Add to all this research that Mr. Jose Pereztroika of all perezcope.com has conducted — read that here — and you’ll discover that the Mare Nostrum’s case design really is closer to what Panerai Watches La Jolla Replica was doing in the mid-1950s, rather than from the early ’40s. Panerai has a rather poorly documented history and the Mare Nostrum is a fitting example — there is one actual detailed picture from the ’50s, the one which you see further over, and that’s about it. Still, the Mare Nostrum has existed and it is for everyone to decide how much weight they give to the fact of whether or not Italian navy commanders were rocking it during World War II.Worry not, however, in the event that you thought this new release was going to be as massive as that from some 74 decades ago, or its 52mm tribute-pieces from 2010 and 2015. This isn’t a new-found thing. On a side note, “pre-V” is likely used so much because Panerai, auctioneers and lovers of the brand likely much prefer calling it the vague “pre-Vendome” rather than “pre-Richemont” that mere mortal watch enthusiasts could understand.Back on subject: back into the mid-90s, Panerai introduced the reference 5218-301/A, a 42mm-wide piece that’s remarkably close in its look to this new Panerai Mare Nostrum PAM716. It was also followed by two Slytech bits, in harmony with Panerai’s love reaching its climax with celebrity Sylvester Stallone — who, in fact, has achieved a great deal by helping expose the then-largely-unknown brand, and who remains a lover of Panerai for this day.
Panerai‘s history in watchmaking essentially boils down to two models: the wire-lug Radiomir of the thirties and the later Luminor with its signature crown locking mechanism that came in the subsequent decade. But in between the two was a transitional model, essentially a Luminor without the crown locking device. That timepiece is the basis for the whole Radiomir 1940 collection, including the brand new Radiomir 1940 Marina Militare 3 Days Acciaio PAM00587.
Modelled on the Radiomir reference 6152/1, the Radiomir 1940 Marina Militare is feels just like a Luminor 1950 PAM372 with the crown lock mechanism removed. It looks and feels historically correct, right down to the “double pencil” gilt hands.
“Marina Militare” is a phrase that excites many a Panerai enthusiast as several times in the past Panerai stated, without exceptions, that the phrase would no longer be used on its timepieces as it belonged to the Italian Navy. But “Marina Militare” inexplicably makes its way to the dial here.
As with most of Panerai’s vintage-remake limited editions, the text is engraved and filled with lacquer. And the dial has a sandwich construction, consisting of a lower dial plate covered with luminous material and an upper plate with cutouts for the hour markers.
The case is polished steel and 47 mm in diameter, a high, domed Plexiglas crystal. Though it appears to be a simple form at first glance, the case is carefully shaped, especially in the lugs and flanks. It is obviously made in two steps, first by stamping out the rough form, and then milled to get the details.
Visible on the back is the P.3000 movement. Though finished simply and mechanically the P.3000 has features that point towards stable, accurate timekeeping, including twin barrels and a large, free-sprung balance wheel.
Notably the Radiomir 1940 Marina Militare features a newly developed leather strap that has the OP logo stamped on both ends of the strap – it looks silly but fortunately Panerai straps are a breeze to swap with thousands of options available.
The Radiomir 1940 Marina Militare is a special edition of 1000 numbered pieces with a price of US$10,100. Panerai typically has a habit of making new editions based on successful, ostensibly limited models, and it remains to be seen if this Radiomir 1940 will be a one-off.