In 1860 Giovanni Panerai opened his watchmaker's shop in Florence, it wasn't only a shop and workshop but also served as the city's first watchmaking school, Officine Panerai's was born. The shop later moved to its current location in the Palazzo Arcivescovile in Piazza San Giovanni, Italy, changing its name to "Orologeria Svizzera" at the beginning of the twentieth century. In 1916 Stemming from Marie and Pierre Curie’s 1898 discovery, to meet the military needs of the Royal Italian Navy, Officine Panerai created Radiomir, a radium-based powder that gives luminosity to the dials of sighting instruments. Reference to the name "Radiomir" is documented in the patent filed in France on 23 March 1916. The substance's properties are perfect for military applications with high visibility and the paint's excellent underwater adhesive qualities. In 1936 Panerai created the first prototypes of the model now known as "Radiomir" for the frogman commandos of the First Submarine Group Command of the Royal Italian Navy. The Navy's historical archives record that just ten prototypes were produced in 1936. It was during this time that a very unusual relationship between Rolex and Panerai was forged with the production of the Ref: 2533. The design comes from a 47mm Rolex Oyster pocket watch. That was turned on its side so that the crown would be now located at 3 o’clock. In 1949 Panerai introduced a new luminescence substance called Luminor that was not only safer than radium-based Radiomir but also much more luminous. In 1955 Panerai launched the Luminor, a watch created for the Royal Italian Navy with its characteristic crown guard designed in the 1950s, invented by brother and sister Giuseppe and Maria Giuseppe Panerai. It wasn’t until 1993 that Panerai finally released the Luminor and Luminor Marina to the public. Today Officine Panerai is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Richemont S.A Group that includes Cartier, IWC, Montblanc, Vacheron Constantin.
Here we have a 2021 Panerai Radiomir Black Seal Logo 45mm PAM00754 Radiomir was the first watch model created by Officine Panerai. The characteristic cushion polished 316L stainless steel case has wire lugs that are removable using a Patent pending design. A lug to lug length of 48mm and a case thickness of 12.5mm give the watch an impressive wrist presence. On the right side, is an onion crown with deep knurling to help the grip. The polished smooth bezel holds a domed sapphire crystal above a black dial. Large Arabic numerals at 12, 3, and 6 with batons in between all coated in luminance. At 9 o’clock we have the small seconds. Long sword hands are coated in luminance. Text is precisely applied with the Black Seal logo which dates back to the Italian frogman during World War 2 who wore all black dive suits and resembled seals. On the reverse, a screw-down case back with deep engraving around its edge. On the inside a Manually Wound Panerai Cal. P.6000, 19 jewels, 21,600 beats per hour. This in-house movement was manufactured in Neuchâtel Switzerland. The watch comes fitted on its 26mm calf leather strap with a signed buckle. The watch comes with its Panerai presentation box and papers.
This Panerai is one of my favourites, and I say it every time, but it wears so damn well on the wrist for a 45mm watch! This Panerai epitomises all the design and function of what the Radiomir is famous for, it just ticks all the boxes! Thankfully it's also in fantastic condition, so save yourself on that retail price and pick this up!