Let us talk about caliber P.5000 for a Moment. It is a significant engine: two mainspring barrels that you can readily see running in the two large jewels, providing eight times of running time at 3hz/21,600 vph. The mainspring barrels operate in series, pushing torque via a very classically organized going train, together with the centre wheel observable through a large cutout from the plate. I guess technically speaking we’d need to call this a 3/4 plate movement as the next wheel bridge is not really a bridge in the usual sense of the term, but rather caused by creating the cutout. This cutout plus the form of the main plate around the equilibrium give a very aesthetically pleasing, but nevertheless pragmatic impact, which is completely appropriate for what was, after all, originally meant to be a tool lookout, plain and simple. The going train is arranged so that the fourth wheel is just opposite the crown, which is exactly where you would locate it into a pocket watch, and if you want a tiny seconds dial in which it might have been in one of the Angelus pocket opinion powered Panerais all you have to do is run the fourth wheel pivot through the dial and place a hand on it (which was what Panerai Watches Ladies Replica did together with the PAM 510).The balance, which is held in place by a very solid looking bridge, looks somewhat small for the motion but again, that’s probably just because the motion’s so large; at 15 3/4 lignes, or simply about 35.7 mm, it is a pocket — watch rather than a wristwatch caliber (unless you are at the bigger-than-average-wristwatch company, that Panerai manifestly is). In general, we think it’s an impressive bit of work — we’ve used the term sturdy and sturdiness is really much the takeaway impression one has of the P.5000. Interestingly enough, incidentally, the P.5000 has a free-sprung, adjustable mass balance, which is a very wonderful touch, particularly at this price point — if you look closely at what seems like the regulator you will see that it is really not a ruler, but a stud carrier (in other words, the carrier for the stud to which the outer terminal of the balance spring is attached). The screws holding the equilibrium bridge set up run through threaded kayaks onto the bridge and can be used to adjust end-shake (the amount of vertical “play” between the tips of the balance staff as well as the endstones of this shock-jewel assembly.
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.