Usually when talking about auctions, it is about some extremely rare Patek Philippe watch or a timepiece that was once owned by a famous person, like the auction of Steve McQueen’s Heuer Monaco or Alain Delon’s Audemars Piguet Royal Oak.
Tomorrow Antiquorum will auction 28 Panerai timepieces, almost all Special Editions and Limited Editions, making this a rather rare opportunity to find the most sought-after Panerai watches on the planet. Let’s take a closer look at some of the pieces that Antiquorum in New York calls the ‘property of an American collector’.
Lot number 29 is a very rare Panerai Mare Nostrum, ref. 5218-301, from 1994. This is one of the sought-after so-called ‘Pre-Vendôme’ watches from Panerai, meaning it was made by Panerai before the company was bought by the Vendôme Group, which later became Richemont.
The watch on auction is one of the 492 models that Panerai made between 1993 and 1996. It masures 42 mm in diameter and 12 mm in height, making it a very wearable watch, unlike its antique predecessor and the later re-issue PAM00300 that both measure 52 mm in diameter.
In this article (click here) you can read more about the history of the Mare Nostrum models and a similar model with a whte dial, that was sold by Christies for $ 13,750 in June 2011. In another article (click here), we covered much more about the Mare Nostrum re-issue PAM00300, its gorgeous movement and more about the original Mare Nostrum’s history.
The etsimate for lot 29 is between $ 15,000 and $ 25,000 USD (€ 12k – 20k Euro), which is quite reasonable for a pristine version of such a sought-after model, especially because it is one of just 492 pieces and has the sought-after black dial.
Lot number 12 (pictured above) is next and is one of my personal favorites: the Panerai Luminor 1950 Chrono Monopulsante 8-Days GMT Ceramica PAM00317. It comes in the tough 44mm large ceramic Luminor 1950 case and features the in-house caliber P.2004 and is part of the Specialties Collection.
The movement is visible through the sapphire crystal in the case back and has been black coated, to match the black ceramic case and black coated titanium case back. The manually wound movement has 8 days of power reserve and features linear power reserve indicator, a second time zone with day/night indicator and a single-button chronograph. I guess a single-button chronograph, or mono-poussoir, is what one could call a personal fetish. However I also like the 44mm ceramic Luminor 1950 case a lot, because it has a manly size without looking too much oversized on my wrist and it has the iconic Panerai looks.
The estimate for lot number 12 is between $ 8,000 and $ 12,000 USD ( € 6k – 9k Euro).
Last but not least, measuring a hefty 60 mm in diameter and 20mm in height, is lot number 30: the Panerai Special Edition 2009 Radiomir Egiziano PAM00341. Let’s be honest, the dimensions of this watch are absolutely unfit for any wrist and I have yet to come across a wrist shot with this particular manhole-size wrist watch that doesn’t look ridiculous.
However… among Paneristi (Panerai enthusiasts) the ‘Big E’, ‘Big Egiziano’ or ‘Big Egyptian’, as the Radiomir Egiziano is called, is very popular.
The original Egiziano was produced exclusively for the Egyptian navy in the 1950’s. Hence the names ‘Big Egiziano’ or ‘Big Egyptian’, as Egiziano is Italian for Egyptian. The original model was reference GPF 2/56 and its size and thickness are a logical consequence of the requirements set by the Egyptian navy: they wanted a big and indestructible diving watch that could take some serious punishment during daily use. The original watch was equipped with an Angelus caliber 240 movement with 8 days of power reserve. The dial had the ‘8 giorni brevettato’ logo (8 days patented) and this logo can also be found on this special edition PAM00341 (and also on the PAM00203). Experts say that Panerai built only about 50 units of the Big Egyptian, making the watch very rare and highly collectible.
This Special Edition PAM00341 features the hand wound Panerai caliber P.2002/7, with three barrels and an 8-day power-reserve. This Radiomir Egiziano is limited to 500 pieces in total and they are sold out. Estimates are between $ 15,000 and $ 25,000 USD (€ 12k and € 20k Euro).
This article is written by Frank Geelen, executive editor for Monochrome Watches.