Many watch friends know that there is a word on the bezel to describe Rolex and Panerai, the Laopei family. Although these two brands of watches are quite different today, they are closely linked in the last century.
Founder Giovanni Panerai and the compass made in the early days of the brand
Panerai fans know that Panerai did not specialize in making watches in the early days. Although the founder Giovanni Panerai opened a watch workshop in Florence in 1860, the model he followed then was more about marketing watches. Forty years later, around 1900, Panerai still specialized in producing professional technical equipment such as compasses and optical precision instruments. During this period, Panerai had a good relationship with the Italian Navy, and its products were always supplied to them.
In 1935, the Italian Navy found this good supplier and wanted Panerai to make a professional diving watch. Italy also put forward three requirements: good waterproof, good luminous light, and large enough size. These are directly linked to the ability to assist combat divers in underwater operations.
The first Oyster watch was produced by Rolex in 1926; in fact, Rolex’s pillow-shaped case was still displayed in Cellini a few years ago, but it has become less and less common in recent years.
But after receiving the request from the Italian Navy, Panerai has never made a watch before, let alone make a watch that can satisfy the Italian Navy under the current situation. What should we do? They thought of another way: to find Rolex with the best waterproof technology at that time. At that time, Rolex already relied on the Oyster case and occupied the watch industry’s leading position in waterproof technology. This was the beginning of the cooperation between the two.
After the formal cooperation, Rolex and Panerai first faced a problem: the large size required by the Italian Navy. At that time, Rolex watches were 32 mm, a small size popular, and they were all exquisite. If you can’t put the watch directly on it, you can only meet the requirements by choosing a 47mm pocket watch with an Oyster case for Rolex.
The prototype of the first RADIOMIR watch, Ref.2533, clearly shows the word Rolex on the movement.
When changing a pocket watch to a wristwatch, it is basically to drop the eye first, turn the crown sideways, and weld the metal strip lugs on the upper and lower cases to wear the strap. Rolex also added a screw-in height and a manual winding movement to this replica watch. This is Panerai’s prototype watch—model 2533. Rolex produced the first watch from the inside to the outside.
There are two versions of Panerai 3646. The watches preserved in the market are generally better in appearance. Of course, the top one feels like it has been thrown away.
Same Rolex movement
After the Italian Navy approved the prototype watch, Panerai continued to create Ref.3646 watches and officially put them into mass production. This watch also has a four-point large digital time scale version and a California dial version. Still, because it is for the military, there is no brand information on the dial, that is, the Panerai logo.
Later, with the increasing use of underwater operations, the requirements of the Navy after World War II became more specific. Military watches must be able to maintain extreme underwater conditions for long periods. In 1954, two new Panerai swiss replica watches, 6152 and 6154, were tested. The most significant change of the watch was that the metal strip lugs needed to be stronger, the solid lugs were used, and the case was milled from the same piece of fine steel.
Later, the time came the 1950s, the cooperation between the two companies began in the 1930s because their respective developments also embarked on different paths. In 1953, Rolex produced the first generation of Submariner, numbered 6204. The Submariner is also the Submariner. The oyster case is equipped with a circular rotating bezel. Although there is no shoulder guard on the side of the watch, and the pointer does not use Mercedes-Benz needles, the classic shape has already begun to take shape. The entire look is water-resistant to 100 meters.
The fineness of this Egyptian preserved today is quite war-damaged. Last year, it was sold at Phillips for about RMB 1.17 million.
Panerai developed the crown protection device in 1956, the crown guard bridge, which is also the most recognizable design element of Panerai. The crown guard bridge also registered an international patent at that time. The first watch equipped with this design is a diving watch named GPF-2/56. The watch was later supplied to the Egyptian Navy at the behest of the Italian Navy. Therefore, the watch was called the Egyptian watch, and only 60 pieces were produced then.
A few years ago, the Egyptian watch also released a special edition, numbered PAM 00341. Stallone would often wear it to show up, but his wrist circumference of 60 mm is also quite large.
In the middle and late part of the last century, the military still exclusively used Panerai. Even at that time, low-radiation tritium-based compounds were produced. Luminor, a unique luminous material, should be good if transferred to civilian use, but it still does not involve civilian use. The watch market is killing the Quartet.
Case Size: 40mm
Engine: Rolex Calibre 2836/2813
Case Color: Silver-tone