Panerai Radiomir 1940

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Panerai’s collection could be broken down into four main classes: the Radiomir, the Luminor 1950, the Luminor and also the Submersible, each representing a stage in the creation of Guido Panerai’s military watch. And today there is a fifth: the Radiomir 1940. The Radiomir 1940 introduces another development platform from – unsurprisingly – the 1940s, and matches smack bang between the Radiomir along with also the Luminor 1950. It has a Radiomir instance, Luminor lugs, and a Rolex-style crown (because Rolex were supplying parts in the time).Does that the Radiomir 1940 answer our query? Well, no and yes. No, because Panerai have published a special edition Paneristi version, and yes because it’s the most elegantly proportioned watch Panerai have ever made. Due in part to this hand-wound P.999/1 in-house movement, the Radiomir 1940 PAM00512 is not just comparatively small in diameter, but also in thickness too. A personal bugbear of mine has become the recent external growth of Panerai watches, which makes them much too thick to fit under any cuff – let alone that of a shirt – and the 512 finally simplifies this. Although the proportions are not faithful to the first 1940s Radiomir, the more compact size feels a whole lot more authentically vintage.So instead of being a high heavy, unbalanced lump that reminds you of its existence every time you move your wrist, the 512 disappears, just surprising you with its sumptuous great looks when you retract your sleeve to have a peek at the time. It’s a strangely refreshing experience, the end of a frustrating phase of admiring Panerais in pictures and being ultimately disappointed by the dimensions, and also hopefully the start of a new direction for the brand.Don’t worry however if you’re a Paneristi or a fan of the larger Panerais – the Radiomir 1940 comes from the traditional, bicep-building 47mm too.

Panerai has just unveiled the Radiomir 1940 Chronograph, available only in gold or platinum. Heavily inspired by vintage chronographs, the Radiomir 1940 Chronograph powered by the OP XXV movement from Minerva.

Positioned as a top of the line model, the Radiomir 1940 Chronograph is a significant departure from the typical Panerai style. The watch is not based, or even inspired by, a specific Panerai model from the past, rather it combines various elements from Panerai and elsewhere. The cushion shaped case is distinctively Panerai, as are some of the dial elements, but the hands and tachymetre scale hark back to early twentieth century chronograph. Three versions of the Radiomir 1940 Chronograph are available, namely white or rose gold, or platinum, with slight dial variations between the trio. 

All three versions have 45 mm cases with a polished finish, fitted with Plexiglas crystals and a display back revealing the OP XXV calibre, which is actually the cal. 13-22 from Minerva. It is a traditionally constructed chronograph calibre, with a column wheel, horizontal coupling and a swan neck regulator.

The OP XXV calibre

The first of the three is the Radiomir 1940 Chronograph Platino PAM518, a limited edition of 50 pieces in platinum. This has an ivory dial with dot and baton indices, with gold hands for the time, and blued steel hands for the chronograph. The PAM518 retails for €59,900 (~US$81,200).

Next is the Radiomir 1940 Chronograph Oro Rosso PAM519 in red gold. Limited to 100 pieces, the PAM519 has a brown California dial with a combination of Arabic and Roman numerals. This retails for €44,900 (~US$60,800).

And the last is also a limited edition of 100 pieces, the Radiomir 1940 Chronograph Oro Bianco PAM520 in white gold. This is the only one of the three with a sandwich dial, with a Luminova coated plate sitting below the dial which has apertures cut out for the hour indices. This retails for €46,900 (~US$63,600).

The pricing for the Radiomir 1940 Chronograph is ambitious, especially considering the Montblanc Meisterstück Heritage Pulsograph also unveiled at SIHH 2014 has a similar, in fact slightly better finished movement, for €27,000, or about US$46,600). Delivery of the Radiomir 1940 Chronograph is expected sometime around late 2014. Keep an eye on our SIHH page for updates. Or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to keep track of the happenings at SIHH 2014.