Panerai celebrates the history of Radiomir
For over a century, the legacy of the Panerai family has been intertwined with the crafting of precision instruments destined to accompany the Italian military in their exploits. On the historical Ponte alle Grazie, the family opened in 1860 a watch shop and subsequently founded an horology school in Florence that also served as a workshop.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Officine Panerai was commissioned by the Royal Italian Navy to supply high-precision instruments, and with the inventive genius of the founder’s grandson Guido Panerai, the patented Radiomir was created in 1916, a radium-based substance that allows for “self-luminous sights for launching torpedoes at night and for firing weapons in general.”
Later on, the radium-based substance was then progressively replaced by another based on tritium, also invented by Officine Panerai, the Luminor. Intended exclusively for military use, the name was patented on 11 January 1949 for “products luminous in any form, fluorescent, phosphorescent and similar”.
This year, the watchmaker introduces a contemporary reinterpretation in tribute to its legendary Radiomir Collection, presented at Watches and Wonders, the prestigious watch event held in Geneva. ”An absolute homage to the original Radiomir and its enduring legacy in shaping modern Panerai interpretations, the new Radiomir Otto Giorni references feature strong vintage aesthetics that expounds on its retro spirit”, as the watchmaker describes it. „Radiomir Otto Giorni has a new finishing called ”brunito”, which gives the case a lovely patina and a truly beautiful shaded grainy dial. Both give the watch a rugged look, that of a watch with a very interesting past. The 45mm steel case houses the P5000 in-house handwound calibre, with an 8-day power reserve. There is also a blue dial version for this watch and both models cost 9,900 euros,” says Raluca Michailov.
”Showcasing a characteristic antiquated look”, the timepiece is inspired by the first Radiomir prototype made in 1935, which measured 47mm in diameter. ”The 1935 model’s entirely new dimensions of its time and design were conceived by the need for excellent readability in often murky waters near military ports. Its robustness, water resistance, and ease of reading sealed it as the sought-after instrument across different military units for various missions. To fulfil the ever-demanding military requirements, the Panerai family continuously improved on the original model introducing elements that include the now iconic sandwich dial to make the hour markers and numerals even more legible and luminescent,” the watcmaker says, adding that ”the new Radiomir Otto Giorni continues this legacy accentuating its appeal to watch connoisseurs in search of authenticity and storied timepieces”.
Every Radiomir Otto Giorni eSteel™ case ”is hand-finished to create a seasoned look, giving each watch a unique character. The intently weathered effect of the eSteel™ case, created via PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition), is paired with defining elements of the original Radiomir created for the Royal Italian Navy – cushion-shaped case, slim wire lugs, and signature sandwich dial. The Super-LumiNova® dial features a small seconds display at 9 o’clock, the case has an open back, and the sapphire glass crystal is domed, reminiscent of the Plexiglass® crystal of the past. The watch also has a cone-shaped crown, a design that distinguishes the Radiomir collection from other Panerai timepieces.”
PAM01347 has a grainy-shaded dark brown dial and PAM01348 in blue. All the dials transition from a light center to a darker gradient at the edges to give depth to its grainy appearance. To match, a supple calf leather strap in the same hue of the dial with a pebbled effect and contrast stitching, made to season with wear. The hand-wound P.5000 calibre powers the Radiomir Otto Giorni and features an eightday power reserve, a long power reserve used historically by Panerai. The iconic 8 days movement is visible thanks to the open case-back in sapphire crystal. A distinctive element and DNA of the brand, the long power reserve was vital for the Panerai pieces used by underwater commandos of the Italian Navy, guaranteeing reliability even in the most extreme conditions of use. The dial with the term 8 giorni brevettato decal at hour 3 pays homage to Panerai’s roots of 1956 watches, where this graphic inscription comes to life for the first time on the Egiziano model, adds the brand.
*The two Radiomir Otto Giorni references are available exclusively in Panerai boutiques.
”The brand is also bringing back the Panerai California dial (Reference 3646 from the Panerai archive) in the form of a new grainy dial in green. The superb green California dial in the Radiomir model will be available in 600 pieces, for 12,500 euros each,” Raluca Michailov adds. ”The Radiomir California PAM01349 is the first time ever that a California dial is crafted in 45mm, historically always produced in 47mm, while its color in green makes the watch a collector’s worthy piece. Inspired by Ref 3646 from the archives of the Maison, the Panerai California Dial is characterised by alternating Roman and Arabic numerals, bar indexes, and a minute track. The hours 10, 11, 1, and 2 are marked with Roman numerals, while those for hours 4, 5, 7, and 8 are marked with Arabic numerals, resulting in a dial where every half is distinguished by the two different types of numerals. With a case set in Brunito eSteel™- a brand-new finishing and first-ever in the history of Panerai, the timepiece showcases a characteristic antiquated look, accentuating its appeal to watch connoisseurs in search of authenticity and storied timepieces,” the House states.
*The Radiomir California Dial is exclusively available in Panerai boutiques.
”Radiomir Quaranta comes with a 40mm case which is 10.15mm thick – actually the thinnest Panerai case. The goldtech case can be paired with alligator straps that are easily interchangeable and come in a delicious variety of colors (green, pink, blue, etc),” Raluca Michailov notes. ”The contemporary and most versatile of Radiomir interpretations, Radiomir Quaranta, now comes in Panerai Goldtech™ material, expressing the spirit of its original precision through its continuing innovative pursuits,” the Maison says. Debuting at Watches & Wonders 2023 in Geneva, the Radiomir Quaranta Goldtech™ is set in a polished Goldtech™ case (PAM01026), matched with a white sun-brushed dial and a matt brown alligator strap. Panerai Goldtech™ is a gold material developed for the first time by Panerai including a combination of platinum and copper donating an intense red appearance.
Quaranta, forty in Italian, stands for the 40mm case size that defines the collection’s essence – a contemporary adaptation of the 47mm size of the original Radiomir edition made some eight decades ago. Measuring 10.15mm in thickness, the watch’s case is the slimmest in the entire Panerai’s range, proposing a versatile silhouette for all genders and occasions. Radiomir Quaranta Goldtech™ features a cone-shaped crown – a distinguishing element of the Radiomir collection – and paired with its matte alligator strap, exudes understated and relaxed luxury to match modern lifestyles. Technical details include the P.900 calibre, a 4.2mm thick next-generation automatic movement, the first of its size from Panerai to combine the date and three days of power reserve, water-resistance to 3 bar (~30 metres), which will soon also be available up to 5 bar (~50 metres), and a Panerai Goldtech™ buckle”.
”But, for us, the star of the Panerai show was the Annual Calendar, the first for the brand. In this extraordinary debut, the beautifully clean dial showcases a day and date jumping display, the month in a jumping rotating display (we love the clean, understated, legible, elegant month ring). The gradient sun-brushed dial covers a new 3-day calibre, housed in a Goldtech case – described by the House as ”a gold material developed for the first time by Panerai, including a combination of platinum and copper, giving an intense red appearance”. The price is 40,000 euros and the watch will be available as of December,” Raluca Michailov adds.
”Seconds, minutes, hours, days, and now, each month of the year – the intricate time-telling elements that form a precious new in-house movement for Panerai, the Annual Calendar,” as the House describes the timepiece. ”Developed specifically for the Radiomir collection it is the first annual calendar complication of Panerai. Even if the Annual Calendar is notoriously a sophisticated complication, Panerai has always been famous for developing movements with a clear and immediate readability. In fact, the dial clearly allows to display the complete information needed. Date is displayed at 3 o’clock with the day & the date through two dials openings. The current month is displayed on an external moving disc, indicated by a fix arow at 3 o’clock. Every month change, a cam in the movement allows the turning disc in one go, making the information change instantaneously,” the watchmaker says.
Moreover, change from 30-day and 31-day months is done automatically by the mechanism. A setting must be done only once a year, at the end of February. Always taking care of the easy readability and functionality, after setting the month and the date, a corrector on the left side of the case allows to change the day click by click. Powered by the automatic P.9010/AC caliber, the Annual Calendar is an automatic movement reflecting Panerai’s DNA in crafting complications in addition to their Italian style and flair, with Swiss watchmaking expertise. A sapphire crystal open-back case showcases a fascinating complication while the sandwich dial features distinguishing codes of the Maison – the months, days, and the name of the complication, Calendario Annuale, are written in Italian.
A complication as remarkable as the heritage it embodies, the Annual Calendar finds its appeal among connoisseurs who look for the finest details and are curious about watches to tell time and seek pleasure in aesthetics and authenticity. Reaffirming its Italian roots, Panerai introduces the Experience edition, PAM01432, the reference of the collection where the purchase of the timepiece will allow clients to participate in an unexpected experience to immerse in the values of the Maison. The Experience edition features a sunbrushed burgundy shaded dial, a black hand-dyed matte alligator strap and is set in a 45mm Platinumtech™ case. Every owner of this timepiece will be invited to participate in an extraordinary journey to the Eternal City, Rome, the capital of Italy. The experience will immerse participants in the essence of the brand through events that combine artisanal know-how, culture and tours of historical sites. All two references feature Panerai’s adjustable BDR buckle – PAM01363 buckle in Panerai Goldtech™ and PAM01432 in white gold – matched to the timepiece’s case for ease of wear, added security, and as an elegant finishing touch to protect the complication.
*The Annual Calendar collection is a boutique exclusive.