This “Xa. FLOTMAS No. 038” Radiomir Panerai is one of the extremely rare survivors of a reference 3646 type B model supplied to the celebrated Decima Flottiglia Mezzi d'Assalto or Decima Flottiglia MAS, an Italian commando frogman unit of the Royal Italian Navy. The first Italian frogman group originated in 1938, and became known as the 1a Flottiglia Mezzi d'Assalto, or 1st Flotilla Assault group. The tenth (or decima) group was formed around 1940.
Type B models are characterized by the case signature “Oyster Watch Co.”, the serial numbers ranging from 1009925 to 1010037.
The present watch is distinguished by its very good, original overall condition, still retaining the original "Brevet +" crown, full case proportions, the engraved "Xa. FLOTMAS No. 038" clearly visible.
For a detailed description and illustration of reference 3636 Type B see Vintage Panerai, The References by Ralf Ehlers and Volker Wiegmann, pp. 170 – 247. “Type B” specifications are listed on p. 15, the similarly engraved case back of “Xa. FLOTMAS No. 040” is illustrated and described on pp. 300 & 301.
We are indebted to Volker Wiegmann and Ralf Ehlers of www.vintagepanerai.com for their valuable assistance in researching the present watch.