Tag: “The References”

“Operazione Stella” – Luigi Ferraro’s Panerai watch

by on Feb.05, 2022, under Allgemein

IMG_3065_600x600A “Gamma” frogman who wrote history. A photo from 1998 which was a reminder not to miss the chance to capture Luigi Ferraro’s story in our book “The References” – together with the 3646 / Type B watch he was wearing during the “Operazione Stella” in 1943.

One of the few watches which can be followed back to the first owner, which is also a very famous one: Luigi Ferraro (M.O.V.M.). Not easy to capture as much as possible of his story in a part in the first volume of “The References”, which filled several books of Italian authors with hundreds of pages. Even in the first Panerai books, written by Giampiero Negretti in 1998, Luigi Ferraro’s famous missions in the mediterranean sea found their place to be mentioned.

IMG_3071_600x600To get in touch with the family of the veteran Luigi Ferraro (1914-2006) was a very intensive and exciting time during the research about his Ref. 3646 / Type B “Radiomir Panerai” with riveted plastic dial (chapter II.II page 190-203). Paolo Ferraro, one of Luigi Ferraro sons, provided excellent photos and made personal documents available for us to be featured in our book, which gave us the chance to illustrate the history behind his father’s watch.

In January 1943 Luigi Ferraro obtained his qualification to carry out underwater missions. Initially posted to North Africa to attack enemy targets in the Port of Tripoli, he had to leave the area and returned to Italy. In May 1943 he was posted to La Spezia, where he received instructions from commander Borghese for a new mission – this time not in North Africa, but in the eastern Mediterranean: the Turkish ports of Alexandretta and Mersina. Luigi Ferraro’s four “Stella” missions, for which he was awarded with the M.O.V.M., are described in chapter II.II (page 204-225).

IMG_3070_600x600Aside several tools of his time as a “Gamma” frogman, Luigi Ferraro’s 3646 / Type B “Radiomir Panerai” never changed ownership and remained a memorable piece for him and his family since he returned from war. The watch shows intensive proof of aging and is an example of how different these rare watches have aged after more than 70 years. The watch still has its original strap, as well as its original domed plexiglas crystal – intensively aged with countless fissures. Numbers, indices and the typical “Radiomir Panerai” lettering on the riveted plastic dial can still be made out at some points.

Luigi Ferraro’s watch has been recorded in our database in 2014, however the watch was known to us already years before. The Rolex 618 / Type 1 movement in combination with the small Oyster Watch Co hallmark, embossed on the inner caseback together with the reference and case number, is matching our criteria for being a watch of the Reference 3646 / Type B. The outer caseback bears a rare matriculation number, of which only a very few 3646 watches are known today. We have published further information about the different matriculation numbers on some of these watches in chapter II.III (page 301-303).

Luigi Ferraro’s 3646 / Type B “Radiomir Panerai” with riveted plastic dial is published extensively in chapter II.II (page 190-203) of the book “The References” 1930’s-1940’s.

More 3646 watches with an interesting history, related to their first owners and the missions they carried out during the Second World War, are introduced in chapter II.I (Ernesto Notari) and in chapter II.III (Licio Visintini). Enjoy reading!

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18 December 1941 – today in history…

by on Dec.18, 2021, under Allgemein

After the failed missions in August and September 1940, the Decima MAS returned to the eastern Mediterranean in order to make another attemp to attack the Harbour of Alexandria with SLC devices of the Mezzi d’Assalto: “Operazione G.A.3”, carried out by Tenente di Vascello Luigi Durand de la Penne and Capo Palombaro I Emilio Bianchi (SLC 221), Capitano Genio Navale Antonio Marceglia and Sottocapo Palombaro Spartaco Schergat (SLC 222), Capitano Armi Navale Vincenzo Martellotta and Sottocapo Palombaro Mario Marino (SLC 223).

Alexandria_GA3_12-1941_600x600What turned out to be one of the most famous SLC missions in the Second World War has been announced in the Italian War Bulletin N. 585 of the 8th of January 1942: “On the night of the 18th December assault craft of the Italian Royal Navy entered the Harbour of Alexandria and attacked two British battleships anchored there. It has only just been confirmed that a battleship of the Valiant class was seriously damaged and put into dock for repairs, and is still there.”

Bulletin N. 586 of the 9th of January 1942, added the following: “In the Operation conducted by assault craft fo the Royal Italian Navy in the Harbour of Alexandria and reported in yesterday’s Bulletin we now have definite further intelligence that, in Addition to the Valiant, a second battleship of the Barham class was also damaged.”

img_0628_600x600Winston Churchill announced in a speech before a secret session of the House of Commons on the 23rd of April 1942: “A further sinister stroke was to come. On the early morning of December 19 half a dozen Italians in unusual diving suits were captured floundering about in the Harbour of Alexandria… Four hours later explosions occurred in the bottoms of the Valiant and the Queen Elizabeth, produced by limpet bombs fixed with extra-ordinary courage and ingenuity, the effect which was to blow large holes in the bottoms of both ships and to flood several compartments, thus putting them both out of Actions for many months…”

Read chapter II.I of our book “The References” 1930’s-1940’s to find out what happened on 18 December 1941 (page 118-125). More on the historic content in our “The References” book set with a total of 1392 pages can be found here and here. You can purchase “The References” 1930’s-1940’s  in our bookstore. Enjoy reading!

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Missions of the Egypt frogmen

by on Feb.15, 2021, under Allgemein

IMG_3433_600x600The Red Sea, the Straits of Tiran, the Gulf of Aqaba, even the shores of Dakar (Senegal) and Abidjan (Ivory Coast) – target zones of the Egypt frogmen during the Suez Crisis, the Six-Day War and the Yom Kippur War.

Not very much has been ever published before about missions against enemy ports, ships and oil platforms during the conflicts between Egypt and Israel. In the mid-50’s, both Egyptian and Israeli special forces attended separate training courses in Italy to learn the skills for underwater missions from their Italian instructors. After our search for historical documents and with the support of a high decorated Egypt frogmen veteran we were able to put a spotlight on some of the missions carried out decades ago.

Read the historical background on watches and instruments from Guido Panerai & Figlio used by the Egypt frogmen in chapter VII and IX of “The References” 1950’s-1960’s (second volume), accompanied with rare historic photos (page 794-795 shown in the coffee table shot above). The new “The References” books (two volumes with 696 pages each) can be ordered only in our bookstore. Enjoy reading!

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At a glance: The Reference 6152/1

by on Jan.13, 2021, under Allgemein

Vita_sul_Mare_IMG_7069_600x600Watches of the Reference 6152/1 are featured in four of the twelve chapters of our book “The References” and are part of the second volume (1950’s-1960’s). The photo shows a 6152/1 with Rolex movement, “Luminor Panerai” dial and crown-protecting device (chapter VIII.II, page 942-955).

How do we explain four different versions in our new book “The References” 1950’s-1960’s? Watches of the Reference 6152/1 are presented in order of the movement version, the type of winding crown used and sorted chronological by their casing reference number, as follows:

Chapter VIII.I = Reference 6152/1
with Rolex movement and 8 mm Rolex crown
(featuring four different watches on page 878-921).

Chapter VIII.II = Reference 6152/1
with Rolex movement and Panerai crown-protecting device
(featuring ten different watches on page 922-1057).

Chapter X.III = Modified Reference 6152/1
with Angelus movement and 8 mm Rolex crown
(featuring three different watches on page 1212-1259).

Chapter X.IV = Modified Reference 6152/1
with Angelus movement and Panerai crown-protecting device
(featuring four different watches on page 1260-1313).

Each of the four chapters shows the different movement and dial versions recorded in our database with charts, e.g. illustrating the relationship between registered watches with 8 mm Rolex crown and Panerai crown-protecting device of the Reference 6152/1. Additional information on different hands, caseback engravings for different forces which used the watches as well as historical background on two 6152/1 watches first owners can be found, too. Enjoy reading!

Our “The Reference” books are available in our bookstore.

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Big and bold: the Vintage Panerai GPF 2/56.

by on Nov.05, 2019, under Allgemein

Rahmen_2019_GPF256_Luminor_lumeWatches of the reference GPF 2/56 are featured in two of the twelve chapters of our new “The References” books and part of the second volume (1950’s-1960’s). The GPF 2/56 watches with “Radiomir Panerai” dials are featured in chapter IX.I, while the GPF 2/56 watches with “Luminor Panerai” dial are featured in chapter IX.II.

The photo shows a “lume shot” of a GPF 2/56 with grey anti-reflective coating and “Luminor Panerai” dial on page 1140-1141. More photos of this watch can be found on page 1136-1161.

Our “The Reference” books are available here in our bookstore. Enjoy reading! 

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Spot on: vintage straps and buckles

by on Oct.20, 2019, under Allgemein

Rahmen_2019_bucklesIn both volumes of our new book “The References” we dedicated one chapter for straps and buckles. Highly collectible and sought after straps and buckles dating back to the Second World War are featured in chapter V.

The photo on the left shows two rare buckles from the Second World War era in different conditions. Because of their shape, these type of buckles were nicknamed “Bottle Opener” by collectors. Information on “The References” 1930’s-1940’s (first volume) can be found here.

Rahmen_2019_strapsThe famous GPF mod. Dep. buckles from the 1950’s-1960’s are featured in chapter XII, together with an overview of different straps made for Guido Panerai & Figlio watches and instruments.

The photo on the left shows different buckles and straps. Information on “The References” 1950’s-1960’s (second volume) can be found here.

Our book “The References” is in stock (both volumes) and can be ordered in our bookstore. Learn how to order in our FAQ section.

Enjoy reading!
[Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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Ref. 3646 watches with “California Dials”

by on Oct.18, 2019, under Allgemein

Rahmen_2019_California_DialVintage Panerai watches with “California Dials” are recorded in several number groups of the Reference 3646. Read our book “The References” 1930’s-1940’s to find out, in which of the seven number groups (3646 / Type A – 3646 / Type G) this type of dial has been used and which number group features almost half of all known 3646 watches with “California Dial” today.

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.

Information on “The References” 1930’s-1940’s can be found here. The new “The References” books can be ordered only in our bookstore.

Enjoy reading!
[Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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Watches and instruments with brown faded dials

by on Oct.15, 2019, under Allgemein

Rahmen_2019_6154_tropic_dialAttractive to the eyes of many Vintage Panerai collectors, brown faded dials are featured in our book “The References” in chapter II.I (3646 / Type A) on page 58-91. Read more on this famous watch here.

The photo on the left shows a Ref. 6154 with brown faded “Radiomir Panerai” dial which is featured in chapter VII (one of five different watches of this reference introduced in this chapter on page 784-867). Read more about this reference here.

Chapter VIII.I features a Ref. 6152/1 (with Rolex movement) with brown aged “Radiomir Panerai” dial on page 902-909, followed by two Ref. 6152/1 watches with Angelus movement in chapter X.III on page 1236-1259 (both with “Luminor Panerai” dials). Read more about the Ref. 6152/1 watches with Angelus movements here.

Rahmen_2019_30_Metri_tropic_dialLast but not least, a Guido Panerai & Figlio depth gauge, calibrated to 30 metres, with brown aged “Radiomir Panerai” dial is featured in chapter XI.II on page 1336-1337. Find more about the chapter XI.I and XI.II featuring different instruments here.

Our new “The References” books are in stock and ready for shipping – just visit our bookstore and enjoy reading soon!  [Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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Summer Read – “back to the fifties and sixties”

by on Jul.10, 2018, under Allgemein

IMG_3811_600x600How about taking a seat in your frontyard, backyard or in a quiet corner of your garden? If your coffee table has a free corner for one of our four books, it could be a cozy time for a summer read:

“History1” – four chapters, 420 pages
“History2” – five chapters, 480 pages
“The References” 1930’s-1940’s – five chapters, 696 pages
“The References” 1950’s-1960’s – seven chapters, 696 pages

The coffee table shot shows the book “The References” 1950’s-1960’s, with the famous “8 GIORNI BREVETTATO” symbol embossed into the green canvas hardcover, on the right. The 696 pages feature watches from Guido Panerai & Figlio made in the 1950’s and 1960’s: Reference 6152, 6154, 6152/1, GPF 2/56 and modified References. Furthermore this book holds a chapter about compasses and depth gauges, as well as straps and buckles of this era.

All books are in stock and can be shipped soon – just visit our bookstore. Use the browse by tags function to read information about the content in each of the four books. Read how to place your order here.

Take a seat and enjoy reading!
[Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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Just because… how straps looked on 3646 back in 1944

by on Dec.14, 2017, under Allgemein

Rahmen_Bild_2017_1000x700_KS_Alga_1944Recently we have been contacted by collectors about a comment on a photo which is published in our book “The References” 1930’s-1940’s on page 514-515. It shows a group of German “Kampfschwimmer” units in the summer of 1944. The orignal paper photo (17.5 x 23.5 cm, see photo on the left) belongs to our library and has been scanned in 2015 to be published in our book on watches of the Ref. 3646 / Type D.

The comment in question was provided to us as following (read grey underlined text):

Erwan_Waterolian_BildIt’s IMPOSSIBLE say the color of one strap viewing one pic in black and white, ALSO when the pic are digitalized and manipulated with color filters. The straps appear here in “clear” colors are simply because the original pic are edited with “warm filters” for get more contrasts in the final results.

So, I’m absolutely sure (because I check the image and turned to his real black&white tones, the color of this picture you see here are NOT REAL.

Its easy for a photographer see this image are turned with filters, if you see the skin of the people are unreal, and some clothes are unreal color, because are turned for make more “beautiful” the pic.

The photo, which is part of a photo album that belonged to a veteran who took the photos by himself during his service in the navy, has been published in a preview earlier here. Further photos of this veteran’s album are published on page 274, 284, 414, 474, 475 (chapter II.IV) and page 671 (chapter IV). It is interesting to see how the colors of the straps have changed over the decades, knowing that not many of these original straps survived until today.

The photo above was taken today (December 14, 2017) with a mobile phone to show that we hold the original photo in our library and did not used any filters or manipulated the photo to create a wrong impression to the reader. [Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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