It was not till 1935 that the Italian Navy commissioned the first sailors watch out of Panerai and in 1936 the company (at the time called Guido Panerai & Figlio) made the first prototype of a diver’s watch for a specialist unit known as ‘The Command of the 1st Submersible Group of the Navy’. The delivery of the initial ten commissioned dive watches in 1938 resulted in Panerai becoming the official watch provider to the Italian Navy, although credit ought to be afforded to Rolex for the movements in those early pieces. In 1940, many improvements to the Radiomir were required to satisfy the standards required by the Navy, mainly in power and water resistance. Now’s Radiomir 1940 retains a number of the first design cues, however, the years of refinement in material finish and motion design have resulted in a really glorious modern timepiece that, despite its diving credentials, provides elegance and sophistication.Panerai stands out as being a new synonymous with pillow shaped cases. The situation implementation of the Radiomir 1940 is first class. Fashioned from the brands own AISI (American Iron and Steel Institute) 316L, it is a highly-polished steel-alloy situation with anti-corrosive and sterile properties. A monobloc case arrangement means the lugs are a part of the main case rather than the cable lugs used in ancient designs. This enhances the diver’s watch look and masculinity of their timepiece. From a negative view, the traces of the lugs follow the exquisite arc of the circumstance. The 42mm diameter and height of 10.93mm are relatively conservative, making this an extremely wearable watch. The case provides a stunning housing for the purest of white dials.
Panerai continues its run of smaller timepieces with the Radiomir 1940 3 Days Automatic Acciaio 42mm PAM655, a preview of what’s to be officially unveiled at SIHH 2016.
Just months after the hand-wound Radiomir 1940 3 Days 42mm was introduced at Watches&Wonders 2015, Panerai has unveiled another smallish watch, the Radiomir 1940 3 Days Automatic Acciaio PAM00655, featuring a white dial with ivory Super-Luminova. Powered by the P.4000 micro-rotor movement, the new PAM655 is more evidence that the balance is tilting in favour of small watches, even for brands that specialise in oversized timepieces. The Radiomir 1940 3 Days PAM655 is 42mm in diameter, currently the smallest case size Panerai mixed. Essentially identical to the black dial Radiomir 1940 PAM620 launched earlier this year, the new PAM655 is distinguished by its white dial.
The look is typical for the Radiomir 1940: a polished steel case without crown lock mechanism and baton hands. The dial has Arabic hour numerals and ivory Super-Luminova to mimic the look of a vintage watch. The tan leather strap matches the colour of the Super-Luminova.
The movement inside is the P.4000, a self-winding calibre with a tungsten micro-rotor. Relatively slim at 3.95mm high, the calibre has twin barrels, giving it a three day power reserve.
Pricing has yet to be announced, but expect it to be about US$10,000.