This was to describe the straightforward procedure that resulted in the following awe-inspiring second. As I went back to the PAM674, now with all the tan strap (highlighting the tan numerals and text), putting on its crown protector, I clearly remember thinking to myself, kind of in shock: “My God, that’s a good looking watch.” A challenge to imitate with photography, but a memorable moment that did very much happen.There is something particular that its new-found thinness — a slim 10.70mm for the PAM674 in spite of the slightly domed crystal and angled lugs — gives to the Luminor 1950 case. It looks effortless, light and, even in this 45mm version, superbly proportionate. But I’d like the PAM676 at 42mm, which would admittedly match my wrist size better.I say this pretty much every time when I discuss aesthetics, and it really should go without saying: aesthetics is something for everyone to make up their minds about on their own. However, what can objectively be set about the Luminor Due is that it is among the least expensive, most balanced Panerai layouts to date — and this, being a new take from Panerai, is eventually something which praises the job of the Panerai designers, not those out of two generations ago.The magical combination of some perfectly round bezel and a pillow instance requires no introduction to anyone who has ever liked a Panerai design, but the Because does provide a different spin on the longstanding recipe. First, the bezel is very thin but, with its steep edge and comparatively considerable elevation, it stands out enough that it doesn’t seem too small or delicate. The cushion case is a necessity not on the standard Luminor, but instead, the Luminor 1950 with the profile turning upward and into the top corners, instead of running to vertical lines. This further enhances the slender, filigree appearance, while the neatly defined (and evenly nice-to-the-touch) edge that runs along the complete length of the side adds some visual interest and a nice tactile element.
Not officially launched at SIHH 2017 but widely rumoured to be imminent, the Panerai U Boat Watches Replica Mare Nostrum Acciaio PAM00716 revisits a 1990s classic, a reissue thrice removed from the original.
Its origins lie with a prototype (or perhaps several) of an oversized, 52mm wristwatch chronograph produced in 1943, which was intended for officers of the Italian navy. The watch never made it to production, though one example surfaced at Christie’s in 2005 and Panerai introduced two pricey, Minerva-powered remakes in recent years.
Then in 1997, before Swiss luxury conglomerate Richemont acquired Panerai, the watchmaker introduced the modern day Mare Nostrum chronograph, inspired by the giant original but more practical at 42mm. These pre-Vendôme watches – Richemont used to be known as the Vendôme Luxury Group – were the ref. 5218-301/A, and included a batch of “Slytech” special editions made for American actor Sylvester Stallone.
The latest Panerai Mare Nostrum chronograph PAM 716 takes after the ref. 5218-301/A, with the same dial and 42mm steel case. Most of the watch remains identical to the 1993 model, with minor exceptions like additional lettering on the back and crown.
While the dial is the same blue as before, the Super-Luminova on the hands and hour markers is a shade of tan that mimics the aged original. On the 1993 watches the luminous paint was tritium, which was white when new but over time has darkened into the tan that’s found on the new PAM 718.
The movement also remains the same, being the hand-wound OP XXXIII, which is actually an ETA 2801 topped by a Dubois-Depraz chronograph module. It has a 42-hour power reserve.
And just as with the 1993 original, the Mare Nostrum PAM 716 is packaged in a box that includes a scale model of the Luigi Durand De La Penne, an Italian navy destroyer launched in 1993. The reason being the ref. 5218-301/A made its debut in September 1993 on the newly commissioned vessel.
Price and availability
The Mare Nostrum PAM 716 is a limited edition of 1000 watches that will be available at retailers and boutiques in September or October 2017. It is priced at €9900 or S$14,600.