Panerai - The Geneva Watch Auction: SEVEN Geneva Saturday, May 12, 2018 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Panerai
    Year: Circa 1955
    Reference No: 6152-1
    Case No: 124'673
    Model Name: Luminor
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. Rolex 618, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Alligator
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Panerai pin buckle
    Dimensions: 50mm Diameter
    Signed: Case and movement signed Rolex, dial and buckle signed Panerai, case back inscribed G. F. No. 5

  • Catalogue Essay

    Since its founding in 1860 by Giovanni Panerai (1825-1987), the firm Officine Panerai has been known for precision instruments notably their professional dive watches and compasses. At the turn of the 20th century, Giovanni’s grandson Guido Panerai (1873-1934) expanded the business, and became the supplier of timepieces to the Italian state. Requests were received from various departments including the Marina Militare (M. M.), Carabinieri (C. C.), Polizia di Stato (P. S.) and similar to the present example the Guardia di Finanza (G. F.). In order to meet the needs of technical divers, Panerai developed a luminous mixture of sulphide and radium bromide named “Radiomir”, which was used to illuminate the dial for underwater viewing. The Italian navy took possession of the first Radiomir, reference 3646 in the late 1930s. In 1949, Panerai replaced the Radiomir with the Luminor, which used a new tritium based luminescent material.

    Many early Panerai models were manufactured by Rolex and outfitted with movements signed by them, a relationship that lasted approximately 20 years, making these early timepieces amongst the most desirable vintage dive watches available. The reference 6152 and 6152-1 were introduced in the 1950s, with the 6152-1 having a slightly larger case and capable of housing either Rolex’s caliber 618, or the Angelus caliber 240. The present Panerai reference 6152-1 is one of 64 known examples with Rolex movement and crown guard mechanism, and one of only 33 known to have the Luminor dial. In lovely condition with later hands believed to have been fitted decades ago, the watch was issued to the Guardia di Finanza, as seen by the case back inscription “G. F. No. 5”, and one of the best-preserved examples. For collectors of vintage timepieces, early Panerai watches add an important horological element to their collection.

  • Artist Biography


    Italian • 1860

    Known for its robust designs and large case sizes, Officine Panerai was established in 1860 by Giovanni Panerai in Florence, Italy. Around 1900, Giovanni's grandson Guido Panerai took over, and Panerai became the supplier to the Regia Marina — the Royal Italian Navy. After supplying the navy with high-precision instruments for a number of years, Officine Panerai created Radiomir, a radium-based powder that gives luminosity to the dials of sighting instruments and devices. By 1936, the Royal Italian Navy approached Panerai again with the request to design a watch resistant to extreme underwater conditions. The watch they created became known as the "Radiomir".

    Panerai's watches made during the early twentieth century era were comprised of cases designed and manufactured by Rolex SA, with Cortébert, a Swiss manufacturer, supplying the majority of their movements. The most recognizable designs from the firm are the Radiomir and Luminor. To date, vintage models from the first half of the 1900s, such as the reference 3646 and 6152 models, remain the most desirable among collectors.

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Ref. 6152-1
An extremely rare and oversized stainless steel cushion shaped diver’s wristwatch with black dial

Circa 1955
50mm Diameter
Case and movement signed Rolex, dial and buckle signed Panerai, case back inscribed G. F. No. 5

CHF50,000 - 100,000 

Sold for CHF62,500

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Sale
+41 22 317 81 81

The Geneva Watch Auction: SEVEN

Geneva Auction 12-13 May 2018