PANERAI - a very rare and special Second World War military ...

by Fellows Auctioneers




PANERAI - a very rare and special Second World War military Diver watch head. Stainless steel case with Kurt Kohlrusch engraved to the case back. Reference 3646, serial 1010049. Signed manual wind Rolex movement. Black dial with baton hour markers, quarterly Arabic numerals. Brevet screw-down crown. 47mm. Together with a military issue jacket, a photograph, military records etc.

A historic military Panerai watch head acquired from a German diver during WWII. Captain Alfred Packer of 43rd Reconnaissance Regiment acquired the watch during Operation Market Garden in the Netherlands, in September 1944. The watch will go under the hammer with Captain Packer's military issue jacket, photograph, military service records and a fascinating personal diary depicting the events of the regiment in 1944.

During Operation Market Garden the German frogmen, or Kampfschwimmers, attempted to thwart the Allies from securing a route to Arnhem.The frogmen were unsuccessful in blowing up a bridge at Nijmegen, and were eventually captured by the Allies, where it is believed the watch was acquired.

The Panerai head was passed down to Packer's son, and it has been kept in a drawer since, without being worn. The personal diary entries show how Packer and others contributed to the capturing of Kampfschwimmers.

Fellows previously sold a similar Panerai in January 2018, belonging to George H. Rowson who joined the Reconnaissance Corps from January 1942 until December 1943. Rowson would have served alongside Packer during the Second World War, making this the second piece of history from the time-period Fellows have had in auction in the past year.

More Information

  • Movement is not currently functioning.
  • Movement has scratches, marks and tarnishing commensurate with general wear visible to the naked eye.
  • Dial appears to have noticeable marks and scratches. Luminous paint appears faded on the hour markers.
  • Hands show marks and tarnishing with discolouration to the luminous paint.
  • Glass has noticeable scratches and marks.
  • Case shows noticeable scratches, marks and dints. Lugs are missing. Personal engraving to case back reads Kurt Kohlrusch.
  • Crown screws down and has noticeable scratches and dinting.

    This lot does not come with box or papers.

    Fellows do not guarantee the working order or accuracy of any lots sold.

    Due to opening of the case back we recommend this watch is re-sealed by an authorised technician to ensure any stated water resistance is retained.

    Please see the Important Notices for Purchasers in our catalogue and online for any additional considerations that may affect this lot.

    If you should have further queries regarding this lot, please do not hesitate to contact the Watch Department on 0121 212 5506 or at

  • Closed
    Auction Date:
    2nd Apr 19 at 11am BST
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    Sale Dates:
    2nd Apr 2019 11am BST (Lots 1 to 364)