Lot 16: Officine Panerai Brevetee "Radiomir", Rolex SA-Genève, Suisse, 31 Victoires, Haute Precision, Case No. 1010351, Ref. 3646 / Type C, Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1, 46 x 46 mm, circa 1944
November 10, 2012
Frankurt, GermanyLive Auction
Description: An important military diver's watch of the German Navy, owned by German diver Helmut Roesel; not even 50 watches of this type are known today. The watch comes with extensive documentation, original navy service record, Iron Cross 2nd Class and Small Units badge 2nd Grade. After World War II Helmut Roesel became pastor in Hamburg and was eventually decorated with the Federal Cross of Merit for his work. Case: steel, screw back, "Patent Oyster" winding crown, original plumb seal. Dial: black, "sandwich" type, luminous Arabic numerals/indexes, luminous baton hands. Movm.: bridge movement, Rolex cal. 618 / Type 1, nickel-plated, "fausses côtes" decoration, chatoned, 17 jewels, monometallic screw balance. Radiomir Panerai In 1942, 720 of these diver's wristwatches - which were exceptional for the time - were produced; the complete edition was delivered to the German and Italian army which supplied its combat divers with these watches. Source: Rolex Uhren GmbH Köln Because of the 1914 invention of the luminous material "Radiomir" - a mix of zinc sulfide and radium bromide - the Panerai dials could be read well at night and in deep water. Panerai made use of this advantage in his watches and was commissioned to produce the first diver's wristwatches, called "Radiomir". The first prototypes were still produced at Rolex, the later watches and their cases were produced at Panerai according to Oyster standards. In 1936 the Panerai Radiomir became a part of the secret naval equipment. Source: "Armbanduhren Klassik Katalog", Koenigswinter 2005, page 146. With the kind support of Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann, www.vintagepanerai.com., the highly recommended website for vintage Panerai watches.