All About Panerai Special Editions Watches
Officine Panerai is one of the best watch brands in the modern world. Known for their advanced technological features and combination of style and substance, the brand’s watches have seen success worldwide. But what makes Panerai watches so good? Well, to understand more about the brand, you’ll have to time-travel back to 1860, when it all started.
Panerai’s beginnings were humble, to say the least. The renowned watchmaker had a watchmaking school and a workshop, which were both located in the city of Florence in Italy. Gradually, Panerai’s innovations and inventions caught the eye of the world. Its most famous inventions were the luminous substances that allowed its watches to have greater visibility than its competitors.
Watch collectors have been collecting Panerai watches for years, and if you want to be the owner of the brand’s iconic watches, look no further than its special editions. Every year, Panerai releases multiple special edition watches that feature diverse in-house calibre movements such as Valjoux and manual wind movements. These watches are mostly pre-ordered by collectors and are of significant value.
Florence’s Ponte alle Grazie town is where it all started for Panerai. “Where ideas wake up”, its motto, reflects the innovative nature of the brand. Even when Panerai was in its nascent stages, its watchmaking workshop and school were full of innovators with revolutionary ideas. Those ideas are still very much visible in Panerai’s present-day offerings, particularly the luminous materials that the brand invented and patented – the Panerai Luminor and the Panerai Radiomir. Apart from allowing Panerai to scale dizzying heights of success in the watchmaking world, these innovations have also helped the industry evolve over the years.
After Panerai’s watchmaking exploits started getting attention, the brand was approached by the Royal Italian Navy for crafting watches for its members. After years of exclusively serving the Italian navy, Panerai started selling its watches commercially, formally making an entry in the public market in the early 1990s. Since then, the brand’s success has taken the world by storm, and it continues to set lofty standards in the watchmaking industry.
Panerai’s offerings to the Navy were known for their robustness and reliability. The watches were used by the navy’s frogmen and divers for some of their most challenging missions. The brand’s special edition watches are, in many ways, homages to the glory days of the Italian navy.
Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days Acciaio – PAM00720 and PAM00721
In 2017, Panerai announced the launch of two special edition watches – the PAM00720 and PAM00721. Both these watches featured Radiomir, one of the luminous materials invented and patented by Panerai. The 47 mm watches were limited to 400 pieces, and caused quite a stir among Panerai watch collectors and enthusiasts.
Both these special edition watches are homages to the 3646 Type A watch, which is one of the most revered watches made by Panerai. The original watch dates back to the 1930s, during which it played a crucial part in the second World War. A manual wind caliber 618 movement from Rolex powered this iconic watch. However, some changes were made to the PAM00720 and PAM00721 for their respective launches in 2017. While some original features were retained, some newer ones also made an appearance.
For example in the PAM00721, you won’t find any Panerai brand markings or logos – only numerals. The dial on the watch pays tribute to the classic watches from the brand that were used by German combat swimmers during World War II. Back in those days, these watches were exclusively made for military use.
However, the 2017 special edition PAM00721 doesn’t feature the Rolex movement. Instead, Panerai went with its in-house caliber P3000. The movement features a diameter of 37 mm along with a 3-days power reserve. The movement looks stunning to the eye, especially when observed through its back, which features a crystal glass case.
Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days Acciaio – PAM00685 and PAM00687
Both the PAM00685 and PAM00687 are reissue models of the ‘Brevettato’ Radiomir from 1938. These reissue models recreate the iconic features of Panerai watches from the 1930s. Both the 47 mm steel watches boast of an engraved bezel, which is responsible for holding in place the signature plexiglass crystal. On the bezel, you’ll find the “Officine Panerai Brevettato” engraved. “Brevettato” is an Italian word that means “patented”. The word is a throwback to the luminous materials that were patented by Panerai during the 1930s.
The PAM00685 has a black sandwich dial, while the PAM00687 has a graduated brown dial. Both dials offer a vintage look. The in-house hand-wound calibre P.3000 movement powers both the watches, which also offers 3-days power reserve.
Panerai Mare Nostrum Special Edition 42mm
When Panerai started offering its watches to civilians in the early 1990s, it used the Latin phrase “Mare Nostrum” for naming the chronographs. In English, “Mare Nostrum” means “Our Sea”. The Mare Nostrum collection was one of the first offerings to civilians from the brand, and the Mare Nostrum 5218-301 went on to achieve iconic status. The watch was limited to a mere 500 pieces, and its highlights included an engraved bezel featuring a tachymeter scale and a blue dial. It was powered by the manual-wind ETA 2801 movement which was paired with the Dubois-Depraz module.
A special edition of the same watch was released by the brand in 2017, which stayed true to the original elements of the 1993 watch. The special edition watch was limited to 1,000 pieces.
In terms of its appearance, the special edition PAM00716 looks almost the same as the 1993 edition. Even the hand-wound movement is the same – the OP XXXIII calibre. The movement was created and personalized by Panerai on the ETA 2801-2, and featured a Dubois-Depraz chronograph module base. Certified by COSC, the movement provides 42 hours power reserve.
Panerai Radiomir 1940 10 Days GMT Automatic Oro Rosso
This is one of the most visually appealing Panerai special edition watches. Some of the iconic features of this 45 mm watch include the polished case made from 18k rose gold and the Panerai P.2003/10 caliber that powers the unit. The polished case comes with a brown alligator strap, which is secured through a buckle that’s also made of 18k rose gold. The caliber features a mechanical automatic movement. When fully wound, the caliber offers power reserve of 10 days. The sapphire-crystal case back is also a sight for sore eyes.
So, if you’re an enthusiastic collector of watches, you should definitely consider adding the Panerai special edition watches to your collection. Through these watches, you’ll keep a bit of Panerai’s glorious history alive.