SIHH 2016 is here! Panerai has released two distinctive models that pay homage two their past which is very much part of the present. These two models are known as the Panerai PAM00662 & Panerai PAM00663.
The Panerai PAM00662- RADIOMIR 1940 3 DAYS ACCIAIO
The Panerai PAM00662 is a modern day re-interpretation of the vintage Egiziano Piccolo from 1954. There are only 30-40 known examples of this historic model. Panerai drew its inspiration for the iconic and distinctive brown dial from their historic models which had undergone discolouring caused by the luminous material.
The Egiziano Piccolo
Among the clients of Panerai who asked for a Radiomir watch, after the Luminor patent application, was the Egyptian Navy, which for the first time in 1954 turned to the Florentine watchmaker for the supply of a special series of diver’s watches designed for frogmen.
It was this request which gave rise to one of the most fascinating watches in the history of Officine Panerai, known to collectors by the reference 6154 and the name “Egiziano Piccolo” – to distinguish it from its famous successor, the Egiziano of 1956.
The Panerai PAM00662 has a polished 47mm 1940’s case. A P.3000 in house hand wound 3 day movement powers it with a 72 hour power reserve. The dial is an aged brown with 4 Arabic numerals and indices with ecru luminescence.
This watch is fitted on a brown Ponte Vecchio strap with contrasting ecru stitching, Only 1,000 units will be produced as this is deemed as as Special Edition.
The Panerai PAM00663- Luminor 1950 3 DAYS ACCIAIO – 47MM
The Panerai PAM00663 pays tribute to the patented device protecting crown . In this model, the brown dial is fitted in a Luminor 1950 case, immediately recognisable by the bridge-shaped device with its locking lever which exercises a light pressure on the winding crown to protect it from accidental shocks and to help ensure the watch’s water-resistance. This device had certainly been invented and used even earlier, perhaps even before the end of the 1940s, but the patent application was only lodged as late as 1955, probably delayed because of the military secrecy imposed by the Italian Navy.
This watch has a polished 1950 47 mm case. For all intensive purposes, its a Panerai PAM00372 with a NEW brown dial . It’s also powered by a P.3000 in house hand wound movement with 72 hour power reserve.
Like the PAM00662 above this watch is also fitted with on a brown Ponte Vecchio strap with contrasting ecru stitching, Only 1,000 units will be produced of this watch as well. Please stay tuned for pricing.
Personally. I think these are great watches but not enough to be deemed as Special Edition. I was hoping for something more historic and mind blowing.Maybe I have been personally vested in the brand for a long time but I am really not impressed. If you are going to do a Special Edition and make it limited, changing the color of the dial and strap and making less of them is really not that special. I am sure there will be plenty out there who would disagree but those are my thoughts and I am sticking to it! The only saving grace will be if these watches are priced at under 10k then it won’t be quite as bad .
Please Note- I had a chance to try this watch on at the Panerai Boutique in Las Vegas in the beginning of August 2016. My good friend, Gari Arevalo who is the GM of the Panerai Boutique of Las Vegas was kind enough to bring it out of the safe and let me see and try it on. Since I had already previously owned the PAM00372 and knew it would be similar, I wasn’t expecting much. Once I took it out of the box I immediately noticed how special and different the brown dial was from the black dial I once wore on the PAM372. It felt more earthy and vintage and totally different from the 372 even though they are exactly the same watch minus the dial color. The Ponte Vecchio strap with contrasting ecru stitching was a great compliment to the dial and was so fine that it felt almost rubberized. The retail of this watch is $10,200 which is not bad for a Special Edition.
My only grip is that 1000 units for the world is not that special. To charge an $1,100 premium to this watch from the 372 is not warranted and very expensive. The 372 retail is $9,100. I could understand if there were under 300 units for the world produced or if the dial had something drastically different or special and if the movement was rare. Otherwise it’s a great piece to own !