Surfaced after 72 years: one more Ref. 3646 / Type C with riveted plastic dial

by on Mar.19, 2017, under Allgemein

When we started to search for the veteran at the beginning of 2017, we could not know wether the search would be successful or not (like many times before). We knew the frogman only by his name, featured in battlefield reports since the mid 1950’s several times, and we knew the city in Germany where he lived after the end of the Second World War.

When we virtually knocked at his door, nobody was there to open anymore. With a big portion of luck and the cooperation of his family, we connected a few months later to finally ask his family some questions, which the veteran himself was sadly not able to answer anymore. We provided some photos of the German “Kampfschwimmer” from 1944 and 1945 to the family, which they had never seen before, but which were part of our records since several years.

Rahmen_Bild_hoch_2017_3646_C_rpd_KSRecently we got photos of the Vintage Panerai watch, which the frogman stored in a safe place before the war was over and before he became a POW of the British. Before we saw the first photos, our “wild guess” was, that it could be a Ref. 3646 / Type D. But the soon later arrived photos of the dial let us think it might be an earlier version: a 3646 with riveted plastic dial. Maybe it would be a Ref. 3646 / Type B like most of the watches with such dials are recorded? The final proof to which number group it belongs to, was the look onto the inner caseback of the watch: a Ref. 3646 / Type C with Rolex SA hallmark in the center and a seven digit number underneath the reference number 3646. So, one more piece of the Vintage Panerai puzzle added in shape of a Ref. 3646 / Type C with riveted plastic dial.

The remarkable “untouched” condition, since it was keepsake for the veteran and has remained in the possession of the frogman’s family during all these years (72 years, to be exactly), can be pointed out by the fact that the watch has still the original leather strap sewn onto the soldered lugs of the cushion shaped case and the nickel-plated brass buckle (in the typical “bottle opener” shape with sharp edges) as well as a Rolex 618 / Type 1 movement with details known in more than 90% of all recorded watches of the Ref. 3646 / Type C in our database. The still complete luminous material on the blued steel hands can be rarely found on watches of this age, as well as the original domed plexi and the onion shaped crown (“Brevet +” / Type 11). More about watches of the Ref. 3646 / Type C can be found in our book “The References” 1930’s-1940’s on page 248-397 in chapter II.III.

We hope that the watch remains as a keepsake for the family and maybe the veteran’s grandchildren enjoy wearing it in the future. [Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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