Engraved “Kampfschwimmer” @ Dr. Crott’s 90th auction

by on Oct.07, 2014, under Watch Point

Another rare Vintage Panerai Ref. 3646 / Type D is up for sale at Dr. Crott in their 90th auction on november 15th in Frankfurt (LOT 79). Recently captured some photos of the watch, bearing a rare and unique “Kampfschwimmer” engraving, featuring the initials of the first owner (“VK” for Valentin Kohlmann), year of service (1944) and the number of the task force he belonged to (“Meeres-Kämpfer 11. Einsatzgruppe”).

The watch has been delivered to the auctioneer by the veteran’s grandson, accompanied by a rare compass (black 54 mm case, solid lugs, unsigned), photos of Valentin Kohlmann during his service in WW2 and a documentation compiled by his family.

Features of the watch can be lined-up as the following: the aged plexi bears very fine cracks in the outer area near to the bezel, the blued steel hour and minute hand are both coming with the complete luminous material, the four numbers and eight markers of the anonymous “Kampfschwimmer” sandwich dial from Panerai appear in various colors reaching from yellow to orange. The number one wear-and-tear part, the winding crown, has been replaced by a non-screw-down-crown. The original “neck” and the tube for holding a screw-down-crown (Type 11 or Type 13 matching the thread of the tube) are still present.

Once opened the engraved caseback, the engine of the watch can be observed: the typical Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement without incabloc shock protection, the typical decorations on bridges and the “ROLEX 17 RUBIS” engraving on the center bridge. The balance cock is engraved with the S-F / A-R regulation device.

A view onto the fully decorated inner caseback shows the Rolex SA embossing in the center, reference number 3646 and individual case number below, which is recorded in our database in the group of Ref. 3646 / Type D watches.

Features of the watch:
Reference: 3646 / Type D
Dial: “Kampfschwimmer”  (sandwich, engraved)
Case number: 2604XX
Movement: Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1

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). An identical compass is featured in our book “History2” on page 598, 600 and 601 (chapter VI).

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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