For 2015, Officine Panerai goes back again to its roots as a historic supplier of instruments for the Italian navy and releases a quartet of new iterations on popular models as well as one reissue from the heritage collection. Coverage of the first model, the most complicated one: Radiomir 1940 with equation of time, deserved separate coverage and can be found in a separate post. The remaining model iterations constitute three Panerai Luminor Submersible watches, one Panerai Radiomir, and one special novel reissue.
First, three new models of the Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 with flyback chronograph function. These maintain the large 47mm case size that somehow still wears small due to short lugs. Being built in titanium reduces the weight and so does using a flexible rubber caoutchouc strap. Both models have rotating bezels but one, like the PAM389, uses a scratch resistant ceramic insert.
Instead of using the typical subdials for minute counters, Panerai opted to use two central hands: one for the seconds and a blued steel for the minutes counter. The running seconds for both models is at 9 o’clock. And for the ceramic bezel model, PAM615, a subdial indicating the hour count is at 3 o’clock. The full titanium model, PAM614, instead houses a date window at 3 o’clock.
The third submersible, PAM616, is a true novelty for Panerai, though not so much in the watch industry. Following Audemars Piguet, Linde Werdelin, Hublot, Richard Mille, and a few others, Panerai released its first watch housed in carbon material. Panerai calls it “Carbotech,” and lacking exact details on the manufacturing process, it seems to be like recent models of aforementioned brands whereby multiple layers of carbon fibers are stacked then processed and cut to match the iconic case of the Panerai 1950 Luminor Submersible.
Interestingly, while Panerai opted to manufacture the patented (now trademarked) device protecting the crown and its lever in the same carbon material, the tang buckle is not, and is done instead in titanium. Likely a good choice due to the pressure and abuse such a buckle can take and the high consequences of any failures. Price for the PAM616 Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 Carbotech watch will be in the $17,000 – $20,000 range.
The second model announced is a collectible Radiomir in stainless steel made specifically to celebrate Panerai’s home city: Florence, or in Italian, Firenze. What makes this manual wound Radiomir special is the hand engraved patterns on the case, mimiking the art and architecture of the great city on the case. Supposedly, each case takes about one week to engrave, and the process is tedious and error prone. With any mistake on the hard stainless steel material causing the case to be discarded and the process restarted. As such, the Panerai Radiomir Firenze is strictly limited to 100 pieces and only sold at the Firenze boutique in Italy at a price of about 17,000 euros.
To finish the trio of models is the revival of the Panerai Mare Nostrum chronograph. This reissue of the chronograph that Panerai created for the officers of the Italian navy during the second World War is done in titanium, again to help wearability of the imposing 52mm case. The Panerai Mare Nostrum comes with the OP.XXV manual wound movement which gives it 55 hours power reserve. This model follows in the long line of Panerai’s modern tradition of reissuing important historical models with modern materials and design cues. While not for everyone, despite its imposing size, the Panerai Mare Nostrum, like the famed Egiziano, is likely to be a Panaresti favorite due to its collectible nature. It is also limited to 150 pieces and we believe its price will be around $45,000.
Pricing on the different models are not yet confirmed, but we will make sure to update the information as it becomes available and bring you hands-on reviews and pictures of these in the metal. panerai.com