Manipulated Vintage Panerai dials

There was a discussion about highly radioactive Luminor dials a few years ago. It was believed that Panerai had used Radiomir luminous material for these dials.

After having possibly found a Kampfschwimmer dial which had been engraved with “Marina Militare” to achieve a higher price at the auction I started to compare all dials i have in my database.

Wide open 6 and 9

The wide “open” 6’s and 9’s of most Kampfschwimmer dials are a very good indicator to find altered dials.

Different 6 in Vintage Panerai dials


Could it be that all those highly radioactive Luminor dials are nothing else than altered Kampfschwimmer dials?


Genuine Luminor Panerai dial from a 6152/1


I believe the following picture shows an altered Kampfschwimmer dial. The “wide” open 6 and 9 are quite obvious. The patina doesn’t match with regular Luminor Panerai dials and the back side of the dial is different than the one above.

Altered Kampfschwimmer dial, most certainly highly radioactive


Let’s compare this with an untouched Kampfschwimmer dial. Same 6 and 9, patina is very similar as well and the construction of the back side is identical. Note also the patina on the back plate. The material is probably brass or copper as opposed to the back plate of 6152/1 dials which are probably made from aluminium.

Untouched 3646 Type D Kampfschwimmer dial, highly radioactive


Let’s see the construction of an early 3646 Type C dial. The back side is again different than the ones above.

Early 3646 Type C dial, highly radioactive


To make this list complete here a 6154 Radiomir Panerai dial. These dials are very thin, only about 1mm. The construction is slightly different.

Thin 6154 dial, highly radioactive


Here is an overview of what i believe are altered Kampfschwimmer dials.

Panerai 3646 C 1010091 with crooked engravings

Early 3646 C 1010091 with altered Kampfschwimmer (check 6 and 9) dial


A closer look at the engravings compared to a similar 3646 C shows the differences. Note also the different patina of the markers.

Comparison of similar 3646 C, check the R’s


Detailed report about 1010091


Dial of Panerai 3646 C 1010103 with not centered engravings

Most certainly altered Kampfschwimmer dial


Dial of Panerai 3646 C 1010260 with crooked engravings

Altered Kampfschwimmer (check 6 and 9) dial with crooked engravings


Kampfschwimmer dial with Marina Militare Luminor Panerai engravings

Altered Kampfschwimmer dial, MMLP without sub seconds?


6152/1 124758 with Kampfschwimmer dial and Marina Militare engravings

Altered Kampfschwimmer dial (wide open 6 and 9)
Close up on the engravings, note the R’s (signature!)


By the way, the very same dial was also installed in a 3646 (261352) with some curious hands.

3646 with altered Kampfschwimmer dial


Detailed report about 124758


Panerai 6152/1 with altered Kampfschwimmer dial

6152/1 with Kampfschwimmer dial (wide open 6 and 9, patina)
Close up on the engravings. The same signature R’s again.


Panerai 6152/1 with altered Kampfschwimmer dial

Altered Kampfschwimmer dial


And only within a few years the hands look much older…

Same watch with altered Kampfschwimmer dial and “aged” hands



These dials were not engraved by Panerai in my opinion. Many have the same signature, especially the crooked ones.


Thanks for your interest.

> World premiere: 20 watches of Ref. 6154 at a glance


Image sources: Christie’s Lot 323, 2007 & Lot 343, 2013, Phillips Lot 223, 2015, Antica Orologeria Zamberlan, Treviso


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