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Lot No. 114
Lot No. 114
Estimate  65,000 - 80,000 €
This is a lot of the last auction!

Officine Panerai Brevetee "Radiomir", Rolex SA-Genève, Suisse, 31 Victoires, Haute Precision

, Case No. 260448, Ref. 3646 / Type D, Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1, 47 x 47 mm, circa 1944

A diver's important German navy watch. So far less than 80 watches of this type are known to exist.

Case: steel, screw back, onion shaped Rolex "Brevet Plus" winding crown type 11. Dial: black, "sandwich" type, luminous Arabic numerals/indexes, blued luminous baton hands.

Both, the cushion shaped case and the plexi are unpolished and in fantastic original condition. The blued steel hands appear untouched, with the original luminous material. Typical for a Ref. 3646 with sandwich dial, the watch has the high version of the bezel.
The inner caseback bears the typical Rolex SA hallmark, reference and case number known for 3646 / Type D watches.
The outer caseback of the watch has no personal engravings of the first owner. His family 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).

Watches of the Reference 3646 / Type D are featured in the book "Vintage Panerai - The References 1930's-1940's" by Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann in chapter II.IV (page 398-531) including a historic photo of a "Kampfschwimmer" wearing a 3646 with brass dial on page 475. 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.

Radiomir Panerai
Because of the 1914 invention of the luminous material "Radiomir" - a mix of zinc sulfide and radium bromide - the Panerai dials could be read well at night and in deep water. Panerai made use of this advantage in his watches and was commissioned to produce the first diver's wristwatches, called "Radiomir". The first prototypes were still produced at Rolex, the later watches and their cases were produced at Panerai according to Oyster standards. In 1936 the Panerai Radiomir became a part of the secret naval equipment.
Source: "Armbanduhren Klassik Katalog", Koenigswinter 2005, page 146.

With the kind support of Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann, , the highly recommended website for vintage Panerai watches.
Case: very good, worn
Dial: very good
Movm.: very good, capable of running, cleaning recommended

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