Price for the Panerai Mare Nostrum Chronograph PAM716 (PAM00716) is $9,900 and it will be limited to 1,000 pieces. From a strictly military standpoint, wearing a white dial dive watch on a mission would possibly cause your fellow commando soldiers to smack you in the back of the mind. But exactly what exactly the Panerai Luminor Base 8 Days Acciaio PAM561 lacks in historical accuracy and stealth capabilities it constitutes by being among the cheaper, in-house-movement-equipped and refreshing-looking options at a sea of boring blue and black dial watches.Panerai may be a new only a few of — admittedly very similar — ranges, yet it still is just one among few which come with an almost unearthly power in bringing their first-time customer back for one more model… and then another, and yet another, etc. Therefore, I really don’t feel the Panerai Luminor Base 8 Days Acciaio PAM561 is a standard “first Panerai” — for this, have a look at our Cost of Entry informative article on the cheapest Panerai you can buy.I chosen the PAM561 especially because I needed to critique a Panerai that is not a clear choice but something one could in fact end up contemplating after looking at the current production line-up of this brand. Clad in a 44mm-wide Luminor case, it’s a simple, legible, and one of Panerai watches, competitively priced offering which also packs a more unusual hand-wound, in-house-made motion with an 8-day energy reserve.Being the simple watch it is, there is not much pizzazz to get distracted by. But that just means that the fewer number of more notable elements need to work together all the better — and, with one notable gripe however they do.To this day, I remain positively baffled by how ingenious this Luminor case design is, particularly in 44mm where proportions with the dial elements I find much more spot on than the 47mm. The bigger case is proportionate but often too big to work nicely with the dial, in my opinion.
In 2010 Panerai unveiled the first oversized Mare Nostrum chronograph (PAM300), inspired by a prototype officer’s chronograph from 1943. That is now a desirable timepiece on the secondary market, so true to form Panerai introduced the Mare Nostrum Titanio PAM603 at SIHH 2015.
Translating as “our sea”, Mare Nostrum was the Roman term for the Mediterranean Sea, coming back into vogue during the Second World War. And it was for the deck officers of the Italian Navy of WWII that the original Mare Nostrum prototypes were developed.
Aesthetically the new Mare Nostrum is very similar to the 2010 model. The case is 52 mm in diameter, with a brushed finish and a wide, flat bezel. But it is made of titanium, making it less heavy than it looks (the 2010 watch was in steel).
The dial is a dark brown with gold hands and parchment markings. Panerai does excel at recreating the look of watches from times past, and the Mare Nostrum feels very much like a vintage watch.
As with several Panerai reissue models, the numerals and markers are engraved, then filled with Super-Luminova. Notably, the chapter ring is raised, sitting a step above the centre of the dial.
Inside is the Minerva calibre 13-22, here known as the Panerai OP XXV movement. It’s a traditionally constructed and finished movement with German silver bridges. Unlike the 2010 model, however, this has a solid back, keep the movement hidden. That is a shame as like all Minerva movements it is hand-finished to a high standard, far beyond what is typical of a Panerai.
The Mare Nostrum Titanio PAM603 is limited to 300 pieces in total, with 150 pieces produced each year in 2015 and 2016. The price is €37,000 before taxes, or 58,200 Singapore dollars with 7% tax.