Rare brass dialed “G-Bird” on auction @ Antiquorum

by on Oct.18, 2014, under Watch Point

We got attention of another rare Vintage Panerai Ref. 3646, which will be up for auction: the particular watch, featured as a Ref. 3646 / Type G in our database of today’s existing Vintage Panerai watches, is within the smallest of the seven different number groups and will be auctioned at Antiquorum in Geneva, November 8th/9th 2014 (LOT 783). Detailled technical illustrations explaining the seven different groups within the Reference 3646 are published in our book “History1” on page 72, as well as in our book “History2” on page 550.

Features of the watch:
Reference: 3646 / Type G
Dial: “Kampfschwimmer”  (painted brass, anonymous)
Case number: 317526
Movement: Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 mod.

Find the illustrations of  Ref. 3646 / Type A – C casebacks here. You can compare the different inner caseback engravings in Ref. 3646 / Type D – G watches here.

Typical features of a Ref. 3646 / Type G watch are: the missing Rolex SA embossing on the inner caseback, bearing a plain center with the caseback number 317526 in the upper area, wich also marks the highest number in the Ref. 3646 / Type G number group (317488 – 317526) and can be called until today as “the last 3646” recorded in our database. Another feature of Ref. 3646 / Type G watches is the center bridge of the movement (Rolex Cal. 618/ Type 1 mod.), which bears the “17 RUBIS FAB. SUISSE”, while earlier 3646 watches (Type A – Type D) bear the “ROLEX 17 RUBIS” engraved on the left of the center bridge.

All today known watches of this number group are equipped with a flat bezel as the dials are “California Dial” or the painted brass dial (not the typical Panerai sandwich construction dial, which needs a higher bezel to cover dial and hands).

This particular dial, a black painted brass disc with luminous material applied from the top, can be easily identified from a distance by its “closed” numbers 6 and 9, while on Panerai sandwich dials these two numbers are “open” because of the different production process.

Its a pleasure to see such a rare watch surfacing today being another full matching entry in our database, and one of the only less than ten watches known inside the Ref. 3646 / Type G number group. Watches of the Ref. 3646 / Type G represents the most anonymised versions of Ref. 3646 watches by their unsigned dial, unsigned inner caseback and unsigned movement (no Panerai or Rolex trademarks), in our understanding to hide the origins of these military tool watches, made in 1944.

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]

[Photos with kindly permission / courtesy of www.antiquorum.com]

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