As far as background goes, in its earliest days Panerai had already used 8-day power reserve watches powered by Angelus moves. This was to meet military requirements in an effort to produce the watches more dependable within a longer period of time and also, reportedly, not to necessitate constant adjustment of their time and rewinding of their movement, rescuing the crown gaskets from premature wear.Speaking of that, I timed it for you guys out of fascination: it requires roughly one minute and 45 seconds to fully end a stop movement – and boy, is that a good deal of twisting! Winding isn’t one of the enjoyable experiences the PAM561 could provide, either. As the crown hardly extends across the plane of the concave surface of the crown guard, you need to go and catch hold of the crown countless times while the sharp edge of the shield itself along with also the coined edge of the crown make things a bit less comfortable.The movement itself is in line with Panerai manufacture grade aesthetics: it’s rocky first, intriguing second, and lovely third. It is one of the very rugged-looking calibers out there, with just one enormous plate covering the equipment train and the two barrels, and a single bridge which holds the balance wheel secure. Revealed is a massive – and I do mean huge – third wheel that’s fastened by a skeletonized bridge. Deep underneath it, close to the barrel, is the centre wheel while closer to the balance wheel, and again deep in the bowels of the motion, is the fourth wheel along with the escapement.The equilibrium wheel itself is of a free-sprung construction, meaning its accuracy is corrected through the old-school and more elegant way of variable moment of inertia screws in the periphery of the balance wheel. Panerai clarifies that the bridge behind the balance is fixed by two screws beneath that are threaded rings that turn in both directions. The purpose of this is to correct the “end-shake” of the balance staff pivots. This technical solution helps the escapement to keep on running more easily in case of shocks.
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.