Tag: “History2”

A war souvenir from the river Elbe in shape of a 3646

by on Nov.14, 2017, under Watch Point

Rahmen_Bild_2017_3646_B_Sothebys04Sotheby’s will auction a Ref. 3646 / Type B “Radiomir Panerai” with engraved caseback in their New York auction Important Watches on 6 December 2017. The watch (lot 946) has been recorded in our database in 2016, along with information which we have received from the descendants of a British Army veteran who brought this watch back home as a souvenir from the Second World War.

Featuring the small Oyster Watch Co hallmark on its inner caseback, an onion shaped “Brevet +” crown (Type 11) and Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement, the watch with a “Radiomir Panerai” sandwich dial stands in our database as another surfaced Ref. 3646 / Type B with an engraved caseback, providing a very interesting story in terms of how these watches changed ownership at the end of the war.

Rahmen_Bild_2017_3646_B_Sothebys03The history behind the engraving on the caseback of the watch in auction at Sotheby’s has been provided to us by the family of Captain Coltart.

Here is a little information on the watch since it came into the Coltart’s possession in 1945: Captain John Maxted Coltart, initially a member of the Black Watch Regiment (RHR) was transferred to the Gordon Highlanders of the 15th Scottish Regiment for the balance of the war.  After his marriage on March 17, 1945 he returned to duty in Germany to do his part in the crossing of the Elbe. He had tales of the struggle to build and maintain the bridge across the Elbe between Tespe on the South shore and the bridgehead at Tesperhude on the North bank. The bridge was under continuing assault by artillery fire, swimmers in the water and terrifyingly fast jet planes which had just entered the war. Captain Coltart brought a number of war souvenirs back to Scotland, including a Luger pistol, the Panerai divers watch and a dagger. He brought them to Canada when he and his family immigrated in 1955. His daughter inherited the watch upon his death in 1984. She had no idea the watch had value other than a keepsake until a Scottish cousin with a good memory emailed a clipping describing the sale of a similar Panerai watch. Captain Coltart had the back of the watch engraved to commemorate the last battle he took part in and the location where he obtained the watch. At this point it is unclear exactly how he managed to collect these mementos but it is clear that they were obtained while on active duty in Germany during the Second World War and have been in the family ever since.

On “Operation Enterprise” (source: wikipedia):
The particular distinction for the 15th Scottish was to be selected to lead the last set piece river crossing of the war, the assault across the River Elbe (“Operation Enterprise”) on 29 April 1945 spearheaded by the 1st Commando Brigade (commanded by Brigadier Derek Mills-Roberts), after which they fought on to the Baltic occupying both Lübeck and Kiel. The 15th (Scottish) was the only division of the British Army during the Second World War to be involved in three of the six major European river assault crossings; the Seine, the Rhine and the Elbe.

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The crossing of the river Elbe at Lauenburg has been part of our research for our book “History2”, chapter IX (page 825-845 with historic maps and photos taken during “Operation Enterprise” in the river Elbe area at Tespe – Artlenburg – Lauenburg) in which a surviving frogmen particularly mentioned the railway bridge of Lauenburg (see photo above, page 824-825) being one of their mission targets in the last days of the Second World War (19 April 1945), followed by the attemp to destroy the 946 ft. “Class 40 Bailey Pontoon Bridge” at Artlenburg (west of Lauenburg, 28/29 April 1945) by a group of German frogmen (see photos on page 842 and 843).

Rahmen_Bild_2017_3646_B_Sothebys01Photo left: view onto the Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement of the watch in auction. Similar watches of the Ref. 3646 / Type B with “Radiomir Panerai” sandwich dials have been published earlier here and here.

A special thanks to the descendants of Captain Coltart who provided us information on the Ref. 3646 / Type B and its story behind. We hope that this watch will find a good new home and remains surfaced in the Vintage Panerai collectors world.
[Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

[Photos of the Ref. 3646 / Type B watch with kindly permission / courtesy of www.sothebys.com]

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“The Rösel Radiomir” @ Phillips GWA6

by on Sep.25, 2017, under Watch Point

Rahmen_Bild_hoch_2017_GWA6_210Phillips will feature a rare Ref. 3646 / Type C with anonymous “Kampfschwimmer” dial in their Geneva Watch Auction: SIX, which will be held on Sunday, 12 November 2017. The watch comes with a tubular shaped Rolex Oyster crown (Type 13) and Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement.

Further info on this watch (lot 210) can be found here.

What makes this watch special for us:
The collectible items of the former combat swimmer Helmut Rösel, which was submitted for auction at Dr. Crott in November 2012 for the first time, contains not only his “Kampfschwimmer” watch but also several documents from his time as a combat swimmer, some of which are extremely rare in this day and age. Additional letters written personally by the first owner and a 1994 jewellery certificate for his 3646 are precious pieces of evidence which makes this a “full set” of which not many exist.

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The Ref. 3646 / Type C “Kampfschwimmer” and the history behind is featured in our book “History2” in chapter IX with 98 pages, 63 photos and 4 technical illustrations. Furthermore it is published in our book “The References” 1930’s-1940’s in chapter II.III on page 322-349. Read more about “The Rösel Radiomir” here.

We hope that this rare 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]

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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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A lot to read during the holiday season…

by on Dec.10, 2016, 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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A Kampfschwimmer’s “3646 full set”…

by on Nov.26, 2016, under Allgemein

history2_9roesel_600x600CHAPTER IX @ “History2”: The collectible items of the former combat swimmer Helmut Rösel, which was submitted for auction back in November 2012, contains not only his Panerai watch but also some documents from his time as a combat swimmer, some of which are extremely rare in this day and age. They give precise information about the stages of his training and his successful missions at the western and eastern fronts. The German Federal Cross of Merit, which was awarded to him in 1983 provided new insights, following our enquires at the Office of the Federal President, into his professional career in the Protestant Church, in which he was a pastor from 1961 and a military chaplain for the Bundeswehr from 1971. Letters written personally by him and a 1994 jewellery certificate for his Panerai watch are precious pieces of evidence are just as difficult to find in this day and age as the historic Panerai watches themselves.

CHAPTER IX.I features “The Rösel Radiomir” – a Ref. 3646 / Type C with anonymous “Kampfschwimmer” dial and Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement.

The book “History2″ (480 pages / chapter IX: 98 pages, 63 photos, 4 technical illustrations) is in stock. It can be ordered directly in our bookstore. Enjoy reading!

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From the Adriatic coast to the rivers of the eastern front…

by on Nov.26, 2016, under Allgemein

history2_8lewandowski_600x600CHAPTER VIII @ “History2”: Frogman Walter Lewandowski followed an unusual path in the Second World War. In 1943 he was initially with the Luftwaffe as a paratrooper and pilot of a transport glider in “Battle Squadron 200”, then posted to the Kriegsmarine (navy), and immediately afterwards trained as a combat swimmer in Valdagno and in the Lagoon of Venice.

After a failed mission on the Adriatic coast, where he managed to find his way back to his own lines overland after many days, he was then sent back to the Eastern Front in Germany for the last weeks of the war. There, as a member of the “Einsatzgruppe Keller”, he carried out a number of missions against the Soviet pontoon bridges. He first escaped captivity by the Soviet troops, who were advancing on Berlin with immense superiority of strength, but then on the island of Sylt he shared the fate of many other “Kampfschwimmer” and was a British prisoner of war until 1946.

CHAPTER VIII.I features “The Lewandowski Radiomir”, a Ref. 3646 / Type C “Radiomir Panerai” with Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement.

The book “History2″ (480 pages / chapter VIII: 72 pages, 48 photos, 4 technical illustrations) is in stock. It can be ordered directly in our bookstore. Enjoy reading!

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Tracking a frogman’s way thru war by his field post letters…

by on Nov.26, 2016, under Allgemein

history2_7kaufhold_600x600CHAPTER VII @ “History2”: The chapter about Hanns-Martin Kaufhold shows comprehensively just how helpful a collection of field post letters has been when researching this member of the “Einsatzgruppe Keller”. His correspondence with his then-girlfriend, which lasted more than three years from his entry into the German Navy in 1942 until the end of his imprisonment in July 1945, provides information about the stages of his time as a trainee officer and combat swimmer. Such very rare documents, including identification papers and travel documents issued in Venice, allow us to reconstruct the route he took to the mission grounds at the Eastern Front. A mission report written by Hanns-Martin Kaufhold on April 3rd, 1945 – an unique and extremely rare document – describes a mission carried out by him and four comrades in the “Einsatzgruppe Keller”.

CHAPTER VII.I features “The Kaufhold Radiomir” – a Ref. 3646 / Type D with anonymous “Kampfschwimmer” dial and Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement.

The book “History2″ (480 pages / chapter VII: 70 pages, 58 photos, 6 technical illustrations) is in stock. It can be ordered directly in our bookstore. Enjoy reading!

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From Hamburg to the Lagoon of Venice…

by on Nov.26, 2016, under Allgemein

history2_6lau_600x600CHAPTER VI @ “History2”: The chapter about the contemporary witness and author of the book “Schiffssterben vor Algier”, Manfred Lau, with whom we have been friendly since 2003, is a very special one. It is the “chapter without a watch”. Nevertheless, precisely his personal story is of great interest to us, as he is a veteran of the “Lehmann pig group”, who were trained for deployments with two-man torpedoes (SLC and SSB devices) on the island of Le Vignole in the Lagoon of Venice. In impressive and precise detail he describes the difficult journey from Hamburg through a Germany that was, by the autumn of 1944, severely marked by the scars of war, and down to northern Italy, where the secret training centre of the combat swimmers was located.

The detailed memories of his training period to become a pilot of the two-man torpedoes (SLC / SSB), more than 70 years ago, and supplemented with historical maps and pictures, take the reader on a journey to the Adriatic coast. There the midshipman ended his time as a sea fighter with a march into captivity, from which he returned to Germany in 1948.

The book “History2″ (480 pages / chapter VI: 82 pages, 39 photos) is in stock. It can be ordered directly in our bookstore. Enjoy reading!

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The journey of a frogman’s 3646…

by on Nov.26, 2016, under Allgemein

history2_5koeneke_600x600CHAPTER V @ “History2”: The chapter on Jochen Burnus describes his period of duty as a combat swimmer, from his posting away from Yugoslavia in 1944 and his training in northern Italy to his missions at the Elbe, where he ended up in American captivity in April 1945. After his release he worked in Hamburg Harbour as a recovery diver, together with other former combat swimmers, including Siegfried Köneke, who also belonged to the “Einsatzgruppe Keller” in the Second World War.

Jochen Burnus later received his friend’s 3646 from Köneke’s parents, after Sigi was killed at the age of 28 in tragic circumstances while working in Hamburg harbour on March 14th, 1949. Thus the stories of two combat swimmers merge inseparably and allow us to trace the journey of a combat swimmer watch and its earlier owners from 1944 to the present day.

CHAPTER V.II features “The Köneke Radiomir”, a Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” watch with anonymous sandwich dial and Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement.

The book “History2″ (480 pages / chapter V: 112 pages, 67 photos, 4 technical illustrations) is in stock. It can be ordered directly in our bookstore. Enjoy reading!

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18 November 1944 – today in history…

by on Nov.18, 2016, 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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