Ref. 3646 / Type E “California Dial” @ Sotheby’s HK

by on Sep.30, 2019, under Watch Point

Sotheby’s will auction a Ref. 3646 / Type E with “California Dial” and Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 mod. movement in their upcoming auction Important Watches in Hong Kong on 8 October, 2019 (lot 2310). The watch is recorded in our database since May 2013.

Rahmen_2019_SothebysHK_2310The “California Dial” is corresponding with the flat bezel of the watch – a typical combination of dial version and bezel (a Panerai dial with its sandwich construction would need a higher bezel due to its height). The “Error-Proof Radium Dial” by Rolex, with its railroad track minute markers and “SWISS MADE” signature at six o’clock, features half arabic and half roman numbers with luminous material applied from above. The onion shaped winding crown (“BREVET +” Type 11) is screwed down onto the collar of the 47 mm cushion shaped case with soldered lugs.

Noteworthy, this watch is one of only three known pieces within the number group Ref. 3646 / Type E which show a Rolex hallmark and reference number on its inner caseback. Usually, known watches of the number group Ref. 3646 / Type E only bear their case number on the inner caseback as typical feature. We have pointed this out in our book “The References” 1930’s-1940’s in chapter II.V (page 537) and II.VI (page 579-581), where this watch is mentioned by its case number several times.

Since 2016, three new watches of the number group Ref. 3646 / Type E surfaced, two of them expanded the number group from 260856 – 261097 (1.1.2016) to 260850 – 260111 (29 watches recorded as of today).

Features of the watch:
Reference: 3646 / Type E
Dial: “California Dial”
Case number: 260918
Movement: Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 mod.

We hope that also this watch will find a good new home and remains surfaced in the Vintage Panerai collectors world. [Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

[Photo of the Ref. 3646 / Type E watch courtesy of]

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