In 1943 the Panerai family named the chronograph created for the deck officers of the Royal Italian Navy “Mare Nostrum”, as a tribute to the Mediterranean Sea “Mare Nostrum” (“Our sea”) where the Royal Italian Navy fleets accomplished their victorious missions during the Second World War. This name had already been used by Guido Panerai in 1924 for what was probably the first Panerai chronograph, but all traces of this first model have been lost. However a few prototypes of the 1943 chronograph still exist, and these have enabled the new watch to be reconstructed with great technical accuracy and similar aesthetic characteristics: the Mare Nostrum Titanio, a Special Edition of the greatest interest consisting of only 150 units.
The NEW Panerai PAM00603 is massive at 52 mm, but super light as its made out of titanium. This watch is historic, cool, super exclusive and probably sold out as it’s a special edition of 150 units world wide.
Please note- 7/18/16 I recently had a chance to try this watch on at the Panerai Boutique in Las Vegas at the end of June 2016. I was pleasantly surprised with how comfortable and light it was on the wrist. The biggest watch I have ever worn was 47mm up to that point. Those who know me or follow this blog are aware that chronograph watches are not my thing. I would make a rare exception for this watch. It’s super clean, historic and somewhat symmetrical. This is hard to do on a chronograph. It just shows you that good vintage design language can transcend time.
I know this has an incredible Panerai in house hand wound movement that was developed off of a Minerva base. Collectors and press argue that the back of this watch should have been opened to see the movement. Personally, I think Panerai made the right choice because its right in line with the history of this watch which didn’t have an open back to begin with. Even though the dial appears simple and clean, it’s set on two levels. The color on the original dial was green. For this Special Edition, Panerai decided to make it a tobacco brown for the ultimate kick to throwback! The gilt writing on the dial and gold hands which was never on the original provides incredible contrast and assists in providing a vintage feel. This is the ultimate masculine, utilitarian chronograph tool watch with balls!
The only problem with this watch for me is its price point. I know that 150 units for the world is not a lot of watches. However, at $40,600 this watch is unattainable for most. I mean lets be honest, it’s made out of titanium. There are watches that are far more complicated with in house manufactured Panerai movements that are under 20k in titanium. Even if it was in the mid twenties its a stretch for me but I am sure this was purposely done for the real collectors with money.