If in any doubt over the potential rare timepieces pack as a viable (and fun) investment, consider the €226,000 price fetched by Renowned French Auction House Artcurial for an ultra-rare Panerai Radiomir Type A that once belonged to Rear Admiral Amedeo Vesco Of The Italian Navy – an establishment which, as most readers will know, the Italian brand has been involved with since the mid-1930s.
Knocked down by auctioneer François Tajan at the Yacht Club de Monaco in January, the diving wristwatch’s cushion-shaped steel case is 47 mm in diameter, with a screw-down winding crown and a screw back. The black dial features those familiar Arabic figures, baton markers and luminous hands, and is inscribed with words that send frissons down the spines of diving watch enthusiasts: “Radiomir Panerai”.
Beneath that gloriously authentic chalk-on-blackboard dial is a Rolex mechanical movement with 15 jewels and Côte de Genève decoration. In the early 1950s, reference 6152, had just replaced the legendary 3646, and remains undoubtedly the beating heart of the most collectable of all vintage Panerai watches.
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