Up Close With The Panerai Radiomir Firenze PAM604 (With Original Photos, Price) Japanese Movement Replica

As far as history goes, in its earliest days Panerai had already used 8-day power book sequences powered by Angelus moves. This was to meet military requirements in a bid to make the watches more reliable within a longer period of time and also, allegedly, not to demand constant adjustment of the time and rewinding of their motion, saving the crown gaskets from premature wear.Speaking of which, I timed it to get you men out of fascination: it takes about one minute and 45 minutes to fully wind a stopped movement – and boy, is that a lot of winding! Winding isn’t among those pleasurable experiences the PAM561 can offer, either. Since the crown barely extends over the airplane of the concave surface of the crown shield, you have to let go and grab hold of the crown countless times while the sharp edge of the shield itself and the coined border of the crown make things somewhat less comfortable.The motion itself is in line with Panerai manufacture caliber aesthetics: it’s rocky first, intriguing second, and lovely third. It is among the very rugged-looking calibers out there, with only one massive plate covering the equipment train and the two barrels, and a single bridge that holds the balance wheel protected. Revealed is a huge – and I do mean huge – third wheel that’s fastened by a skeletonized bridge. Deep underneath it, near the barrel, is the centre wheel while closer to the balance wheel, and deep in the bowels of the motion, is the fourth wheel and the escapement.The equilibrium wheel itself is of a free-sprung construction, meaning its accuracy is corrected through the more old-school and more elegant means of varying moment of inertia screws in the periphery of the balance wheel. Panerai explains that the bridge supporting the balance is fixed by two screws beneath that are threaded rings that turn in both directions. The objective of this is to correct the “end-shake” of the balance staff pivots. This technical solution helps the escapement to continue running more easily in case of shocks.

Panerai has long offered watches with engraved hunter cases known as the Luminor Sealand, initially decorated by the gunmaker Purdey (its sister company in Richemont) and now by anonymous Italian craftsmen. Now it has extended the theme of an engraved case to the Radiomir with the PAM605, the most artisanal timepiece in its SIHH 2015 collection. The Radiomir Firenze has a 47 mm steel case entirely engraved, front and side, with a Florentine motif.

Found on the case front, four sides as well as the crown, the engraved decoration is in the Florentine style, with the Florentine lily (or fleur-de-lis) being the central theme. Engraving is usually done with lines or dots, in this case the motif is engraved with lines which are then filled with black lacquer for contrast.

On the other hand, traditional high-end engraving achieves contrast with varying the fineness of the engraved lines or dots, a technique evident in the early Panerai-Purdey Sealand watches. The same effect can be found on currency, which are printed with hand-engraved copper plates. Nonetheless, the case decoration of the Radiomir Firenze takes a week to complete.

Like most other hand-wound Panerai watches with a 47mm case, this is equipped with the P.3000. Panerai’s in-house equivalent of a pocket watch movement, the P.3000 has a three day power reserve.

Though not evident in the photos, the dial is finished with a fine sun ray brushed pattern and is a deep, dark grey. It has a sandwich construction with ivory Super-Luminova.

The Radiomir Firenze is a limited edition of just 99 pieces, evidence of Panerai’s shifting strategy as the brand matures and the overall watch market slows. Smaller runs like this will become more prominent, rather than the 1000 or 1500 piece editions that were standard issue in the past.

Sold only at Panerai’s store in Florence, the Radiomir Firenze PAM00604 costs €17,000 before taxes.