Panerai has always been a brand with a very focused history. As the prime supplier to the Italian Navy, they created bold watches, which often accompanied divers on dangerous missions. For SIHH 2017 Panerai has announced two special editions that pay tribute to a watch close to the heart of Panerai’s legacy: Reference 3646, Type A.
This legendary watch is not only the first known Panerai but being made in the mid- to late 1930’s it was destined to serve in WWII. It was fitted with manual wind caliber 618 from Rolex, yet its most recognizable feature was perhaps the engraved bezel. That bezel returns on the two special editions of the Radiomir 3 Days Acciaio.
Current interpretation of a vintage legend
Both are housed in a 47 mm, stainless steel Radiomir case. Combined with the onion crown and the engraved bezel that reads: Officine Panerai Brevettato (this last word meaning that the design was patented) it recreates the look and feel of that very first Panerai. Of course, these watches are not fitted with a Rolex-caliber, but with one of Panerai’s own, in this case, caliber P3000. The beauty of this movement is that, just like its predecessor, it fills the case very nicely with a diameter of 16 1/2 linges, or just over 37 mm. More so, it is also a robust movement with a full bridge over the balance wheel, while the double mainspring barrel gives it a power reserve of a generous three days.
The main difference between these two special editions of the Radiomir is the dial. One, ref.PAM00685 is fitted with Panerai’s signature black dial, creating the image of how reference 3646, Type A could have looked when it was fresh out of the Panerai Manufacture in the late 1930’s. Reference PAM00687 is another take on the same watch. With its faded brown dial, it looks like an aged Panerai, one that was treasured for decades and to which the passing of time has been kind, yet left its mark as well.
Both watches will be presented next week at SIHH 2017, so stay tuned to Haute Time for live pictures!