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8787 North Scottsdale Road Suite 116
Scottsdale, AZ, 85253
United States

480-607-4444

Elegant shop offering house-designed, one-of-a-kind gemstone and diamond jewelry, plus timepieces.

Vintage Panerai 3646 Anonymous Dial

Historic Panerai Collection

Vintage Panerai 3646 Anonymous Dial

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Vintage Panerai 3646 Anonymous Dial

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This is the oldest watch offered in this collection, with a case number placing its manufacture date around 1943. This Rolex-manufactured Panerai reference 3646 has an Anonymous dial.  By this time, Panerai had been manufacturing watches for the Royal Italian navy for over 27 years and had created watches for Decima Flottiglia Mas of the Italian Navy, which was the first modern military diving unit. Seeing the innovations in creating a large, readable watch that could be used while diving, the Germans formed their own military diving unit. These unsigned, or ‘anonymous dial’, watches were made to fill the needs of the newly created German unit that would be trained by the Italians. 

     These watches are known by collectors as ‘Kampschwimmer,’ taking the name of the unit for which they were manufactured. There is some debate over the reasoning for Panerai omitting their name from the dials of these watches, unlike those they had made for the Italian Navy. The anonymous dials may have been a request of the German military, to ensure no other units would be able to identify who was making their equipment, or have their men identified by it. Or perhaps there was a reluctance on Panerai’s part to place their name onto equipment for a foreign military.   Especially as Italy teetered on the edge of civil war to oust the pro-German fascist regime.

This particular watch first appeared on the market at a Sotheby’s auction in 2013.  It was documented that the consignee of the watch believed his father, a Royal Marine, came into possession of the watch at the end of World War II during his time stationed at the Kiel Naval Base in Germany along the Baltic Coast. While the closest known activity of the Kampschwimmer unit was about 440 km away in the Oder river, Kiel Harbor was used to move German prisoners by the Royal Navy after it took over the base in May of 1945.

Circa: 1943-1944

Case Size: 47mm

Buckle: Tang

Materials: Steel

Dial: Black

Movement: Hand Wound Rolex Cal. 618

Functions: Hours and Minutes

Case Back: Solid

Strap: Brown Leather

Reference #: 3646

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