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    Default The early Panerai watches, knirim, translated

    For Info google translated from knirim.de

    The early Paneral watches
    The technique, the sea and the time were the three areas where Officine Panerai increasingly specialized. The journalist Stephen Ciejka, the Panerai a detailed article in La Revue of Montres' (n. 30) has dedicated, dated the first delivery watches - probably board watches for the Italian Navy - already on the year 1867. If this date does not show through archival material allows, it is certain that the two children of the founder, Giuseppe and Maria, the company always close to the watchmaking heranführten the world and already in the thirties of this century in Florence its' Orologeria svizzera 'opened. This shop was among the first licensees of the prestigious Italian brands Rolex and Patek Philippe and still exists today. Hardly matching could be chosen probably also the location near the cathedral, where centuries before Galileo's brainwave the foundations of modern precision measurement had.

    The already well-known technical competence of Officine Panerai, their increasing specialization in this area and contacts in Switzerland also explain why the Italian navy clocks technical development contracts awarded to Panerai, so rather than to established watch manufacturers to apply. The plant La Marina ltaliana nella Seconda Guerra Mondiale - Volume XIV - 1 mezzi d'assalto ', published by the Naval Historical Office is to read: Following an application by the leadership of the 1st U-boat group assigns the Ministry on Wednesday that the permanent Commission until September 1935 the construction of a special, glowing underwaterwatch checks for divers. This commission has the leadership of the 1st U boat group is already different types of commercially available underwater watches leave, but because of all water faint luminosity and density and pressure resistance little satisfactory results showed.

    Another of the Commission presented a copy Unterwasseruhr with batterylighting achieved when tested in the sea no good results. It came to describe the immediate layers of glass to porosity of the housing stock and to a rapid consumption of batteries. In March 1936, the independent Commission of the leadership of the 1st U-boat group a wristwatch type Radiomir, which are extensive day and night testing had proved as optimal. So we immediately ordered ten copies of this clock, then all the exercises with very satisfactory results were used.

    The above events have official character, since it to the historical archives of the Navy are based. Accordingly, in a sense, the emergence of Radiomir-clock rewritten. Until now it was because of other documents and testimonies collected by experts assumed that the first watches of this type from the year 1938 came. , 30 Oktober that year comes e.g. Panerai the drawing for a project of a Unterwasseruhr. It was however not a complete clock, but merely a dense housing, with the help of dedicated brackets a normal wristwatch appeal.

    Also from 1938 comes another prototype, the only presentation purposes, was built with zwölfeckiger bezel and the inscription Qfficine Panerai Brevettato ', with certificate of authenticity reputable experts. The dial bears the inscription Radiomir Panerai, and the movement is through the transparent casing soil visible. So the question arises: 1936, as indicated by the navy, or 1938, as many experts think and how it is when Panerai? Probably both right and the mystery can be determined by analyzing the political situation of these annual military air.

    In September 1935, as one reads in the financial official naval records, as the Italian-British relations on the basis of most Äthiopienkrise were tense,moved the British fleet in the Mediterranean ', and the Italian navy was unable to make their resistance to afford. None of our war-ships may be the English fleet resist. " To their own inferiority offset considered the Navy, covert operations and surprise raids by special commands to the probable date of commencement of hostilities'. On the crisis followed a relative relaxation of international relations, and at the end of spring 1936 we presented the plans and experiments for the development of pleas come back to later, at the end of 1938, to fall back again as the danger of a new conflict emerged.

    All this could mean that in Panerai after delivery of the first prototype studies materialize and the first drawings destroyed or set aside, and that the project two years later revived and it precisely at the moment with the production began when the Navy Watches ordered. From the official document does not state whether the first 10 copies ordered, delivered and used immediately, or whether they gradually have been tested, as the training of navy divers began. Under this aspect of the project could be watertight enclosure attempt to show an economic and quick way to find, within a short time a large quantity watches with the necessary characteristics to produce. Accordingly could Panerai 1936 created a single prototype, and the actual manufacturing is now fundamentally modified clock would then have until two years later started.

    And so we come to what experts believe and archival material 1938 as first model went into production. It is a clock in, pillow form 'with large housing dimensions (47 mm diameter), with housing and screwed crown and a black dial, on which no writing appears on the roman numerals, hands and Arabic numerals, with phosphorescent material are consecutive. As a wristband attachment serves two bent and soldered ironing. The mechanical movement (caliber 16) with manual elevator has 15 stones and no shockabsorber: it bears the inscription Rolex, the Rohwerk (ground-movement) however, is a caliber of Cortebert, probably originally designed for pocket watches was intended. The glass is made of Perspex, as with the depth gauges and compasses, and the bracelet is made of perforated leather, before the deployment was greased. The bracelet length is so calculated that the clock on the immersion suit could be worn.

    Clockwork, housing base and crown bear the inscription Rolex, which together with the graphic design of the clock near presented the idea that it is rather a small series from the famous Geneva watch house acts as a project of Panerai. This is not the case. The house itself Rolex declared in a letter dated 11 January 1990 at the Italian watch collectors and experts Francesco Ferretti: We want to make it clear that Rolex military watches never produced. The Radiomir Panerai built our concessionaire in Florence in the 40s on behalf of the Italian Navy. This clock was dedicated to the fight thought of using swimmers, while designing and production through the above Company occurred. Rolex was limited solely to the supply of watches, clocks why not take our trademark '. This makes it officially, so to speak: the Panerai watches were actually built by Panerai, where not only movements, but - at least initially - even other parts of Rolex, such as The screwed crown, used.

    On this first model from which the PANERAI museum Ausstellu ngsstück holds a second soon followed. As creative differences to mention the amount exported bezel, the lettering and 'Radiomir Panerai' on the dial and the enlarged and modified pointer. The most important change concerns the structure of the clock itself, the Florentine company had this element completely redesigned to function and to improve readability: Instead of the Arabic and Roman numerals of the previous model appear four large Arabic numerals to the main points and eight long, linear indices . Numerals and indices are no longer coated with phosphorescent material, but as a relief incorporated into the dial. In the excerpts filled wells and a special mixture on the basis of radium and then sealed the flush surface.

    Thanks (According) to the huge amount of Radiumlack (from the name of the clock originates) was a huge brightness, which is also in the course of time is not weakened. With this innovation Panerai had solved the first problem, the Navy diver in the trials said: the dial was also in particularly difficult conditions to be easily seen. The first Panerai Watches who actually used reached, this little clocks were described two types: So the early Arabic / Roman version and the model with large Arabic numerals, which is also enforce the follow. To Fachdisputen are always cause the fact that the lettering, Radiomir Panerai 'not at all dials appears. The absence of letters you should not, however, as a sign of lack of authenticity worthy - it is very special because of the use of these watches is justified.

    For certain missions, the Navy preferred 'anonymous' clocks to the enemy in case of loss of an identification more difficult or even impossible to make. Also, the bracelet is modified brackets after the first practice trials, because the thin wire bracket at impact or shock to bend or break inclined. On this occasion when we revised the Panerai case, it strengthened again by a magnification of all parts. The bar was now considered an integral part of the casing from the steel block and identified with the classic spring bar.

    In the early 40s was then the third amendment. It is the most important modification to the Panerai watches the exclusivity awards, which they still underwater from other models differ. In some specimens, the long and deep under water had been, was on the crown screwed into the casing interior moisture intruded. The reason for this was not a design weakness, but in the materials used and the demanding field deployment of the clock. To them rearing and adjust, we had to solve the crown and back on again later: this was not only to a constant strain of the metal and the seals, often had this in darkness and in great haste, so that the divers sometimes the crown not properly fixed screws were. Panerai this difficulty encountered with the construction of an ingenious leverage device, which is understandable after the end of the war openly appealed and patented.

    The case received on the Crown side a crescent-shaped steel armature, in whose middle locking lever was stored: After loosening of the lever could be free to rotate the crown and set the clock and wind up in case of locking lever, however, he pushed axially on the crown and pressed them so perfect in its internal seal. The device was to a depth of about 200 meters waterproof. Although this was below any conceivable then dive depth, but we put emphasis on a wide safety margin so that the hermetic sealing of the clock in all circumstances was ensured. This innovation designed by Panerai was finally patented in 1956 in Berne. The device, which also strikes against the Crown and other agents protected, was also partially on the left side housing, as some divers are preferred, the clock on the right to bear arms. The fourth amendment, also from the years 1941-43 comes relates to the movement.

    Several watches were given instead of a Rolex caliber Angelus Movement (also Caliber 16) with a power reserve of eight days. In these models accounted for the frequent raising of the clock in difficult conditions, so that you elaborate on the locking lever (which are primarily served the tightness) could waive. The first Angelus Kal IBER were therefore also still in with a screwed-mounted clocks. Probably we pursued this strategy to create a cheaper alternative to the watches with Kronenarretierung to be able to offer. These models were recognizable at a small dial pointer with seconds on the 9-clock position. The last major change took place until later in the area of the clock.

    When people in the course of technological progress of the gamma radiation Radiomir dial-recognized Officine Panerai developed a new mixture without radiation exposure under the name Luminor the new Uhrensene even its name. Other changes related to the inscription on the dial (on some watches appears the inscription, "Marina Militare '), since the end of the war after several specialty models on behalf of other naval units of the Mediterranean countries have been developed.

    In this context, particular mention should be called, "Egyptian 'models, which are small pieces of approximately 30 produced. They are characterized by a chassis that is even bigger and more powerful than the Italian Radiomir models, and they are with a rotating bezel with notches as reference points equipped.

    Nor from the year 1943 comes Panerai the project for another MarineWatch, but not for divers, but for officers in the board-up was planned. The chronograph designed as Mare Nostrum came to a prototype stage, a total of three pieces have been realized in the archives and found some original drawings. The chronograph had a classic shape with press and a large, fixed bezel. The name, "Mare Nostrum" was previously for other marine constructions of Panerai in appearance underfoot. Although the chronograph in the turmoil of those years never reached production stage, took the cooperation between the Florentine company and the Navy in time of peace continues. Even in view of the costs and the value of the products from them deserves a contract from the Navy 1954, mention. Along with a supply of Stablampen ordered the Navy at 30, patented underwater watches' unit price for 75,000 lire. For comparison: Then kosteteine valuable Unterwasseruhr as the Rolex 'Submariner' in Italy 67,000 lire (price-1957).

    Companion courageous missions
    The underwater gamma Gruppo special unit of Italian navy and their comrades from the lncursoriKampftauchern acquired in the course of its history repeatedly fame and respect, not only in our own country, but also on their opponents. On wrists these men existed, the Radiomir Luminor and the toughest test of Art

    The Italian navy began early in the development and deployment of underwater combat. Among the numerous successful missions is certainly those at 31 October 1918 stressed the speedboat as it Mas 95 with Major Raffaele Rossetti and Raffaele Paolucci lieutenant on board managed to unrecognized the port of Pola to approach. To a floating type of torpedo transport Mignatta bracketed, the two officers penetrated into the harbor, where two explosive charges on board hull of the Austrian armored cruiser 'viribus Unitis' (over 21,000 tonnes) and successfully place could ignite. From this first, rather primitive designed its Mignattas were only two copies were built. At the end of 1935 we took the basic idea, but again and began with the construction of the prototype of the so-called SLG

    But first developments followed a break of two years until the end of 1938, when the Marinestab Monaco after the crisis finally ruled in La Spezia, a special section of the 1st Mas flotilla to launch (from the later, an autonomous section called the X-Mas flotilla was born), mitder task, the soldiers trained and number of munitions to develop. The abbreviation S.L.C. stood for, a Silun Lenta Corsa '. It was torpedo-like mini-submarines, the two rinlings on the fuselage seated divers transported. In contrast to 'Mignatta' could S.L.C. However, even under water to navigate. During raids on enemy targets should be in this hearty Navy jargon, maiali '(' pigs') Mini-Submarine baptized only a few years later as a highly effective, while naval historians with their help sunken total tonnage at around 200,000 tonnes quantify.

    At closeness of their goals were the S.L.C. usually from U-boats transported to the site, or on deck with large cylindrical tanks were equipped. In the past attacks against Gibraltar, the SLC from the bilge tank of the vessel, Olterra 'to water in the Spanish port of Algesiras lay at anchor and a hideout for the fight was equipped swimmers. Once arrived in the target area, moved the SLC mostly below the water surface, until they were the enemy's ships in the harbor lay at anchor. There were triggered by the struggle swimmers explosives (about 230-250 kg), mounted under the fuselage and put the time fuze On. All operations, from the start of the mission until the cessation of detonators, from the calculation of the draft until arrival at the base, had precise and perfectly tuned, so that the reliability of watches and time fuze for a successful outcome of the mission were of fundamental importance . Between 10th June 1940 and 8 September 1943, more than 20 missions of this kind documented.

    Long since become a legend is the mission on the night of 18 on the 19th December 1941 in the port of Alexandria in Egypt. 'Catastrophic loss ship in the eastern Mediterranean ", noted Alan Brooke, Chief of General Staff UK, with a date of 19 December in his diary. The occasion was the sinking of battleships, "Valiant" and ", Oueen Elizabeth '(each 30,600 tons), which together with a tanker and a destroyer of six Italian hors de combat divers had been set. The six divers were Luigi Durand de la Penne, Emilio Bianchi, Antonio Marceglia, Spartaco Schergat, Vincenzo Martellotta and Mario Marino. During the sinking of the Valiant 'there was a dramatic development, as they do not engrossing thriller writer would think you can.

    With the mission of this ship had to Lieutenant Junior Luigi Durand de la Penne, as well as his second officer, Emilio Bianchi, responsible. After the torpedo nets protecting the battleship are overcome, there in the dark water to a slight collision with the Schiftsrumpf, allowing the SLC drops about 17 meters. The distance to the ship is only about 15 meters, but the MmiU boot may be on its own power no longer move, since a tightrope in the screw has been caught. In addition, Bianchi by the conflict has lost consciousness and driven to the surface is. So De La Penne on its own and is due to the heavy SLC with the strength of his arms and legs in position. After 40 minutes unheard effort succeeds him actually, it is under the hull of the armored cruiser to tow, the detonator and to return to. He discovered, however, and together with in the meantime by the English fished from the water and captured Bianchi aboard the ship brought. Here are the two commanders of the Italians, "Valiant", Charles Morgan, personally interrogated. Of course, wants to know at what point of the giant fuselage is assembled explosive charge. Since De La Penne but ironclad silence, allows it to the British captain under guard in a Hellegatt include.

    Since the British confiscated his clock have pursued De La Penne inconspicuous the passing of the time to watch his British guards. Against six clock, as the explosion is imminent, he requested another interview with the commander. 'Are you assuming, Mr captain that the vessel in a few minutes in the air goes,' signed De La Penne in a subsequent report on his words, 'nothing more that you can do about that but there is still time, at least the Team to bring in safety, if you want '. The angry Morgan bids for the immediate evacuation of the ship and leaves the Italian officer back into the Hellegatt include, so that he too be included in the air is blown.

    To 6:15 clock, there is a huge detonation: 'The ship gets a mighty blow', writes De La Penne, 'all the lights go off and the engine room is full of smoke ... The ship leans to the left. I open a porthole near the water line in the hope it out. But it is not possible, because it is too small ... I climb the stairs, and after I found an open door did I turn to the stern. Aft I still see parts of the team. "

    A few minutes later, while De La Penne still on the 'Valiant' is to be tilted to one side has another explosion shook the harbor and set the 'Queen Elizabeth' hors de combat. The British leadership and the public were on the success of the mission completely shocked. Prime Minister Winston Churchill gave a speech on the occasion of a few months later to the humiliation: 'Six Italians in strange clothing tribute divers have with their relatively primitive means of fighting the military balance in the Mediterranean virtually in the hands of string benefit tilted axis powers. " A statement from the clear-out of respect to listen, even if it certainly zusammengebissenen with teeth and fists has been concentrated.

    After the war, all participants in the mission a medal, and it was Morgan, the commander of the 'Valiant', of course, they Durand de la Penne tacked to the chest. Than in the 50s an exciting movie about the mission arose, turned it sometimes even with the original equipment, and some of the parties, including De La Penne, were the producers advice.

    Only a few volunteers were hard for the service at the battle of the floats and Gruppo gamma qualify. Among them was Lieutenant Luigi Ferraro, a Artilleneoffizier of the group of gamma X. Mas reported. Unlike their comrades in the lncursori trusted members of the Gruppo gamma not on mini-submarines. They reached their goal, they swam or dealing with 'hand luggage' full of explosives on the seabed under the hull of the target objects vorarbeiteten.

    Between 30 June and the 1st August 1943 Ferraro jumped from the Turkish shores from four into the sea, swam for miles and undertook long dives, to explosive charges under three enemy ships to place: the fourth, the Englishman still timely detect and defuse. For these operations in neutral ports used one special detonators, the only anschlugen when the ship a speed of at least five knots and reaches a certain distance traveled was. This should prevent the explosion of a mine or was attributed to within the port occurred, which would have provoked diplomatic entanglements. Of these missions retained after the end of the war, also decorated with the Order Ferraro full two values mementos: the simple navy swim fins and entrusted to him by Radiomir Unterwasseruhr Panerai.

    Even after the armistice between Italy and the Allies were Radiomir watches from the Italian naval units, which are now on the side of the Allies stood still used. The Englishman also put Italian lncursori and their own 'Chariots' (the English copied from the SLC) to 1945 in the port of Genoa challenge and the aircraft carrier' Aquila 'attack.

    The war was a few months after the operation ended, the clocks, compasses and depth gauge is still good for many years, not least in mine clearance in the Mediterranean and in the diving instructors in various allied countries. In the years of the Cold War, they also occasionally in secret operations. 1953 was the Italian navy again a group of specialists in underwater operations, which until today within the framework of NATO's contribution to peacekeeping and stability in Europe.



    Cheers helmut
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    nice documention and report for vintage panerai beginning time
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    The history of the brand makes the watch even more intersting to own.

    this is fantastic
    Welcome to RepGeek - fun, friendly, flame free and informative.

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    definitely an interesting read, i would love to see some photos of the early watches, especially the prototypes!!!

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