PANERAI/ROLEX, ROLEX FOR PANERAI: RADIOMIR | REFERENCE 3646 MILITARY STAINLESS STEEL DIVER'S WATCH, CIRCA 1943
ROLEX FOR PANERAI: RADIOMIR, REFERENCE 3646
MILITARY STAINLESS STEEL DIVER'S WATCH
Dial: black matte
Calibre: Rolex cal. 618 manual winding, 17 jewels
Case: stainless steel, screw-down crown and back
Case number: 260'579
Closure: brown unsigned calf leather Nato strap
Dimensions: 47mm diameter
Signed: case and movement signed Rolex
Accessories: Pegasus Army patch, original German trial transcripts, letters of recommendation and original photographs
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DIAL: with even patination throughout.
CASE: in overall good condition, with scuffs and marks throughout consistent with age and wear of the timepiece. Original crystal slightly opaque and discoloured with small cracks.
MOVEMENT: running at time of cataloguing
Please note: Condition 11 of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is not
applicable to this lot
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The online condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance purposes only. The images of the lot also form part of the online condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Any reference to condition in the online condition report does not amount to a full description of condition. The online condition report may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the online condition report of the lot or shown in the online images of the lot (for example, the online condition report may not specify mechanical replacements or imperfections to the movement, case, dial, pendulum, separate base(s) or dome). Watches in water-resistant cases have been opened to examine movements but no warranties are made that the watches are currently water-resistant. The online condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the online condition report is a statement of subjective, qualified opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's (for example, information regarding colour, clarity and weight of gemstones are statements of opinion only and not statements of fact by Sotheby's). Please also note that we do not guarantee the authenticity of any individual component parts, such as wheels, hands, crowns, crystals, screws, bracelets and wrist bands, since subsequent repairs and restoration work may have resulted in the replacement of original parts. In addition, certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot (for example, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades). For these reasons, the online condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. Prospective buyers should also refer to the Buying at Auction guide which includes important notices concerning the type of property in this sale. In particular, please note it is the purchaser's responsibility to comply with any applicable import and export matters, particularly in relation to lots incorporating materials from endangered species. Please be advised that wristbands made of materials derived from endangered or otherwise protected species (i.e. alligator and crocodile) are not sold with the watches and are for display purposes only. We reserve the right to remove these bands prior to shipping. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS (ONLINE ONLY).
Panerai developed the reference 3646 in collaboration with Rolex for the Royal Italian Navy, in particular for their Frogmen who needed a reliable and legible watch in the extreme conditions endured during long and deep water diving. In order to improve the readability of the watch, the sandwich dial was developed. While it has been recently demonstrated that Panerai did not invent it, it has become one of the signature elements of these watches. It consists in two overlapping plates, the lower bearing the radium paint and the upper with large perforated indexes, 12, 3, 6 and 9 in Arabic numeral and the rest as batons. The reference 3646 was a testament to ingenuity and technological advancements as it could withstand extreme conditions, remain legible in pitch black darkness and still display the time with accurate precision. Rolex provided their caliber 618 which ensured precision timekeeping and also helped with the initial waterproofing of the cases, by having the type B produced under the Oyster Watch Co.
According to academics, the present lot is an early type D example as the inner caseback is stamped with the Rolex signature, the serial and reference number. The later type E watches had the Rolex branding removed and only bear the number stamped inside the caseback.
The present lot is well-preserved and in original condition, with the original plexiglass, dial and hands. The movement has recently been carefully restored by a specialised watchmaker.
The timepiece was preserved until today within the family of Sergeant H. Fisher, N.C.O, a member of the 5th British Infantry Division, B.A.O.R. (British Army of the Rhein) where he was a German-English interpreter during war crime tribunals after the second World War. This lot includes several letters of recommendation of Sergeant Fisher, where his superiors, such as his Captain and Colonel speak of him in the highest terms.
This lot not only includes these letters of recommendation, but also fascinating original transcripts of the defendant’s pleas that took place in Auschwitz and Mittelbau-Dora.