This year Panerai added two entirely new models to their collection. And by “new” we really mean “new”! After many variations on the familiar Luminor models with the iconic crown protector and the stylish Radiomir cushion-shape case, Panerai is adding more variations to the collection. First there were the Radiomir 1940 models (will be reviewed here on Monochrome soon!) and now Panerai adds another variation on the Radiomir, again based on a historical model from the 1930’s.
The new models are the Radiomir Platino and Oro Rosso 47mm. Maybe not a distinct name and also the shape does share many similarities with the regular Radiomir cushion-shape, however the two new Special Edition models feature a 12-sided bezel. The two new Special Editions come in red gold (PAM00522) and in platinum (PAM00521).
Apparently, in the late 1930’s, the Panerai store in Florence made a few examples of a Radiomir model with a special 12-sided bezel, carrying the inscription “OFFICINE PANERAI – BREVETTATO”. These models were different from the watches that Panerai designed for the underwater missions of its commandos of the Italian Navy.
The presence of this inscription, referring to the patent of the luminous substance Radiomir which later gave its name to the watch itself, suggests that these models were not for use in wartime operations but rather for presentation to the military authorities who were testing the new instruments. The new Radiomir watches features the same 12-sided bezel of the historic models, however the engraving appears only on the back, surrounding the sapphire crystal through which the movement can be seen.
It’s a classic three-piece case, with the bezel and back screwed directly to the caseband: this type of construction makes it quicker to assemble the watch and easier to replace components where necessary. The case of both models measures 47 mm in diameter and comes with a 2.1 mm thick plexiglass crystal in the front. The sandwich-style two layer dial is extremely legible and features the iconic 12, 3 and 6 numerals, stick markers and off center seconds sub dial.
One of the features that is of particular interest, is the movement. No new in-house movement, however a gorgeous movement, built on a Minerva 16-17 base, called caliber OP XXVII. This movement was previously used in the 2012 Special Editions PAM00398 and PAM00399 (which was mistakenly distributed with a wrong engraving!)
The OP XXVII caliber features a large screwed balance wheel (that means it has screws in the rim for adjusting the rate), a balance spring with Phillips curve and a swan-neck precision regulator. The movement beats at a slow pace of 18,000 vph, has 55 hours of autonomy when fully wound, and has 18 jewels to ensure smooth rotating pivots. The nickel-silver bridges are adorned with côtes de Genève striping.
The case has slender wire loop strap attachments that ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼are removable for replacing the strap. The vintage character of the watch is reinforced by its original spherical winding crown.
- Movement: hand-wound mechanical, caliber OP XXVII (base Minerva 16-17), 18 jewels, Glucydur balance, 18,000 vibrations per hour, KIF Parechoc anti-shock device, swan-neck precision regulator, power reserve is 55 hours.
- Case: diameter 47 mm, polished platinum or 18-carat red gold, screw-down crown with OP logo, brushed bezel with polished edges, 2.1 mm thick Plexiglas crystal, see-through sapphire crystal in case back, 5 bar (50 meters) water-resistant.
- Strap: Panerai personalised alligator strap and platinum or 18 carat red gold adjustable polished white gold buckle. The watch will be supplied with a second Plexiglas.
All of these brilliant photos are made by Dutch photographer and Panerai enthusiast Martin Wilmsen. Check out his other work at his website.