Tag: www.sothebys.com

Sotheby’s New York will auction an engraved Ref. 3646 / Type B

by on Nov.14, 2017, under Allgemein

Rahmen_Bild_2017_3646_B_Sothebys05Sotheby’s will auction a Ref. 3646 / Type B with “Radiomir Panerai” sandwich dial, Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement and engraved caseback (lot 946) in their New York auction Important Watches on 6 December 2017. Read more about the history behind this 3646, which carries you back to the last days of the Second World War at the river Elbe, here in our watch point.

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

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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.

preview_Roesel_824-825
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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Ref. 3646 / Type E @ Sotheby’s

by on May.30, 2016, under Watch Point

Rahmen_Bild_2016_Sothebys_Lot166Sotheby’s New York features a Ref. 3646 / Type E in their Important Watches auction on June 8th, in New York (Lot 166). The watch has been added into our database back in 2007 with painted brass dial, Rolex 618 / Type 1 mod. movement and caseback without Rolex SA hallmark – features of a Ref. 3646 / Type E watch. In its actual condition, the watch is equipped with a re-manufatured dial (a sandwich construction of two brass discs and transparent plastic disc in the middle) with “Radiomir Panerai” lettering, made during restoration at the Officine Panerai customer service, dated March 2016.

Extract of Sotheby’s lot description about the re-manufactured dial:
The present 3646 recently underwent restoration at Officine Panerai, which included a re-manufactured dial with Superluminova and a complete service with extreme care made to retain original components and finishes, including remarkably retaining its original crystal.

The watch is mentioned together with other known Ref. 3646 watches with brass dials in our book “The References” in chapter II.IV on page 471 and in chapter II.V on page 565. Further information on painted brass dials in combination with the flat version of the bezel can be found in the chapter II.IV on page 472-479.

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

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The Admiral’s Watch

by on Apr.09, 2016, under Allgemein

IMG_2765_600x600Lets face it: Vintage Panerai watches can be considered “rare” among thousands of vintage timekeepers from many different brands. Our new book “The References” features a “Luminor Panerai” watch which deserves the attribute “exceptional”: Admiral Gino Birindelli’s Ref. 6152/1 “Luminor Panerai”. Less than 90 watches of the Reference 6152/1 with Rolex movements are recorded in our database today, around 2/3 of them have a Panerai crown-protecting device.

What makes a rare Vintage Panerai watch an exceptional Vintage Panerai watch? For us, its the summary of interesting details of the watch and the historical background of the previous owner. In this case, its a very famous owner: Gino Birindelli M.O.V.M. (1911-2008) was in fact the first SLC pilot who entered an enemy harbor with his device in the night of 30 October 1940. At a time when the secret weapon of the Royal Italian Navy had to deliver its ultimate proof to be successful. At a time when months of intensive training under the highest level of secrecy was about to turn the “Spirito del Serchio” from a military secret into a legend. At a time when two transport submarines and their crews were already lost before an attack was even carried out… not an easy task at all. But Birindelli made it.

IMG_2769_600x600Chapter II.I (first volume / 1930’s-1940’s) features a chronological line-up of the missions carried out by the Decima MAS until 8 September 1943, in which the mission B.G.2 against Gibraltar is listed. Birindelli survived being a prisoner of war from October 1940 to March 1944 (first sent from Gibraltar at the end of 1940 to a camp near London – almost 3 months isolated – followed by camps in Edinburgh, Tennessee, Casablanca, Algiers and finally back to Taranto in Italy.

After this torture with a lucky end, his career in the Italian Navy continued. Birindelli was commander of the Incursori (COMSUBIN) from 26 September 1948 to 30 April 1950, once again from 1 May 1954 to 5 June 1956. What better officer could lead these special units than one of the famous SLC pilots who invented the secreat weapon years ago? Gino Birindelli circumnavigated the globe between 1 September 1956 and 1 March 1957, stopped at 34 ports on four continents and covered a distance of 33.170 nautical miles. Birindelli was promoted to rear admiral in 1959, headed the I Divisione Navale as well as the fleet command (Comandante in Capo della Squadra Navale) Gino Birindelli headed the Allied naval forces in southern Europe before he retired in December 1973 in the rank of Ammiraglio di Squadra.

IMG_2768_600x600Chapter VIII.II (second volume / 1950’s-1960’s) features Gino Birindelli’s 6152/1 watch with crown-protecting device, Rolex movement, “Luminor Panerai” dial and extremely rare rotating bezel, of which only a few are known to exist today. Thanks to the support of Sotheby’s Geneva by the provided photos for our book, the details of this watch are shown on page 1006-1013, followed by the impressive story of its famous owner on page 1014-1043.

Enjoy reading the history behind a truly “exceptional” Vintage Panerai watch in chapter VIII.II of “The References”.

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Ref. 6152/1 “Radiomir Panerai” @ Sotheby’s

by on Feb.22, 2016, under Watch Point

Rahmen_Bild_hoch_2016_Sothebys_Lot139Sotheby’s London features a Ref. 6152/1 with 8 mm Rolex crown in their Watches auction on March 8th (Lot 139).

The 6152/1 with its brown aged “Radiomir Panerai” dial is recorded in our database since 2013 together with additional information dating back to the year 1992. Back then the faded brown color of the dial and the dark faded luminous material in the “Double Pencil – Sharp Pin” hands were already visible. The watch features a typical Rolex 618 / Type 4 movement (Type 4 = 17 Rubis and Incabloc shock protection).

Watches of the Reference 6152/1 with 8 mm Rolex crown are featured in our new “The References” 1950’s-1960’s in chapter VIII.I (page 878-921).

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 of the Ref. 6152/1 watch with kindly permission / courtesy of www.sothebys.com]

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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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Admiral Birindelli’s 6152/1 @ Sotheby’s

by on Apr.25, 2014, under Watch Point

Another auction highlight in may will be a Ref. 6152/1 “Luminor Panerai” watch: Sotheby’s Important Watches in Geneva presents the watch of a famous owner on may 14th, 2014 (LOT 298).

Features of the watch:
Reference: 6152/1
Dial: “Luminor Panerai” (sandwich, engraved)
Case number: 1249XX
Movement: Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 4

The watch comes from the descendants of Admiral Gino Birindelli (1911 – 2008). It is one of very few existing Ref. 6152/1 watches with rotating plexi bezel. The movement of the watch is corresponding with our database, being a typical Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 4 version with incabloc shock protection and 17 jewels.

During the 2nd world war, Gino Birindelli was a pilot in the early SLC missions G.A.1 (August 1940 against Alexandra, transported by the submarine Iride), B.G.1 and B.G.2 (October 1940) in which he and his well known comrads (Damos Paccagnini, Teseo Tesei, Luigi Durant De La Penne, Alcide Pedretti, Emilio Bianchi / Gastone Bertozzi, Giuseppe Viglioli) were transported by the submarine Scirè under the command of Junio Valerio Borghese against targets in the harbour of Gibraltar. Birindelli and his co-pilot Paccagnini were captured and became POW. After his release from POW he was awarded with the gold medal for galantry at war (M.O.V.M.) in 1943 for his achievement during the mission B.G.2 in Gibraltar, 1940.

After the 2nd world war, Birindelli was commander of the Com.Sub.In. (Comando Subacquei ed Incursori) special forces in Varignano near La Spezia from 1948 to 1950 and from 1954 to 1956. Later he became commander of NATO forces of the Mediterranean in the early 1970s, followed by a political career in the italian parliament.

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]

[Photo of the Ref. 6152/1 watch with kindly permission / courtesy of www.sothebys.com]

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More photos of Sotheby’s LOT 293 (Ref. 3646 / Type D)

by on Nov.07, 2013, under Watch Point

We recently received a few more photos of the Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” watch, which will be auctioned next week in Geneva.

In Addition to the previously published info on this watch, we can see on these photos interesting details: the “volcano dome” plexi (top left), the non-engraved caseback (top right), the typical 3646 / Type D cushion shaped case with short looped lugs (low left) and a close look at the sewn-in buckle (low right).

For further info on the different shape of soldered lugs on Ref. 3646 watches, you can see comparing photos on page 769 in chapter VIII.I of our book “History2”.

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

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“Kampfschwimmer” at Sotheby’s Important Watches

by on Nov.06, 2013, under Allgemein

Sotheby’s has a Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” watch in their upcoming Important Watches auction in Geneva, november 12th (LOT 293).

This watch is one of the lowest case numbers known today in the number group of Ref. 3646 / Type D. It is accompanied with a compass and comes with its original domed plexiglass. The tongue part of the leather strap is missing, while the buckle part is still present.

The inner caseback engravings, in combination with the Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement, are matching our database criteria (see photo below).

Features of the watch:
Reference: 3646 / Type D
Dial: “Kampfschwimmer” (sandwich, anonymous)
Case number: 260429
Movement: Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1

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.sothebys.com]

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Upcoming auction in November @ Sotheby’s

by on Oct.29, 2012, under General


Another Ref. 3646 / Type D watch will be on auction in november: A “Kampfschwimmer” – 260563 – will be auctioned at Sotheby’s during their Important Watches auction in Geneva, november 13th.

Features of the watch:
Reference: 3646 / Type D
Dial: “Kampfschwimmer”  (sandwich, engraved)
Case number: 260563
Movement: Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1

The watch is listed in our database since february 2010. It is one of more than 50 watches within the Ref. 3646 / Type D number group. You can read and see more about the different versions of Ref. 3646 watches in our 2nd book “Vintage Panerai – The References”. In specific, watches of the Ref. 3646 / Type D are introduced in chapter I.IV (page 84 to 121)

We hope that also this watch will find a good new home and remains surfaced in the Vintage Panerai collectors world.

[photo courtesy of Sotheby’s / G. Ader]

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