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    Sale 1413

    Rare Watches Including Important Private Collections

    16 May 2016, Geneva

  • Lot 134

    Rolex made for Officine Panerai. A rare and large stainless steel cushion-shaped diver's wristwatch

    SIGNED ROLEX, REF. 3646, TYPE D, CASE NO. 260'631, CIRCA 1943

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Rolex made for Officine Panerai. A rare and large stainless steel cushion-shaped diver's wristwatch
    Signed Rolex, ref. 3646, Type D, case no. 260'631, circa 1943
    Rolex cal. 618 mechanical movement, 17 jewels, the dial consisting of two discs, the lower one coated with "Luminor" luminous substance visible through the cut-out Arabic and baton numerals in the black matte upper disc, blued steel luminous hands, large cushion-shaped water-resistant-type case, wire lugs, screw back, screw down crown, case and movement signed Rolex
    47 mm. wide


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    The present watch is one of the exceedingly rare survivors of the celebrated ref. 3646 Type D model, also called “no-name” series with blank/unsigned dial, generally reserved for the German Navy's Special Forces.

    Consigned by a private collector and fresh to the market, it is preserved in very honest, original overall condition.

    Similar watches of the 3646 / Type D number group are illustrated and described in Vintage Panerai, the References and in Vintage Panerai, History 1 and History 2 by Ralf Ehlers and Volker Wiegmann, 2012.

    Special Notice

    On lots marked with an + in the catalogue, VAT will be charged at 8% on both the premium as well as the hammer price.


    Pre-Lot Text

    Rolex made for Officine Panerai Reference 3646
    The following two lots, 134 and 135, are fine examples of the celebrated reference 3646, supplied to the Italian and German Navies.

    Following disappointing tests carried out on watches available in the 1930s, the Royal Italian Navy approached Panerai with the request of designing a watch resistant to extreme conditions while at the same time keeping exact time. The prototype which Panerai submitted to the First Submarine Group Command was called "Radiomir" and passed all tests successfully.

    Consequently as of 1938 until the 1950s, small series of reference 3646 watches were produced, mainly for the Italian Navy. The models were fitted with hand-wound movements and waterproof cases supplied by Rolex, the dials consisted of two discs, a lower one coated with "Radiomir" luminous substance visible through the cut out numerals in the black upper disc, enabling the easy reading in the dark or under water. The large cushion-shaped cases had a diameter of 47 mm, wire lugs and a screw-down crown.