For some time now I've longed for a vintage Panerai.
However, I've wanted one that has a well documented history of the watch.
In a lot of ways, I always thought that this would not happen because there
are so few documented vintage Panerai....
Well!!! the day finally came! LOL
The story goes something like this...
Hans Martin Kaufhold joined the elite Kriegsmarine to be part of the now infamous
Keller group that is so well documented by Volker and Ralf.
Here he is in Venice, standing in front of the Laguna.
He was sent to train with the Italian XaMas.
Notice his right wrist!
While in Italy, he had time for some skiing in the Dolomites
Several documents have been passed along...
Here's his passport, I believe... with the watch next to it.
... and another shot of him (on the left, I think)... as you can see, I will need
to get some clarification at this year's p-day!
Be ready Ralf...
Some other documents with his name on them...
Kaufhold is even mentioned in Volker's book on page 91, in the battle report.
Here's a hand written battle report by Kaufhold.
and here it is transcribed...
The Keller group consisted of 16, broken in four groups. Kaufhold was the leader of four.
Interestingly, Heinz Pape (highlighted in Volker/Ralf's book) was in his group, at least for
Here's the Kaufhold Radiomir and Pape Radiomir together...
These we're taken in Italy by the previous owner who wished to remain annonymous.
The Pape Radiomir is on the left, and Kaufhold on the right.
Here are the casebacks... note the Pape Radiomir has the traditional engraving done at that time.
Kaufhold's was later redone, but you can still see the old engraving at an angle.
I really look forward to this coming p-day to rejoin the two radiomir's once again!
Umberto is inspecting the Kaufhold radiomir (again taken by the previous owner).
Some of the vintage experts may have noticed the crown is different.
I am told that it was probably changed very soon after the WW2.
It is an original Rolex Oyster crown. The concensus was to leave it be.
After all, it has been on there for decades and makes the watch truly unique.
There are a few more documents and other bits, but this pretty much sums it up.
What is very interesting is that there have only been four owners of this watch.
Kaufhold survived the war and died of natural causes in his later years.
He then passed the watch on to his son, who eventually sold it to a collector in the United States.
This collector recently passed it on to me....
It is one of the few vintage Kampfschwimmer's where we know the entire history of the watch.
To me, this makes it priceless... and I will truly cherish it.
Now.... here's my journey to pick up the watch...
I packed my bags...
and headed off to the La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad... that's right, the location
of the first Hammer SoCal GTG! This made the trip even more special because I asked Kevin
(Adeeos) to come out for the trip to put a new strap on the watch...
What's really cool is that the original strap (or at least it had been on there for a looooog time)
had the original nickle plated brass knife edge buckle.
Here's some shots of the buckle... It had been bent, probably for comfort at some point..
and there isn't much of a knife edge left after all of these years...
We made sure to put the buckle on the new strap!
Gregoire was picking up some pointers... LOL
Davie, of course, the man who made it all happen was there...
I had everyone there sign the inside of the new strap...
Guille checking out the paperwork! LOL
Lily asked Kevin if she could pop by to take some video... why not?
Guille brought something to celebrate to event!!!
The original strap will be tucked away nicely...
The strap actually had cotton stitching... not too common these days.
First time on the wrist...
Taking some shots with Davie's KS (mine is on the left)
(and now on the right!)
Kevin took some time to go through the papers too
Throughout the trip we had various random GTGs
Here's a nice vintage lineup!
Rare to see the 203 get overshadowed, no?
How about a 4 liner Angelus???
... or a 6151/1 Marina Militare...
We eventually made our way over to the pizza port for some nice brew!
Thanks for the ride farhad, was very cool of you...
As usual kevin was getting a little out of hand!
All in all, I am still high off of this trip... but the bottom line is without these guys...
It would NOT have been the same!
Davie! Can't even put it in words brother, see you soon
Kev, you are nuts, but I luv ya! LOL
ps - sorry there are no movement pictures. My camera died right after the trip.
I'll be sure to post some soon!!!
Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face - GT