With new models to complement the range of exclusive adventure-ridden experiences that Panerai has started to offer, 2019 was the year of modern, flashy Submersibles. But its two latest releases bring the focus back to what Panerai does well (and often), which is to honour its military past with contemporary iterations.
The story of how the Command of the Submarine Group of the Italian Royal Navy requested a specialised diver’s watch from Panerai in 1936 for use in World War II is one good enough to tell again and again. Which is why the Radiomir California – 47 mm (PAM 931), the latest of several tributes to the 1936 prototypes, might look familiar to some. The California dial (a nickname given to dials that feature a mix of Arabic and Roman numerals) is back, but this time in a gold and brown hue with a fume effect. Brand indications have been removed to keep it historically accurate, a theme that also explains the patina effect of its steel case. The hand-wound P.3000 calibre gives it a power reserve of three days.
The smaller Radiomir 8 Days – 45 MM (PAM 992) looks almost contemporary by comparison, but the sandwich structure of the dial and the wire lugs manage to keep it in the vintage-inspired class. The words “8 giorni brevatto” refer to the eight-day power reserve supplied by the two spring barrels of the P.5000 calibre. Like the Radiomir California, this steel case was also treated to give it an aged look, for those too impatient to let time do the job.