Rolex. A rare stainless steel cushion shape military divers wristwatch made for the German Navy Ref:3646, Case No.260505, Circa 1940
Lot 273
Rolex. A rare stainless steel cushion shape military divers wristwatch made for the German Navy
Ref:3646, Case No.260505, Circa 1940
Sold for £56,250 (US$ 93,480) inc. premium
Lot Details
Rolex. A rare stainless steel cushion shape military divers wristwatch made for the German Navy
Ref:3646, Case No.260505, Circa 1940
17-jewel Cortebert nickel plated lever movement, matt black dial with luminous baton markers and quarter Arabic numerals with closed 6 and 9, luminous baton hands, water-resistant type patented case with later crown, case back stamped 3646, 260505, polished wire lugs, case and movement signed
47mm.

Footnotes

  • During the 1930's the Royal Italian Navy started discussion with Panerai for the design of a watch resistant to extreme conditions while at the same time keeping accurate time.

    From approximately 1938 onwards the reference 3646 was produced. The size, 47mm, was one of the largest of its kind, only beaten by the goliath German Observation watches from Lange & Söhne, Laco and Stowa.

    The manual wind Cal.618 movements and waterproof cases were supplied by Rolex; the dials were formed of two discs, a lower one coated with luminous material which was visible through the cut out numerals in the black upper disc. This is known to collectors as the 'Sandwich dial'.

    Other characteristics sometimes found on these watches are engraved case backs often bearing the words Kampfschwimmer ("Combat Swimmers") the name for Germanys Commando frogmen. They had an unusual type of lattice engraving and this particular example features the entwined initials SBHC.

    Its not known if they were etched during active service or in memory of their time spent in the Navy, but they provide us today with proof that this watch was a constant companion to each diver and a vital piece of there equipment.
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