Rolex-Panerai Carabinieri – The Origins – At Phillips Hong Kong – Vintage Panerai and other iconic timepieces under the loupe at Perezcope


Rolex-Panerai watches that includes particular matriculation numbers are the head of army watch amassing. After the spectacular sale of an previous Japanese Panerai assortment in November 2020, Phillips in Hong Kong obtained their palms as soon as once more on a particular and traditionally essential Rolex-Panerai which will likely be provided as we speak at The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XII (June 5/6, 2021).

The watch in query is a Carabinieri-issued Ref. 6152/1 that includes the enduring crown-protecting machine that provides Panerai a singular look. But not simply any Carabinieri. It is the Numero Uno, the very first of its variety. The Italian Carabinieri are a nationwide army pressure, primarily finishing up home policing duties.

The current watch is essential in lots of respects. First, after all, resulting from its historic significance because the very first Carabinieri-issued Rolex-Panerai and secondly, as a result of it’s the excellent instance for what the very first so-called “Luminor” fashions seemed like. They have been – as a matter of reality – not but Luminor however Radiomir!

Lot 820 – Modified Rolex-Panerai Ref. 6152/1 Carabinieri Sommozzatori C.C. No 1, 124682

C.C. No 1 is the primary of round 30 Ref. 6152/1 watches equipped by Panerai to the Carabinieri Sommozzatori. So far, solely 12 of the 30 items have surfaced. C.C. No 3 belonged to Commander Gianfranco Allegretti, a co-founder of the Carabinieri Sommozzattori unit.

Lot 820 – Rolex-Panerai Ref. 6152/1 Carabinieri C.C. No 1

It might be assumed that the current watch – C.C. No 1 – belonged to a equally essential determine.

Radiomir Dial

The dial of this watch is a typical Radiomir dial from the late Fifties which developed a stunning cream-coloured patina on all markers and numerals. A Geiger counter measurement reveals excessive ranges of radioactivity (see Instagram put up on the backside of this text). The skeletonized palms aged superbly with slight traces of floor oxydation.

A particular function of this watch could be the unique plexi crystal with its distinct and extremely sought-after spider-web-like craze however sadly, it cracked in some areas.

For this purpose, Phillips will embody a alternative crystal.

Ref. 6152/1 was manufactured by Rolex in 1955. All of the produced 500 items featured signature Rolex Big Crowns (8mm) identified from the Rolex “King Sub” Ref. 6200.

8mm Rolex “Big Crown”

The first Ref. 6152/1 examples delivered to the Italian Navy have been geared up with extremely radioactive radium-based Radiomir Panerai dials. Around 1958, Panerai began closely modifying Ref. 6152/1 by eradicating the Big Crown and including their very own patented crown-protecting machine.

“Destro” Rolex-Panerai Ref. 6152/1 with crown-protecting machine and Radiomir dial (Photo: G. Panerai e Figlio archive, late Fifties)

To achieve this, the 6152/1 circumstances needed to be machined with a purpose to present a flat seat for the big half-moon formed crown guard.

Modified Ref. 6152/1 case

Later within the mid Sixties, Panerai developed their tritium-based luminous compound named Luminor. All watches delivered to the Italian Navy and different clients such because the Carabinieri Sommozzatori thereafter have been geared up with Luminor dials. The ones for the Italian Navy have been engraved with Marina Militare, different clients just like the Carabinieri acquired Luminor Panerai engraved dials.

Around the identical time, the Marina Militare began progressively changing all extremely radioactive Radiomir dials on beforehand acquired watches with the most recent Luminor dials. In the identical breath, all watches additionally acquired new, barely thinner palms painted with tritium-based luminous compound.

Only a handful of those early Ref. 6152/1 watches equipped between 1955 and the mid Sixties retained the unique Radiomir dials. In most circumstances, this occurred as a result of the watches have been gifted to retired divers and have been by no means serviced thereafter. C.C. No 1 is such a uncommon piece. In addition, additionally it is the one identified Carabinieri watch to function a Radiomir dial.

Rolex Oyster Case

C.C. No 1 reveals clear indicators of damage and tear however continues to be in nice form for its 60 plus years.

The crystal of this watch is sort of attention-grabbing. It is decrease than ordinary and seems extra domed.

The Rolex reference and case numbers between the lugs are nonetheless crisp and completely seen. 124682 is a typical Rolex case quantity from 1955. At the tip of 1954, Rolex reset the case quantity after reaching 1 million. That is the explanation why Ref. 6152/1 has decrease numbers than earlier Ref. 6152 (1953) and Ref. 6154 (1954).

The particular function of this watch are the Carabinieri C.C. No 1 engravings on the skin of the caseback that are nicely preserved.

The inside the caseback options typical Rolex stamps from the period along with the reference quantity 6152/1.

The iconic crown-protecting machine options “Brev. Ital.” engravings which check with the Italian patent filed by Giuseppe and Maria Panerai on Nov. 30, 1955. The first Panerai watch to ever function the half-moon formed crown guard was the GPF 2/56 from 1956.

Most Panerai crown guards discovered on Ref. 6152/1 are stamped with numbers between 1 and 10. The significance of those numbers is unknown.

Movement

The Cortébert-made Rolex 618 caliber with 17 jewels, overcoiled Breguet hairspring and Incacloc shock safety is in good situation with barely oxydized crown and ratchet wheels.

The watch comes with its unique soft-iron cowl which shields the motion from robust magnetic fields emitted by limpet mines, and so forth.

As of as we speak, solely 12 of the 30 Carabinieri watches have surfaced however solely the current one incorporates a Radiomir Panerai dial.

Matriculation Case quantity Dial Owner
C.C. No 1 124682 Radiomir Panerai Unknown
C.C. No 2 124XXX Unknown Watch reported as stolen
C.C. No 3 124898 Luminor Panerai Comd. Gianfranco Allegretti
Co-founder Carabinieri Sommozzatori
C.C. No 6 124XXX Luminor Panerai Unknown
C.C. 7 124XXX Luminor Panerai Unknown
C.C. 8 124880 Luminor Panerai Unknown
C.C. No 15 1246846 Luminor Panerai Unknown
C.C. No 17 124XXX Luminor Panerai Unknown
C.C. No 20 124801 Luminor Panerai Unknown
C.C. No 22 124754 Luminor Panerai Unknown
C.C. No 24 124XXX Luminor Panerai Unknown
C.C. No 28 124762 Luminor Panerai Unknown

Carabinieri Sommozzatori

The Italian Carabinieri are a nationwide army pressure, primarily finishing up home policing duties. The title Carabinieri originates from carbine, a long-barreled firearm whose barrel is shorter than that of a regular rifle or musket. The carbine was initially developed for cavalry troopers because it was simpler to deal with. Established in 1814 as Corpo dei Carabinieri Reali (Royal Carabinieri Corps), the pressure was renamed in Arma dei Carabinieri after the second world warfare when Italy turned a republic. As the fourth department of the Italian Armed Forces, the Carabinieri are below the authority of the Ministry of Defense.

Following the pioneering work of Italian Navy frogmen throughout World War 2 (Decima Flottiglia MAS, Gruppo Gamma), the Carabinieri established their very own underwater unit named Carabinieri Sommozzatori (Carabinieri Divers) in 1953. The fundamental goal of the unit was to cope with crime scenes on the backside of water our bodies akin to the ocean, lakes, rivers and wells but additionally to hold out rescue missions in case of floods, and so forth. Initially carried out with the assistance Italian Navy divers, the Carabinieri quickly turned an increasing number of self-suficient. In 1955, the 2 preliminary bases in Genoa and Napoli have been merged into one headquarter in Genoa. As a results of the nice success of the unit, their companies have been expanded in 1964 and new native bases have been arrange in quite a few main coastal cities. Around the identical time, the headquarter in Genoa turned the nationwide coaching centre. Prior to this, all Carabinieri frogmen acquired their fundamental coaching on the ComSubIn base within the Varignano Fortress in Porto Venere, La Spezia. In October 1971, the headquarter in Genoa modified its title from Centro Carabinieri Sommozzatori to Centro Carabinieri Subacquei.

The Carabinieri divers carried out a number of notable missions. In 1965, they helped find a midget submarine that went lacking within the Lago Maggiore close to Locarno, Switzerland. The Carabinieri Sommozzatori have been assisted by Luigi Ferraro, the well-known Gruppo Gamma frogman who, disguised as an Italian diplomat, single-handedly sunk a number of ships in Alexandretta, Turkey throughout WW2.

Carabinieri Sommozzatori on the Lago Maggiore in Switzerland, 1965

Another notable intervention was the heroic rescue of a number of crew members from the British service provider ship “SS London Valour” in 1970. The massive vessel had been pushed aground by robust winds simply outdoors the harbour of Genoa. 20 of the 58 crew members died within the accident.

Wrecked SS London Valour outdoors the harbour of Genoa

When in late 1971 a Hercules C-130 of the Royal Air Force crashed into the ocean close to Livorno, Italy, Carabinieri divers helped get better the stays of all 46 passengers and 6 crew members.

G. Panerai & Figlio equipped the Carabinieri Sommozzatori with a complete of round 30 watches. All of them featured particular engravings on their casebacks. C.C. for Carabineri, adopted by the person watch quantity. Since the watches have been delivered in small batches, there are some slight variations in the best way the casebacks have been engraved.

The Carabinieri Sommozzatori weren’t the one buyer outdoors the Italian Navy to obtain these watches. Other regulation enforcement companies such because the Guardia di Finanza (G.F) or the Polizia di Stato (P.S.) created their very own diving models and purchased their tools from G. Panerai & Figlio as nicely. Their watches featured comparable engravings.

Thoughts

When I first heard about this watch a few months again, I used to be naturally excited. But it was not till I acquired the primary footage that I turned conscious of the Radiomir dial. This isn’t just any 6152/1, it is likely one of the tremendous elusive examples that present us what the very first so-called “Luminors” seemed like. Add the Carabinieri provenance and you bought a brilliant collectible piece of Panerai historical past proper there.

Thank you to your curiosity.

Read extra: Carabinieri Reloaded
Read extra: 6152/1 – Corpo Dei Carabinieri

The Panerai Time Machine

The timeline beneath represents the present state of analysis into classic Panerai watches. Please click on the graphic to obtain the highres model.

This timeline is on the market as a top quality print in two sizes:

  • 120 x 68 cm (47 x 26 inch): EUR 85.00 (plus delivery)
  • 150 x 85 cm (59 x 33 inch): EUR 120.00 (plus delivery)

Printed with HD Inkjet on heavy artificial paper and laminated.

Limited version: 50 items, numbered and signed by Maria Teresa Panerai in Giuseppe Panerai’s very personal laboratory on the historic website of the Villino Panerai (Panerai Villa) in Florence: Sold out

To order shoot me a DM on Instagram: @perezcope





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