Rolex Movement - California Dial – Blued Steel Hands
48mm Stainless Steel Radiomir Case with Fixed Wire Lugs
This is an amazing and well cared for example of a Vintage Panerai Radiomir ‘Anonime’ – So called Anonime because the watch (Dial, Case, Movement) is unsigned, meaning no makers signatures on the watch, dial, movement or caseback.
This watch is representative of Panerai’s very unique (and privileged) relationship with Rolex in the midst of WWII where Panerai sourced their watches almost entirely from Rolex for fulfilment of special MilSpec contracts with special force military groups. After all, in that time period, Panerai was less known of as a Watch Compnay and more known as a Military Contractor.
Rolex, most likely to avoid backlash or association with the Axis powers (Japan, Italy and German) filled the orders with “anonymous” Rolex Cases, movements and dials in case any of these parts wound up in Axis Powers hands (Pun Intended).
Re this example it is speculated that Rolex scratched out the details on the case back prior to it leaving the factory. Although the movement is unsigned, it has been confirmed that Rolex used the Cortebert Cal. 618 movements in these anonymous Panerai Radiomir watches.
As much as this watch was produced circa 1944, Even freakier is that this watch is the almost spitting image of the Panerai PAM 249, the watch that single handedly ignited the re-birth of the California dial. Panerai cited the PAM249 as being inspired by the 1936 Radiomir. Many people believe that was a typo where the historian may have mixed up the Ref 3646 and 1936. As anyone familiar with vintage Panerai will confirm, consistency and accuracy was not one of Panerai’s strongest attrbutes.
That being said, this watch is a living piece of Panerai history. Featuring Fixed Wire Lugs, a gorgeous creamy California dial and accented with blued steel hands, this watch is one of the cleanest and crispiest examples of the Vintage Radiomir 3646 California Dial you will ever see.
Just to be clear, this example is ‘Anonime’ which is to say:
Rolex movement, Dial, Case and Caseback are not stamped with Rolex (or Panerai) markings.
**From the Atlas Collection**
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