I am a giant sucker for all things vintage, historic and timeless, especially when it comes to Panerai Watches.
In the 1938 there was a watch made for Panerai by Rolex that had a 47 mm waterproof Oyster pocket watch case with welded lugs, Ref 3646. This watch is referred to as the “California Dial” because it had Roman and Arabic Numerals. Besides the unique combination of both numerals, this watch had steel blued hands and no other markings on the dial. This was due to the fact that this watch was top secret and part of a classified military program for the Royal Italian Navy. At that time, this watch had special characteristics that they wanted to be kept classified, namely incredible luminosity that was powered by radium, which meant this watch had incredible visibility at night. This watch had Rolex movement and a Plexi glass crystal
In 2012, Panerai released a 750 piece limited edition ref PAM 00448, Panerai Califoria Radiomir 3 Days as an homage to this watch. This watch is pretty much identical to the original from 1938, except for the fact that the watch is fitted with the modern-day in-house Panerai P.3000 3 day movement, which can be seen through a sapphire case back and the luminosity is powered by Super Luminova instead of Radium. I am kicking myself that I didn’t buy this watch when I had the chance because it has already become a very desirable and collectible watch for the future and is a true example of how committed Panerai is to reviving their historic timepieces.
Technical Details for Panerai PAM 00448
Hand-wound mechanical, Panerai P.3000 calibre,
executed entirely by Panerai, 16½ lignes, 5.3 mm thick, 21 jewels,
Glucydur® balance, 21,600 alternations/hour. Incabloc® anti-shock
device. Power reserve 3 days, two barrels. 160 components.
Diameter 47 mm, AISI 316L polished steel with
removable wire loop strap attachments (patented). Screw-down winding
crown personalised OP.
See-through sapphire crystal.
Black with luminous Arabic and Roman numerals and hour markers.
Plexiglas®, 2.8 mm thick.
10 bar (~100 metres).
PANERAI personalised leather strap and large-size polished steel buckle.
* The trademark Velcro® and Coramid® are not property of Officine Panerai
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