Average Panerai treats comprise the reassuringly snappy crown shield lever — which I liked to fiddle with whenever I had a short moment to spare in a queue or on public transport. It is something that I find myself reaching and disappointedly not discovering following strapping on different watches. Also appreciated was the 24mm lug width that opens up a nearly infinite supply of strap options.Panerai will market you calf and buffalo leather straps from CHF 220 heading around CHF 360 to get alligator ones. But frankly, at this point, there is such a vast selection of aftermarket straps that you’d be highly encouraged to shop around there (and encourage those guys, too). The black “Calf Monte Carlo” leather strap that the Panerai Luminor Base 8 Days Acciaio PAM561 is supplied with is of decent quality, but nothing noteworthy that would really add or remove from its overall appearance and impression. If anything, this black-on-black option I think is somewhat secure and boring, especially as this white dial version is all about more vibrant colors and forcing regular, safe aesthetics into the side a bit. Apart from appearances, wearability is as good as it’s with a Panerai, since the watch is kept firm and protected thanks to its ample width, depth, and rigidity of the strap and its massive, Panerai-marked pin buckle.The dial is more unusual not just in its color but also in its mark, with Arabic numerals around (unlike a more typical Panerai dials that just have numerals for 12, 6, 3, and 9 with baton markers everywhere else) plus an additional and, again, sexier 60-minute monitor on the periphery. The numerals are not lumed, only the palms and the pips on the periphery of the dial are.
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 Watch 44mm Replica 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.