Add to all of this study that Mr. Jose Pereztroika of perezcope.com has conducted — see here — and you will discover the Mare Nostrum’s case layout really is closer to what Panerai had been doing in the mid-1950s, rather than from the early ’40s. Panerai includes a fairly poorly documented history and the Mare Nostrum is a fitting example — there’s literally one actual detailed image from the ’50s, the one that you see further over, and that is about it. Still, the Mare Nostrum has definitely existed and it’s for everyone to determine just how much weight they provide into the simple fact of whether or not Italian navy commanders were rocking it throughout World War II.Worry not, though, in the event that you believed this brand new release was going to be massive as from a 74 decades back, or its 52mm tribute-pieces out of 2010 and 2015. The Panerai Mare Nostrum Chronograph PAM716 measures only 42mm wide. This isn’t a new-found thing. There were several limited editions made in Panerai’s pre-Vendome era. On a side note, “pre-V” is probably used so much since Panerai, auctioneers and fans of this newest likely much prefer calling it the vague “pre-Vendome” instead of “pre-Richemont” that only mortal watch fans could understand.Back on topic: back into the mid-90s, Panerai introduced the mention 5218-301/A, a 42mm-wide piece that is remarkably close in its appearance to this new Panerai Mare Nostrum PAM716. It was also followed by 2 Slytech pieces, in harmony with Panerai’s romance reaching its climax with celebrity Sylvester Stallone — who, in fact, has achieved a whole lot by helping expose the then-largely-unknown brand, and that remains a fan of Panerai for this day.
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.