The story behind “History2”

by on Jul.21, 2014, under Allgemein

Our first book, published in 2007 and entitled “Watches with History” opened with the words “In this book we would like to give the reader an overview of historic Panerai watches and their documented history.” 2013, six years passed since then, during which we have embarked on many interesting trips into the past while researching this subject. In 2012 we were able to take an even deeper and more comprehensive look at the wearers and the uses of these watches in the book “History1”. In the book “History2” we once again take our readers on a journey through time with five more stories; five exciting and moving fates of courageous men, for whom their Panerai watch was not an item of jewellery, but rather an important piece of equipment. At the end of each chapter we document the current condition of the watch in question, its special features and technical details with a current extract from our database, which we have set up and which we are expanding constantly.

While many of the questions today about historic Panerai watches and their wearers are often the same, the traces we have followed on our research trails and the answers we have found could not be more different. The starting point of our journeys of discovery is always a Panerai watch that still exists today. Every story that we have brought to light has taken us to our destination by very different paths. These stories, which have in the most literal sense “resurfaced”, provide the reader with answers to the questions: Who used the watch? Where and under what conditions did the training of the special marine units take place? When and to what purpose were the missions carried out? And further: How and by which means were the combat swimmer missions conducted? How do the veterans now assess their deployments at that time? We have pursued these questions and, thanks to the help of some of the surviving veterans of the Second World War, their descendents, and through the analysis of previously unknown documents such as personal notes, interviews conducted with the veterans or documents from enemy archives and their espionage departments, we managed to compile very impressive and authentic chapters.

It was and remains very important to us to endow the veterans with a “voice” in this book, to tell their true story. This book does not represent a political statement about the period of the Second World War – rather, we have tried document the historically provable facts about the circumstances and events of that time. This book outlines the personal experiences of the combat swimmers and describes in the smallest detail their fate, which has, during conversations or in written correspondence, evoked at times painful memories and great emotions after many decades. Without their inspiration and great support, this book would never have been possible in such comprehensive form. For this we wish to express our deep gratitude to “our” veterans.

The four watches presented in this book (Reference 3646) were in action under “real” battle conditions in the Second World War. They accompanied their original owners since combat swimmer training and indeed for many years after the war.

Our book “History2″ is in stock. It can be ordered directly at our bookstore. Enjoy reading!
[Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]


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