By James Phang
Now, for one of the most debatable topics in Panerai’s history, was Panerai’s first few models conceptualized by Rolex and did Rolex’s design eventually become what Panerai was known for?
Typical Panerai treats comprise the reassuringly snappy crown guard lever — that I liked to fiddle with whenever I had a short moment to spare in a queue or on public transportation. It is a thing I find myself reaching for and disappointedly not finding following strapping on other watches. Also appreciated was that the 24mm lug width that opens up a virtually infinite supply of strap options.Panerai will sell you calf and buffalo leather straps from CHF 220 heading up to CHF 360 for alligator ones. But honestly, now, there is such a vast choice of aftermarket straps that you would be tremendously encouraged to shop around there (and encourage those guys, too). If anything, this black-on-black alternative I think is somewhat secure and dull, especially because this white dial version is all about more vibrant colors and pushing regular, secure aesthetics to the side a bit. Apart from looks, wearability is as great as it’s with a Panerai, since the watch is kept company and protected as a result of the ample width, depth, and rigidity of the strap and its enormous, Panerai-marked pin buckle.The dial is much more unusual not just in its colour but also in its mark, together with Arabic numerals around (unlike a more typical Panerai dials that only have numerals for 12, 3, 6, and 9 with baton markers anyplace else) and an additional plus, again, sexier 60-minute monitor on the periphery. The numerals are not lumed, just the hands and the pips on the periphery of the dial are. All them are painted on the dial’s surface since the Panerai Luminor Base 8 Days Acciaio PAM561 has a good dial rather than the famed Panerai sandwich dial.
To start off, let us first understand how Panerai Watch Year Replica came about as a company. In the early 1900s, Panerai used to be a producer of technical equipment such as compasses, depth gauges, and was the Italian Navy’s long term supplier for various nautical, signal, and measurement instruments. it was not until 1935 that Panerai landed a contract with the Italian navy to develop professional diving watches. Without any prior experience in making professional dive watches, Panerai turned to the guys who were at the forefront of the industry – Rolex. By 1938, Officine Panerai produced diving watches for the Italian Navy known as “Radiomir” with movements, cases, and crowns all made by Rolex. Subsequently, Panerai switched to less expensive Angelus movements, and then finally stopped production of timepieces all together for about 50 years.
Now, on to the exciting part. The diving watches for the Italian Navy had three requirements:
- The watch had to be waterproof – it would not be a diving watch any other way
- The watch had to be visible in the darkest underwater environment – the Italian Navy Frogmen were underwater commandos who typically dive at night with close to zero visibility
- The watch had to be large enough to optimize the visibility. As a visual frame of reference for the size of original Panerai dive watches, Rolex only made 47mm dive watches for Panerai
As far as history goes, in its first days Panerai Watch 111 Replica had used 8-day power reserve sequences powered by Angelus moves. This was to meet military requirements in an effort to make the watches more reliable over a longer period of time and, allegedly, not to necessitate constant adjustment of the time and rewinding of their motion, saving the crown gaskets from early wear.Speaking of which, I entrusted it for you guys out of fascination: it requires roughly one minute and 45 seconds to completely end a stop motion – and boy, is that a lot of twisting! Winding isn’t among those pleasurable experiences the PAM561 can provide, either. As the crown barely extends across the airplane of the concave top of the crown shield, you have to go and grab hold of this crown innumerable times while the sharp edge of the guard itself and the coined border of the crown make matters somewhat less comfortable.The movement itself is in accord with Panerai manufacture grade aesthetics: it’s rugged first, intriguing second, and lovely third. It is among the very rugged-looking calibers out there, with just one massive plate covering the gear train and the two barrels, and one bridge that retains the balance wheel protected. Revealed is a huge – and I really do mean huge – third wheel that’s fastened by a skeletonized bridge. Deep underneath it, close to the barrel, is the center wheel while closer to the balance wheel, and deep in the guts of this movement, is the fourth wheel and the escapement.The balance wheel itself is of a free-sprung structure, meaning its precision is corrected through the old-school and clearly more elegant way of variable moment of inertia screws at the periphery of the balance wheel. Panerai clarifies that the bridge behind the balance is fixed by two screws under that are threaded rings which turn in both directions. The purpose of this is to correct the “end-shake” of this equilibrium staff pivots. This technical solution helps the escapement to continue running more easily in case of shocks.
Let’s talk about caliber P.5000 for a Moment. It’s a big engine: 2 mainspring barrels which you may readily see running in both big stones, providing eight days of running time in 3hz/21,600 vph. The mainspring barrels operate in series, pushing torque through a really classically arranged going train, with the centre wheel visible via a large cutout in the plate. I guess technically speaking we’d have to call this a 3/4 plate motion as the next wheel bridge is not really a bridge in the typical sense of this word, but rather caused by producing the cutout. This cutout in addition to the form of the main plate around the balance give a really aesthetically pleasing, but nevertheless pragmatic impact, which is totally appropriate for what was, after all, initially meant to be a tool watch, plain and simple. The going train is arranged so the fourth wheel is exactly opposite the crown, which can be precisely where you’d locate it into a pocket watch, and if you would like a tiny seconds dial where it would happen to be in one of those Angelus pocket watch powered Panerais all you have to do is run the fourth wheel pivot through the dial and put a hand on it (which was what Panerai Watch Year Replica did together with the PAM 510).The balance, which is held in place by a really solid looking bridge, seems a little small for the movement but then again, that is probably only because the movement’s so large; in 15 3/4 lignes, or just about 35.7 mm, it’s a pocket — observe as opposed to a wristwatch caliber (unless you’re in the bigger-than-average-wristwatch business, that Panerai manifestly is). In general, we think that it’s an impressive piece of work — we’ve used the word sturdy and sturdiness is very much the takeaway impression one has of this P.5000. Interestingly enough, incidentally, the P.5000 has a free-sprung, adjustable mass balance, which is a really nice touch, especially at this price point — if you look closely at what seems like the regulator you will see that it’s actually not a ruler, but a stud carrier (in other words, the carrier to the stud to which the outer terminal of the balance spring is attached). The screws holding the equilibrium bridge in place run through threaded collars onto the bridge and can be employed to adjust end-shake (the quantity of vertical “play” between the tips of the equilibrium staff as well as the endstones of the shock-jewel assembly.
This leads us to the new-ish Panerai Mare Nostrum Chronograph PAM716, which is equipped with a 42mm-wide, 50 meter water resistant case in stainless steel, a blue dial with tan colored luminescent indices and main hands, a km/h bezel, and a weird and unusual OP XXXIII motion that’s actually an ETA 2801 using a Dubois-Depraz module for the chronograph. It has an expectedly measly 42-hour power reserve — no more fancy Panerai in-house motion here, arguably because it would not have made much sense for Panerai to expensively develop an in-house chronograph movement that fits into a 42mm case.The km/h bezel is, to put it kindly, a mysterious addition on a watch allegedly created for ship commanders. Add to this the fact that this being a normal tachymeter scale, some additional unit of speed would work exactly the same. This may fire back however – that the Mare Nostrum has a patchy history, with hardly any documentation or real pieces remaining from whichever age it really belongs — and this may raise a few flags for the cautious, super-nerdy collector who this is pretty much entirely aimed for.All this noted, it’s good to see Panerai do something out of the normal, leaving the Luminors and Radiomirs on the side for an instant and presenting a look so rarely encountered from these — I wouldn’t be surprised (in fact I expect) that Panerai is actually testing the waters here, because I would really like to see more unusual and refreshing layouts.
Sandwich dials are entertaining and all, but your first Panerai Watches Submersible Replica more than probably had that previously, and the PAM561 is similar to your second or third at the line, as I mentioned previously, where you do need something fresh in the subtleties that render one Panerai distinct from another. The prominent “8 DAYS” marking above six o’clock refers to the P.5000 in-house caliber — but before we move on to this, only one more term (and also my only complaint with the PAM561) on legibility.The black numerals and the black painted palms using their off-white (although not faux classic!) Center contrast beautifully against the white dial — the lume pips and the middle of the hands turn clearly green if it’s bright out, the famously excellent Panerai lume is indeed strong. Stay inside for longer, though, as the lume sparks (and doesn’t receive much control from ambient lights), these components return to being white.Everlastingly good colour comparison aside, but the only two palms on the PAM561 are simply way too brief. I noticed this in official pictures but even during the excitement of unpacking a newly received inspection unit, they soon stood out to me too short — and, honestly, I don’t see why this was essential. The minute hand falls way short of this track it is by definition supposed to reach, along with the hour hand occasionally only looks “lost” from the ocean of white, coming in way too brief to become even remotely near the outer edge of the dial (it hardly reaches halfway across).Perhaps more and heavier palms could have put extra strain on the motion, but if anything, an 8-day power reserve movement ought to have sufficient torque to move these thin and light hands round. I will go so far as to say I would have exchanged a day or 2 of electricity book for more hands.With that, onto the motion we go: dubbed the P.5000, it is one of Panerai’s tirelessly expanding range of in-house movements and pretty much the most affordable among them.
The one thing we know is the first Panerai professional diving watch made by Rolex was essentially a Rolex Oyster pocket watch with wired lugs that were soldered onto the case.
The first prototype watch, using a 47mm Rolex case with a Rolex movement and a Rolex winding crown, is called “2533”. Only one piece was made, and it still exists today, using a “Radiomir” dial.
It is currently owned by Francesco Ferretti – one of the most important vintage Panerai Watch 312 Replica connoisseurs in the world, and located in his museum located in his new showroom in Montecatini Terme, PT.
Picture of the Reference 2533 as shown below:
In this photo, the case back has been removed to reveal the Rolex movement.
Building upon this watch, Panerai Watches Price Replica produced watches with the reference “3646” in various versions from 1938 until the 1950‘s. These watches have also been used by German “Kampfschwimmer” units with “no-name” dials – no lettering on the dials. Panerai later replaced these dials and began using the self-illuminating dials with Radiomir/later Luminor material. Panerai also changed the bezels to a deeper version because the “Sandwich” dials from Panerai were deeper than the “California” dials from Rolex.
At the request of the Italian Navy, progress through the following years also resulted in the wired lugs being changed by creating a completely new case made of one massive block of steel to stabilize the watch. In addition, a movement with a larger power reserve (8-day Angelus cal. 240) was used in these watches. These are listed as reference “6152”, “6152/1”, and “6154”. Cases were still made by Rolex.