Sneak Preview of a Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer”

by on Sep.06, 2014, under Allgemein

Got the chance to stop by at auctioneer Dr. Crott in Mannheim / Germany for taking a close look at yet surfaced Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer”, which will be auctioned on saturday, november 15th in Frankfurt (LOT 78).

The watch is filling another place of a piece in the big Vintage Panerai puzzle, matching our database criteria in the group of the watches of the Reference 3646 / Type D. It has been recently delivered to the auctioneer being a heirloom of a german watchmaker’s family.

The front view shows the anonymous “Kampfschwimmer” sandwich dial and the bright blue steel hands with their original luminous material (partially off). Small cracks in the plexi are proof of age of the “volcano dome” shaped plexi.

Also the aged numbers and markers of the dial in different colors (from yellow to light orange / amber) are a typical feature of 3646 / Type D watches and can be found on many others. The screw-down caseback of the watch is plain (without individual engravings).

The inner caseback shows the – typical for the Ref. 3646 / Type D criteria – Rolex SA stamp, reference number and case number and has a fully decorated finish. The engine of the watch is the Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement.

Typical for this type of movement is the “ROLEX 17 RUBIS” engraving on the center bridge. As usual on Rolex Cal. 618 movements used in watches of the Reference 3646, the balance cock bears the S-F / A-R regulation device.

Features of the watch:
Reference: 3646 / Type D
Dial: “Kampfschwimmer”  (sandwich, engraved)
Case number: 2606XX
Movement: Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1

The new owner of this watch may decide to change the actual non-screw-down replacement crown with tubular shaped “Oyster Patent” crown (Type 13) or – with some luck – with an onion shaped “Brevet +” crown (Type 11). The “neck” of the cushion shaped case still exists and a good watchmaker should be able to place a tube into it to get a screw-down crown from Rolex on it.

Similar watches of this type with anonymous “Kampfschwimmer” sandwich dials are featured in our books “History1” (chapter II) and “History2” (chapter V and chapter VII).

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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