The steel Radiomir ref. 6152-1


Exceedingly rare and early example of Panerai “Radiomir” ref. 6152-1 , manufactured in 1955 circa.

Ref. 6152-1 was manufactured by Rolex in 1955. All of the 500 pieces made featured signature Rolex Big Crowns (8mm) known from the Rolex “King Sub” Ref. 6200.
The first examples delivered to the Italian Navy were equipped with radium-based Radiomir Panerai dials.
Around 1958, Panerai started heavily modifying Ref. 6152-1 by removing the Big Crown and adding their patented crown-protecting device. To do so, the cases had to be machined to provide a flat seat for the large half-moon shaped crown guard.
Later in the mid 1960s, Panerai developed their tritium-based luminous compound named Luminor.
All watches delivered to the Italian Navy and other customers thereafter were equipped with Luminor dials.

The ones for the Italian Navy were engraved with Marina Militare, the other customers received Luminor Panerai engraved dials.

Around the same time, the Marina Militare started replacing all highly radioactive Radiomir dials on previously supplied watches with the latest Luminor dials. In the same breath, all watches also received new, slightly thinner hands painted with tritium-based luminous compound.

Only a handful of these early Ref. 6152-1 watches supplied between 1955 and the mid 1960s retained the original Radiomir dials. In most cases, this occurred because the watches were gifted to retired divers and were never serviced afterwards.

The present 6152/1 Marina Militare stands out for its wonderful condition both of the dial and the case.
The inside of the caseback features the typical Rolex stamps from the era in addition to the reference number 6152/1.
The iconic crown-protecting device is engraved with Brev. Ital. which refers to the Italian patent.

It definitely represents an incredibly rare, important and historical time-piece.

Case n. : 124xxx
Cal: Manual, Rolex Cal. 618
Diam: 50mm
Box & papers: none
Manufactured in: 1955 circa
Provenance: European collector



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