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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