As avid Paneristi are aware, today’s powerhouse Panerai watch brand had its humble beginnings in a retail watch store in Florence, founded by the Panerai family in 1860. As inspiration for the latest version of its Radiomir 1940 3 Days Acciaio – 47mm, the company reached back to that historical early era, in which the family-owned Orologerie Suizzera (precursor to the modern Officine Panerai) sold not only wristwatches and pocketwatches but also table clocks and pendulum clocks. It is a particular example of this last item that provided the template for the Art Deco dials of the two new models.
The dial of a pendulum clock displayed on the first floor of Panerai’s Florentine shop on the Piazza San Giovanni is re-created in two distinct dial versions, both in 47-mm cases made of polished stainless steel — ivory (Ref. PAM00791) and black (PAM00790). Both retro-look dials are notable for their large, Art Deco hour numerals; peripheral railway minute track track and additional interior ring; and lacquered, spear-shaped hour and minute hands, a style used for the first time on a Panerai timepiece.
The cushion-shaped Radiomir 1940 case, now a mainstay of Panerai’s collection, is exceptionally corrosion-resistant and resists water pressures down to 100 meters — a feature calling to mind the Radiomir’s watch’s origins as a military timepiece for the Royal Italian Navy’s elite combat divers. Inside the case and on display through the clear sapphire caseback is the in-house-made movement, the manual-winding P.3000, which boasts a three-day power reserve held in twp mainspring barrels. Mechanical details in full view include the three brushed-finish bridges protecting the movement’s interior parts, and a large 3-Hz balance held firmly by a bridge with twin supports. Caliber P.3000 is also equipped with a quick-adjustment function that allows the user to move the hour hand independently forward or backward without affecting the minute hand or the continuous running of the watch.
The new, vintage-clock-inspired Radiomir 1940 3 Days Acciaio watches have historically inspired, period-appropriate Plexiglas crystals, slightly domed, over their dials. They are mounted on a sturdy, natural leather strap with beige contrast stitching and an impressed “OP” (Officine Panerai) logo. The price for both special editions is $9,200. What do you think of Panerai’s latest ticking tributes to its pre-military Florentine history? Let us know in the comments below.