Another engraved Ref. 3646 / Type D up for auction

by on May.12, 2015, under Allgemein

Christie’s New York features another rare Ref. 3646 / Type D (LOT 155)  in their upcoming Important Watches auction 3752 (June 17th). The watch with its anonymous “Kampfschwimmer” dial is recorded in our database since 2013.

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

The inner caseback engravings bear the Rolex SA stamp, reference and case number of the watch. In combination with the Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement, these details are matching with our database criteria for watches of the Ref. 3646 / Type D number group.

The caseback of the watch bears the additional “Marine Kampf-Schwimmer” (navy frogmen) engraving plus the year of its service (1945). The initials of the watch’s first owner “AM” were engraved in a german POW camp right after the war, where some of the remaining german frogmen units were imprisoned. After the war, many watches “changed ownership” with members of the allied forces and travelled to these servicemen’s home countries (UK, USA…).

Like other valuable asset, wrist watches were sometimes traded for other goods, which were urgently needed for life back in these days (“lucky strike currency”). This is why today some of these watches surfaced overseas, as it is the case with this watch. Since the end of the 2nd world war this Ref. 3646 / Type D watch remained in the United States, where the family of the 2nd owner (a former U.S. Navy serviceman) contacted us in 2013 to find out the history behind.

Similar watches of the 3646 / Type D number group are featured in our books “History1” (chapter II) and “History2” (chapter V and VII). You can read in these books many details about training and missions in which these Panerai watches were an important part of the frogmen’s equipment during the 2nd world war.

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]

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