watch to us. Done in the typical tatooing machine style, which can be found occasionally on similar 3646 watches used by german frogmen, the surrounding text Marine Kampfschwimmer (navy frogmen), the first owners’ initials (HV) and the year of service (1944) are giving this watch the grade of being a real tool watch in the 2nd world war.

Also the watch comes with the old leather strap, hand stitched and sewn onto the lugs of the case with the rare cromed brass buckle, which has been bent down for comfortable wear, which we have seen on some other Ref. 3646 watches before. The strap has two fixed (sewn on) keepers.

A similar watch is featured in our book “History1”.

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]

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Another piece in the puzzle added…

by on Mar.20, 2014, under Allgemein

The Vintage Panerai watches keep on surfacing. Just in these days, another Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” with rare brass dial and engraved caseback bearing the initials of the first owner and the year of his service as frogmen (1944), came to our attention. We received an invitation for a “first look” from auctioneer Dr. Crott, who received this watch for their upcoming 89th auction on may, 10th 2014, from the family of the former german frogmen veteran.

Great to see another yet unknown Vintage Panerai watch is matching our database criteria in all its details.

Features of the watch:
Reference: 3646 / Type D
Dial: “Kampfschwimmer”  (painted brass, anonymous)
Case number: 260753
Movement: Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1

A detailled report on the details of the watch, such as movement, engraved caseback and historic strap and buckle will be follow up here soon. Stay tuned!
[Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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“The Red Star” – a serviced Ref. 3646 / Type D

by on Dec.03, 2013, under Watch Point

Almost nine months after we introduced here in our blog the Ref. 3646 / Type D watch when it surfaced in former Yugoslavia by the family of the 2nd owner, the new owner who auctioned the watch in may 2013 at Dr. Crott, contacted us to give us an update about its actual conditions.

The conditions of the watch before the auction and Information provided by the previous owner have been published earlier and can be compared here. Especially the untypical replacement dial from a VDO cockpit clock caught our attention earlier this year.

The fact that the watch changed ownership in former Yugoslavia confirmed our knowledge about italian and german frogmen units which were captured at the end of the 2nd world war in northern Italy. Just as some of the Panerai watches changed ownership with west allied forces (where they keep surfacing rarely in these days as well, see our introduction of another 3646 / Type D watch here) it has happened in eastern Europe too. In chapter VI of our book “History2” (page 630) a surviving veteran confirmed by his very own story, where the route of his long march into captivity ended: in a POW camp in Yugoslavia.

It is great to see that the new owners’ trusted watchmaker has been able to bring back shine and functionality to the movement, which is now again working with a power reserve of around 36 hours. The new owner named his watch “The Red Star” to reflect its long term use by a Senior Officer in the Yugoslavian Army after the 2nd world war.

The result of the watchmaker’s restoration work shows that it is possible to inhail life in a nearly 70 year old watch which surely did not caught all neccessary services in the past decades. Also it is nice that the patina on the case still exist and the case appears not polished by demand of the new owner to keep the age of the watch visible. The restoration work included the replacing of the VDO dial with a flat dial reconstruction (with closed “6” and “9” digits) matching with the flat bezel, the cleaning of the hands and installing of a new seal and crown tube.

Thanks to the new owner for the update on his Ref. 3646 / Type D aka “The Red Star”
[Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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