• cal. 16''' manual winding nickel lever movement, 17 jewels, overcoil hairspring, anti-magnetic cover • sandwich construction dial consisting of a superposition of two discs, the lower one coated with luminous substance visible through the cut-out baton and Arabic numerals in the matte black upper disc, brass luminescent hands • stainless steel polished case, Rolex Oyster 8mm Brevet screw-down crown, screw-down case back • case and movement signed Rolex, dial signed Panerai • with a stainless steel buckle stamped GPF-Mod Dep
Shortly after the introduction of the Panerai Ref. 6152 a small group of Egyptian navy personnel visited the training ground of the Italian navy and requested a similar wristwatch to those used by the Italian commando’s. Delivered in 1954, it is understood by literature only 40 examples of the Ref. 6154 were manufactured by Rolex within a specifically designed and unique slimmer case. Created from a single piece of steel the central case height is only 5.7mm with a slight bevel, this compares to 7.4 mm for the 6152 and 7.2mm for the 6152/1. In addition the height of the case lugs, which are less angled then the other references is 4.3 mm, compared to 4.8 mm on the 5162 and 5.5 on the 6152/1. The diameter of the bezel for the Ref. 6154 measures 45.5 mm as compared to 45.25 for the Ref.6152 and 45.8 for the Ref.6152/1. Of those manufactured very few of the 6154 references whereabouts are known today and only a handful have appeared at auction, with all examples being fitted with Radiomir Panerai dials and 8 mm Rolex crowns.
Although housed within a 47 mm case the Ref.6152 is often referred to by collectors as the ‘Little Egyptian’ due the considerably larger 60 mm GPF 2/56 also produced by Panerai for the Egyptian navy in 1956.
As is commonplace with military watches, the present lot has been fitted, presumably during a routine service, with a non-standard, although similarly rare, Panerai Ref.6152/1 caseback, replacement brass hands and a Panerai Ref.6152 dial.
For an example of case dimensions used on the Ref.6152, 6154 and 6152/1, see the book Vintage Panerai by Ralf Ehlers and Volker Wiegmann page 175, for a note on the 6154 see page 189.