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Rolex made for Panerai. An extremely rare and large stainless steel water-resistant diver's wristwatch with glazed display back
On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial int… Read more Rolex made for Officine Panerai Reference 6152 Following a decade of successful production of reference 3646, the Italian Navy requested an improved and updated version of their diver's wristwatch. Sometime in the mid 1940s, the new reference 6152 was presented, more solid and with increased water-resistance, its case made out of one massive block of steel and with wider, downturned lugs replacing the less solid wire lugs. This upgraded model was entered under reference numbers 6152 and 6152/1, predominantly known as the "Luminor". This designation was derived from the luminous substance based on tritium used for the numerals and hands and for which Panerai obtained the patent in 1949. It replaced the previously used "Radiomir" mix developed between 1910 and 1915. Early examples of reference 6152 still feature the "Radiomir Panerai" signed dials dating from before the introduction of "Luminor". Most of the models were fitted with a crown protecting bridge, invented by Panerai as early as 1943 but patented only in 1956. Its main functions were protecting the crown from shocks, compressing the sealing gasket with the lever to make the watch water-resistant to a depth of 200 meters while allowing the winding of the movement even when submerged. For the majority of reference 6152 production Panerai used exclusively cases and movements made by Rolex. These watches were "time only", e.g. showed only the hours and minutes. Later versions were fitted with the Angelus 8-day movement with the subsidiary seconds function to 9 o'clock, the cases were made locally. Watches supplied to the frogmen, SLC torpedo riders and commandos of the Italian Naval Forces were requested to bear the designation "Marina Militare" on the dial.
Rolex made for Panerai. An extremely rare and large stainless steel water-resistant diver's wristwatch with glazed display back


Rolex made for Panerai. An extremely rare and large stainless steel water-resistant diver's wristwatch with glazed display back
Signed Marina Militare and Montres Rolex SA, ref. 6152, case numbered 124949 between the lugs and 7 underneath the crown protecting bridge, circa 1950
Rolex cal. 15 3/4''' nickel-finished lever 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, luminous hands, in large cushion-shaped water-resistant-type case with crown protecting bridge, glazed display screw back, large stainless steel buckle, case numbered with Panerai reference number and signed and numbered by Rolex, dial signed Marina Militare, movement signed Rolex
47 mm. wide
Special notice

On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial interest in lots consigned for sale which may include guaranteeing a minimum price or making an advance to the consignor that is secured solely by consigned property. This is such a lot. This indicates both in cases where Christie's holds the financial interest on its own, and in cases where Christie's has financed all or a part of such interest through a third party. Such third parties generally benefit financially if a guaranteed lot is sold successfully and may incur a loss if the sale is not successful.
Prospective buyers should be aware that the importation of Rolex watches into the United States is highly restricted. Rolex watches may not be shipped into the USA and can only be imported personally. Generally a buyer may import only one watch into the USA. For further information please contact our specialists in charge of the sale. Please note other countries may have comparable import restrictions for luxury watches.

Lot Essay

The particularity of the present watch is its glazed "see through" back, the frame engraved "Officine Panerai - Brevettato", leading to the conclusion that it was used as an exhibition model. Its dial bears the designation "Marina Militare", requested by the Italian Navy for watches supplied to their members.

For a prototype of a Luminor Marina Militare fitted with a comparable display back see The Panerai in Florence by Dino Zei, p. 65.

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