Tag: “Kampfschwimmer”

Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” @ Phillips GWA7

by on Apr.24, 2018, under Watch Point

Rahmen_Watch_Point_GWA7_3646_1Phillips will feature a Ref. 3646 / Type D in their Geneva Watch Auction: SEVEN, which will be held on Sunday, 13 May 2018 (session two). 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. Read more about lot 213 here at Phillips.

The watch has been one of our first database entries back in 2003. Because of the limited available information back then, it was an incomplete record in our database (no photos of the movement were available, the movement was described by text only). The watch was auctioned at Christies as lot 9 of the “Ravenborg Collection of Rolex Watches” (London, 30 September 1997).

Rahmen_Watch_Point_GWA7_3646_2In late 2017 – a good fourteen years later since we added the watch into our database – we received several photos of the watch to finally complete our database entry of this Ref. 3646 / Type D. It is noteworthy that in the printed auction catalogue from 1997 the watch can be seen having a Rolex crown “printed” on the dial below 12 o’clock as well as a big Rolex crown instead the now present onion shaped “Brevet +” crown fitted on the cushion shaped case.

Update 7 May, 2018: Phillips informed us that the consignor of the watch found the original dial and big Rolex crown (like the watch was known by the 1997 catalogue) which will accompany the current lot.

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).

We hope that this Ref. 3646 / Type D will find a good new home and remains surfaced in the Vintage Panerai collectors world. [Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

[Photos with kindly permission / courtesy of www.phillips.com]

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Phillips GWA7 featuring a 3646 / Type D and a 6152/1

by on Apr.21, 2018, under Allgemein

Two Vintage Panerai watches will be up for auction in The Geneva Watch Auction: SEVEN at Phillips on 12 & 13 May 2018. Inbetween a total of 185 watches in this auction, Lot 212 is a Ref. 6152/1 with “Luminor Panerai” dial and rare caseback engraving of the Guardia di Finanza, followed by Lot 213, a Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” with anonymous sandwich dial.

Read more in our watch point.

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“Time Travelling”

by on Apr.14, 2018, under Allgemein

Karlsruhe, 12 September 1998 – it was a saturday morning, just perfect for a little walk and some window shopping at watch dealers, as I got interested in mechanical wristwatches since a couple of years. I walked into the shop of Jewellery Kamphues who is based downtown Karlsruhe since 1905, a house with a long tradition which carried some of the watch brands I wanted to take a look on at that saturday twenty years ago. What I saw in one of the displays inside was a big brown box, loaded with six very untypical, huge but even more attractive watches from a brand I just read in a watch magazine: Officine Panerai. This saturday in September 1998 was a good chance to see these new watches in person.

Rahmen_Bild_2018_1000x700_KH06 After a short presentation by one of the sales persons there, I received a blue squared brochure which carried a list of authorized dealers in Germany (very short back then – see left sheet in the photo), a price list in Deutsche Mark (featuring the famous PAM 21, listed at the bottom being the only Special Edition) and also it carried some kind of a virtual timer which started the interest for this “new brand” with huge watches in me just when I left the shop…

To get a good impression about how things were going with Officine Panerai back in 1998, when I met the brand for the first time, I highly recommend reading the interview by Joe Thompson with Angelo Bonati, which was just recently published at Hodinkee here. I kept this squared brochure from 1998 in my library in all the years and I always wanted to return to Jewellery Kamphues one day. Recently it finally happened.

Rahmen_Bild_2018_1000x700_KH01One of the reasons I wanted to travel to Karlsruhe was, that the manager of the shop contacted me a few months ago, asking if I would have some additional information on a Ref. 3646 / Type D with painted brass dial. I was surprised to take even notice that this watch – which we knew for quite some years – found its way to the dealer where I saw watches from Officine Panerai for the first time back in 1998!

The 3646 / Type D in question was added into our database already back in 2004 when it was on display in a little museum in Hamburg, where my co-author Ralf spotted it. He was allowed to take some photos of the watch but not from the inside (movement, inner caseback) so it remained an incomplete database entry in our records until it was consigned for auction in 2017 (read more in our watch point). Dr. Crott Auctioneers contacted us about the watch before their 95th auction and by its external details (especially the engraved initials on the caseback, as well as the original leather strap and buckle still on the watch) we were able to identify this watch being the same that Ralf discovered already 13 years ago in 2004.

Rahmen_Bild_2018_1000x700_KH03So here it was: the moment to return to the place where I saw watches from Officine Panerai for the first time in 1998 – 20 years ago – and to meet with the managers of the shop which we exchanged some information during the last months about the engraved “Kampfschwimmer” watch from the Second World War.

It was nice to see this Ref. 3646 / Type D again: the unpolished flat case and bezel, the black painted brass dial, the cylindrical Rolex crown (Type 13), the blued steel hands with complete and nicely aged luminous material. “Time Travelling” at its best. To Karlsruhe. To the dealer where it all began for me with Officine Panerai

Rahmen_Bild_2018_1000x700_KH02Actually its great to know where a watch went after the few occasions when it surfaced since we took notice of it. Now it found a great place in a display at Jewellery Kamphues where it is spot on, even customers and visitors of the shop can take a look at it.

Back in 2004 the Ref. 3646 / Type D with engraved “KG” on its caseback was in a little naval museum, more or less resting in a quiet corner. Later the museum moved into another location and since then it disappeared – we lost its track. For the following 13 years we heard no safe and sound of it. To our surprise it surfaced at an auction house in 2017 and now it found a good home in Karlsruhe. It was a pleasure to feel the excitement of the new owner (by the way he was wearing a nice Luminor Marina PVD from the A series), where it is part of a collection of excellent vintage watches.

Thanks for reading. [Volker Wiegmann]

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The 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” @ Dr. Crott is online

by on Apr.11, 2018, under Allgemein

Rahmen_Bild_2018_DrCrott_TypeD_1We introduced this watch, which is new to the market, a few weeks ago here, and the online catalogue of Dr. Crott Auctioneers now features the Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” with anonymous sandwich dial and Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement listed as lot 114. The 97th Auction will be held on 12 May, 2018 at the Sheraton Frankfurt Hotel, Airport.

Find the complete lot description from Dr. Crott Auctioneers in English, Chinese and German language. Read more about this watch also at our watch point here.

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One more 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” surfaced

by on Feb.28, 2018, under Allgemein

Rahmen_Bild_2018_DrCrott_TypeD_4Another Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” with anonymous dial has been added into our database: The first specimen of this number group in the year 2018. The watch with Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement comes with anonymous sandwich dial, blued steel hands and onion shaped Rolex crown (Type 11). Dr. Crott Auctioneers recently gave us a head-up on this Ref. 3646 / Type D, which has been consigned for auction by the family of the first owner, a German “Kampfschwimmer” during the Second World War. Read more about the watch in our watch point.

Vintage Panerai 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).

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Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” @ Dr. Crott

by on Feb.28, 2018, under Watch Point

Rahmen_Bild_2018_DrCrott_TypeD_1Dr. Crott Auctioneers will feature a Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” with anonymous Sandwich dial in their upcoming 97th Auction on 12 May, 2018. Both, the 47 mm cushion shaped case and the plexi are unpolished. Typical for a Ref. 3646 with sandwich dial, the watch has the high version of the bezel (see photo below). The blued steel hands appear untouched, with the original luminous material and show only a very small broken out area in the inner area of the hour hand and in the surface of the luminous material of the minute hand.

The inner caseback (with full polish decoration, partially visible on the photo below) bears the typical Rolex SA hallmark, reference and case number known for 3646 / Type D watches. This watch marks the first new recorded specimen in our database for the year 2018 inside the Ref. 3646 / Type D number group… one more piece of the puzzle added!

Rahmen_Bild_2018_DrCrott_TypeD_2The original strap and buckle of the watch have not survived the last seven decades, like many other watches of this era and age appear in these days. For the presentation of the watch at the auction house, a new brown leather strap was mounted when we took the photos. Inside the watch is working a Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement with typical decorations and engravings on the bridges. The watch does not have the original seals between bezel, case and caseback anymore but other than that, the watch comes with its original onion shaped “Brevet +” winding crown (Type 11, see photo below).

Rahmen_Bild_2018_DrCrott_TypeD_3Features of the watch:
Reference: 3646 / Type D
Dial: “Kampfschwimmer”  (sandwich, anonymous)
Case number: 2604XX
Movement: Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1

The outer caseback of the watch has no personal engravings of the first owner. The family of the first owner has consigned the watch with additional information of an existing portrait photo, showing the first owner in his navy uniform, which was taken in Venice/Italy (where he was exercised to become a “Kampfschwimmer”). This portrait photo is dated to November 1944 on the backside, handwritten with a dedication to his family at home. However, this photo belongs to the family today and is not part of the current lot ( = watch only).

We hope this Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” 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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“Like Men From Mars!”

by on Jan.21, 2018, under Allgemein

In addition to the story published at Fellows, Revolution and wornandwound.com about the Ref. 3646 / Type C watch, which Sgt. George W. Rowson brought home from his service in the 43rd (Wessex) Reconnaissance Regiment, we have gathered some information about the attemp of twelve German “Kampfschwimmer” units (three teams of four) to attack both bridges across the river Waal at Nijmegen in the night of 28/29 September, 1944. The first team was sent to attack the railroad bridge, the second and third team to attack the road bridge.

The story of Sgt. Rowson’s “Radiomir Panerai” is matching with information on the capture of both, second and third team which failed to attack the road bridge of Nijmegen. These eight “Kampfschwimmer” units (of which one of them belonged the Ref. 3646 / Type C) were: Orlowski, Ohrdorf, Weber, Schmidt, Kolbruch, Dyck, Gebel and Halwelka (two KIA, six POW).

Rahmen_Bild_2018_1000x700_Nijmegen_drawingThe caption of a drawing by War Artist Captain Bryan de Grineau of the British Army in Holland, to which we give our credits, published in an undated British newspaper (part of a collection of documents, provided to us by German frogmen veteran Karl-Heinz Kiefer during our research of the book “History1”) reads as the following:

“Like men from Mars! Amphibious German assault troops captured near Nijmegen, presenting a fantastic appearance in skin-tight rubber suits, extraordinary rubber flappers, rubber skull-caps, and oxygen masks. The whole denoted a daring night attemp to blow up the Nijmegen bridges, the men being detected struggeling upstream in the early morning.”

Furthermore, in this interesting story, the attack of the two Nijmegen bridges, with a focus on the attack of the road bridge (located around 500 metres before the railroad bridge) is written below:

“One of the most daring enemy acts of the war was an attempt on the night of September 28 to blow up the Nijmegen railroad and road bridges spanning the Waal. If successful it would have cut communications between the British troops each side of the river. The men selected for the task – twelve in all – were first-class swimmers who underwent three months special training at Venice. They wore rubber skull-caps, rubber skin-tight suits, and paddle-shaped rubber flaps attached to their boots, which enabled them to cut through the water downstream with remarkable speed. They were also equipped with rubber masks which enabled them to swim long distances under water, being connected with oxygen flasks. Entering the Waal 17.5 miles above Nijmegen at night, they carried three floating charges of powerful Hexanite explosive, each like a twin torpedo, and split up into three parties, one making for the railway bridge, the other two for the road bridge, each charge provided with a time fuse. They were nearly successful but the strength of the eight-knot current prevented them from fixing the charges quite successfully. They made the mistake of swimming back upcurrent. After covering 6.25 miles exhaustion forced them to rest in the shallows. British soldiers saw them and fired, killing two. The remainder surrendered. Our War Artist at Nijmegen illustrates the prisoners coming in. The first charge exploded by the road bridge, doing little damage, the second was heroically rendered harmless by a naval lieutenant who dived under the bridge.”

An interesting photo of the attacked railroad bridge (dated 30 September 1944), attacked by the first group of four German “Kampfschwimmer” units (Bretschneider, Jäger, Olle and Wolchendorf), can be found in the archives of the Imperial War Museum here. Only Bretschneider and Jäger returned to their lines, while Olle and Wolchendorf were caught after the attack and became POW.

The_Frogmen_sketch_600x600Another small but interesting detail (in terms of the Panerai watches worn by the frogmen of the second and third team) of the well documented attack of the Nijmegen bridges, can be read in the book “The Frogmen” by Waldron & Gleeson, published 1954 and part of our library, on page 119:

“The minutes ticked by as the other eight swimmers sat huddled on the bank conversing in low tones, and glancing often at the luminous dials of their underwater watches. When the time came, they put on their oxygen sets and slipped quietly into the water.”

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Just because… how straps looked on 3646 back in 1944

by on Dec.14, 2017, under Allgemein

Rahmen_Bild_2017_1000x700_KS_Alga_1944Recently we have been contacted by collectors about a comment on a photo which is published in our book “The References” 1930’s-1940’s on page 514-515. It shows a group of German “Kampfschwimmer” units in the summer of 1944. The orignal paper photo (17.5 x 23.5 cm, see photo on the left) belongs to our library and has been scanned in 2015 to be published in our book on watches of the Ref. 3646 / Type D.

The comment in question was provided to us as following (read grey underlined text):

Erwan_Waterolian_BildIt’s IMPOSSIBLE say the color of one strap viewing one pic in black and white, ALSO when the pic are digitalized and manipulated with color filters. The straps appear here in “clear” colors are simply because the original pic are edited with “warm filters” for get more contrasts in the final results.

So, I’m absolutely sure (because I check the image and turned to his real black&white tones, the color of this picture you see here are NOT REAL.

Its easy for a photographer see this image are turned with filters, if you see the skin of the people are unreal, and some clothes are unreal color, because are turned for make more “beautiful” the pic.

The photo, which is part of a photo album that belonged to a veteran who took the photos by himself during his service in the navy, has been published in a preview earlier here. Further photos of this veteran’s album are published on page 274, 284, 414, 474, 475 (chapter II.IV) and page 671 (chapter IV). It is interesting to see how the colors of the straps have changed over the decades, knowing that not many of these original straps survived until today.

The photo above was taken today (December 14, 2017) with a mobile phone to show that we hold the original photo in our library and did not used any filters or manipulated the photo to create a wrong impression to the reader. [Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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From tool watch to war souvenir – the journey of a 3646

by on Nov.25, 2017, under Allgemein

Rahmen_Bild_2017_3646_B_Sothebys07Only a few days until the Important Watches auction of Sotheby’s New York will start. We have published earlier some information about the Ref. 3646 / Type B (lot 946) with “Radiomir Panerai” dial here, which will be part of this sale.

Since we got additional information about the second owners’ history, we see also a well travelled piece of time to find a new owner. Switzerland, Italy, Germany, United Kingdom, Canada (for the most part of its existence) and now an “interstation” in New York City at Sotheby’s. Which route will this Vintage Panerai watch take after the auction is over? We don’t know it for now, and maybe we will never see it again… However, it would be great to see it on a collector’s wrist in the future, since this watch has a lot more to tell than just the time.

By the support of the second owner’s family we received some additional information from the time when this watch changed its function from tool watch into a war souvenir in April 1945. Part of the documentation is an excerpt from the Coldstream Guards regimental diary. It contains details of their tanks crossing the bridge and significantly one of the few references to Tesperhude. This diary tells us after many years: “No.3 Sqn after concentrating at 834362 waited until 1600 hrs. before they were called forward to Tesperhude 802383 where they spent the night.”

Rahmen_Bild_2017_3646_B_Sothebys06Tesperhude, a small town at the north bank of the river Elbe, made our eyebrows lift when we read this part of the regimental diary. Since we were hunting for historic maps of this area in Germany, we remembered Tesperhude featured on the map which we published on page 826-827 in our book “History2” (see above) together with information about the crossing of the river Elbe by allied forces at the end of April, 1945.

We don’t know anything about the fate of the “Kampfschwimmer” who used this watch in this area where he was sent for duty, as we don’t know it on so many other watches of which all the history behind got lost in the last decades. We don’t know if he survived his mission and became a POW shortly after. We don’t know if the frogman was KIA and the watch was just discovered by those who guarded a bridge. Maybe he was just happy to survive and gave away his diving watch to a sentry who treated him well or maybe he swapped it for something he needed more than a watch then. And maybe he crossed the river Elbe on his way to an allied POW camp on the very same pontoon bridge which he just tried to attack a few days before? All these questions can never be answered. But: The text engraved on the backside of this Ref. 3646 / Type B (even for the fact that Tesperhude was engraved like vocalized Tespahude) let this watch speak a little about what happened, where, when and why.

Captain_Coltart_17_March_1945Again, we express our special thanks to the descendants of Captain Coltart who provided us information on the Ref. 3646 / Type B and its story behind. We even received a photo of Captain Coltart and his bride taken on March 17, 1945 – just before his return to the front. This makes it for us even more special to be able to put a face behind an (engraved) name. He made it home and he carried this watch back from the front – as a war souvenir.

Switzerland, Italy, Germany, United Kingdom, Canada, United States – which way will this Vintage Panerai watch go into the future? Will we ever see it again?

We hope that this watch will find a good new home and remains surfaced in the Vintage Panerai collectors world. [Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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Two “Watches with History” @ Phillips GWA6

by on Sep.26, 2017, under Allgemein

canvas210Phillips will auction two Vintage Panerai watches on Sunday, 12 November 2017 during their Geneva Watch Auction: SIX. Lot 209 is a Ref. 6152/1 “Luminor Panerai” and Lot 210 is a Ref. 3646 / Type C “Kampfschwimmer” (photo).

Read more on both “Watches with History” in our Watch Point. Lot 209 is featured in our book “The References” 1950’s-1960’s – more info here. Lot 210 is featured in our book “History2” – more info here.

[Photo with kindly permission / courtesy of www.phillips.com]

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