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OLIVER SMITH INTRODUCES A CURATION OF RARE HISTORICAL OFFICINE PANERAI TIMEPIECES FOR SALE TO THE PUBLIC FOR THE FIRST TIME
The leading expert in vintage and estate Panerai watches brings together 70 years of production that epitomizes the Italian watchmaker’s unique place at the intersection of WWII military memorabilia, horological history and luxury men’s fashion
Left to right: Panerai’s 3646 Anonymous Dial, President, designer, owner Oliver Smith; Panerai Special Edition PAM21
(ASPEN, CO; September 4, 2019) - Owned and operated by Oliver Smith for nearly 40 years with locations in Scottsdale, AZ and Aspen, CO, Oliver Smith Jeweler introduces its first curated collection of exceptional Panerai pieces. These vintage watches boast illustrious histories with remarkable brand-specific features. The 3646 Anonymous Dial, one of the collection’s most distinctive designs, was originally worn by a combat diver during World War II. Panerai timepieces constructed for the Italian Royal Navy during the 20th century are some of the most desirable vintage rarities in the industry.
This group of timepieces spans from 1943, with the 3646 Anonymous Dial , through 1997, with the PAM21 , designed by Angelo Bonati himself as Panerai’s first special edition all the way to 2017. “N o one in the United States specializes in estate Panerai watches like we do, ” Smith says. Each piece in the selection has been thoroughly researched and handpicked specifically for its aesthetics, history, and significance within the Panerai universe. “W e spend time analyzing every historic Panerai watch, to know if you’re buying vintage you need to know provenance.” remarks Smith. “D ials, movements, crowns, and case backs all add to the history of the watch. ”
The enduring relationship between Oliver Smith Jeweler and Panerai began when the jeweler picked up the brand in 1999. As one of the first Panerai retailers in the United States, Oliver Smith was an early adopter who viewed the aesthetic of a larger watch face as the epitome of contemporary men’s fashion. The ultimate in active luxury, Oliver saw Panerai translating perfectly into the modern man’s lifestyle. At the same time, the brand's heritage as a revered military tool appealed to his enthusiasm for history and all things vintage. Those early instincts became the foundation of a thriving business for Oliver Smith Jeweler, which now operates the Panerai Boutique in the heart of Aspen, CO, where discerning clients appreciate the watch brand as emblematic of the mountain town lifestyle.
Over the last 20 years, Oliver Smith Jeweler has assumed a leading role in vintage and estate Panerai sales - employing a team of ‘Paneristi’ whose expertise and connections led to the launch of this curated collection . “Collectors are always looking for the next big thing. Right now they are collecting pieces from the 1970s and 1980s” says Smith. “ In another few years, we predict that collectors will start seeking watches from the 1990s. Panerai watch production really started in earnest in the 1990’s. ”He believes the release of this distinctive Panerai lot will position the team to lead the industry in vintage and estate knowledge and product.
“Watches in this collection are being bought and sold regularly expanding the depth and history of the assemblage, ” says Smith. “The Oliver Smith team takes great pride in our estate watch acquisitions and representing the Panerai brand. We want clients to feel comfortable in coming to us for guidance and selection .” The historical pieces will be on showcase at the Panerai Boutique in Aspen, CO December 27, 2019 - January 5, 2020 and are currently available for viewing in Scottsdale, AZ at Oliver Smith Jeweler.
Watch pricing and availability will be offered upon request. For more information and to view the entire collection as well as the ongoing selection updates, please visit www.oliversmithjeweler.com .
Histories of the two vintage timepieces mentioned in this release are included below, please inquire for more details: “There are no other watch brands from WWII that have the Panerai history. This watch encapsulates the beginning of the Panerai story ” - Oliver Smith
The 3646 Anonymous Dial is the oldest watch offered in the collection, with a case number placing its manufacture date around 1943 - the middle of World War II. Pioneered by Panerai, the large, readable watch that could be submerged in water became of particular interest to the advancing German forces who were forming their own military diving units in the early 1940s. Uniquely, the 3646 Anonymous Dial omits the brand’s signature from the dail, unlike the watches made for the Royal Italian Navy, suggesting that the family-run business was resisting the fascist regime in a subtle but important way. It is thought that 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.
By 1943, Panerai specialized in creating watches for the Italian Royal Navy’s Decima Flottiglia Mas, the first modern military diving unit.
The Rolex-manufactured Panerai reference 3646 has an Anonymous dial - unsigned, or ‘anonymous dial ’ watches are characteristic of the pieces commissioned by Germany.
These watches are known by collectors as ‘Kampschwimmer,’ taking the name of the unit for which they were manufactured.
Panerai’s reason for omitting the brand’s signature from the dials of these watches remains under debate.
The anonymous dials may have been a request of the German military, to ensure no other units would be able to identify the manufacturer of their equipment (or have their men identified by the wristwatch).
Alternatively, there may have been reluctance from Panerai to place their name onto equipment designed for the invading German military as Italy teetered on the edge of civil war to oust the pro-German fascist regime.
Video link to further details on the 3646 Anonymous Dial
“The PAM21 continues the unique story of Panerai in the modern era, this is an exceptionally difficult watch to find” – Oliver Smith
PAM21 released as Panerai’s first Limited Edition watch, selling out in 2 weeks, ensuring this timepiece as one of the most coveted Panerai pieces ever made. The legendary PAM21 was born when Angelo Bonati (then CEO of Panerai) found 61 never before used Rolex movements from the 1930’s designs that were used in developing the historic watch ref. 3646 worn during WWII.
In 1997, the Richemont Group purchased the (then) small Italian watch brand and appointed Angelo Bonati as Panerai’s CEO to lead the brand into the 21st century.
Mr. Bonati knew that the brand’s history needed to be an integral part of its future narrative.
The PAM21 was designed to mirror the original 1940’s ref. 3646, the watch created for the Italian Navy’s diving unit that had been such an important part of the Panerai story.
Bonati’s design was fitted with an exhibition case back allowing for visibility of the watch’s inner workings comprised of the historic movements that were cleaned and housed in platinum Radiomir cases.
Video link to further details on the PAM21 Special Edition
FOR MEDIA USE
Links to download imagery
Videos detailing the Oliver Smith Jeweler curated collection
Complete Look: Historical Collection Playlist
ABOUT OLIVER SMITH JEWELER
Oliver Smith Jeweler, Scottsdale’s most trusted name in fine jewelry and timepieces, has partnered with Panerai to open a new boutique location in Aspen, Colorado. The original location in Scottsdale, Arizona is home to Oliver Smith’s own brand of exquisitely crafted jewelry along with an outstanding jewelry and watch repair team, and is the only place in Arizona to find some the industry’s finest jewelry and watch brands, including Panerai, Buccellati, Hermès, A. Lange & Söhne, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Bremont, and Blancpain. Oliver’s own expertise in buying and selling estate watches and jewelry has established him as a leader in this market, known for his fairness, honesty, respect, and discerning eye for beauty and quality. The new Aspen Panerai Boutique, managed by Oliver’s daughter Elizabeth Smith, offers clients the chance to pursue an exclusive collection of Panerai timepieces in a picturesque setting with panoramic mountain views.