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  • Manufacturer: Panerai
    Year: Circa 1936
    Reference No: 3646
    Case No: 260'563
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Mechanical, 618, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Brown military leather strap
    Dimensions: 47 mm. wide
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Literature: Reference 3646 is prominently illustrated in Panerai Watches from 1936 to 1997 by Mario Paci, page 52 and 53.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Some say that reference 3646 is the ‘holy grail’ reference of Panerai watches. While the ‘3646’ may not be the very first Radiomir model in existence, the Italian Navy and their combat swimmers mostly used this reference in their line of work. Our research suggests that Panerai only produced 600 examples of this reference. The large dial and self-luminous hands allowed soldiers to clearly read their watch under any weather condition.

    The case number, 260'605, was assigned by Rolex, who also supplied the movement and provided parts to Panerai at that time.

    This reference 3646 is a watch with enormous character and is in very appealing, crisp original condition.

  • Artist Biography

    Panerai

    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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Σ223

Ref. 3646
A fine and very rare stainless steel military divers wristwatch

Circa 1936
47 mm. wide
Case, dial and movement signed

Estimate
HK$400,000 - 600,000 

Sold for HK$775,000

Contact Specialist
Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2030
[email protected]

Ziyong Ho
Specialist
+852 9386 2032
[email protected]

Jill Chen
Specialist
+852 2318 2033
[email protected]

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: ONE

Hong Kong Auction 1 December 2015 11am