Friday, October 10, 2014

Hammer & Volker Visit Panerai's new Factory in Neuchatel, Switzerland



Hammer & Volker
Visit Panerai's new Factory in Neuchatel, Switzerland

Hammer (sitting below) and Volker (standing below) are best not only best pals, or should I say, great M8TES (Mates), but they are two of the most iconic personalities in the Paneristi world. Both recently attended P-Day in Italy, and also had the opportunity to take a tour of the brand-new Panerai factory located in Neuchatel, Switzerland.


Volker published a great overview of the time he and Hammer spent together in Italy called, Hammertime in Europe. Volker is one of the worlds leading authorities on all things Vintage Panerai, and co-authored many definitive Panerai history books. You can learn much more about Volker on his excellent VintagePanerai.com website.



You can learn much more about Hammer by checking out this story I wrote about him named Hammer Strength. Hammer is one of the leading, if not the leading vintage Panerai collectors in the world, and he owns what is arguably the most beautiful Panerai in existence, which is the Reference 6154, as seen below on the left, next to his Reference 6152 on the right.



While at the new Panerai factory, Volker took the photo of the all-new Panerai PAM 587 Marina Militare pictured below.



Sunday, September 28, 2014

Panerai Launches Radiomir Marina Militare Acciaio


Note: I am still working on updating this story and new information come in, and I plan to expand and go into more detail regarding the historical context of this watch. When I am done working on this article, I will remove this notice.


...Panerai Super-Coolness...

It Finally Happened!!!
Panerai Launches Marina Militare Acciaio
PAM00587 47MM Unique Edition of 1000 Units

It is hard to believe, but after all these years of waiting, Panerai finally brought the watch to life which was known as the "Small Egiziano" which was know in vintage Panerai parlance by its reference number of Reference 6154. The only challenge with this watch is that Panerai is only making 1000 units. Panerai has named this model the PAM00587, and you can learn more about it on Panerai.com.




This Italian beauty has all the vintage characteristics including a plexiglass crystal, and from what I can tell it appears to basically be a PAM00372 without the trademark Panerai half-crescent crown guard, and with a Marina Militare dial designation instead of a Luminor Panerai. It also features sharper pencil hands, which differ from the PAM 372 hands.



The original vintage version of this watch had a Rolex winding crown that featured the Rolex five finger crown logo, and this one has the modern Panerai OP logo, etched in the winding crown and it looks superb!!! In the photo below, we get a superb view of the sandwich dial, as well as seeing how beautifully etched the "MARINA MILITARE" designation is etched into the dial. It is this subtle level of detail that give these watches their amazing mojo...This is high-design, that is magnificently subtle...


This watch design is highly authentic, and if you look at the photo of me on the right side of this page, and click on it to see it better, I am actually wearing the exact vintage Panerai this watch is based upon, which is a Rolex made Reference 6152/1 with the Marina Militare dial designation.



Panerai's choice of the dark chocolate natural strap was superb. This gives the watch a serious vintage vibe that plays beautifully off the base dial.




Panerai formally introduced this watch at the Watches & Wonders trade-show in Hong Kong, which is now the sister trade-show to SIHH, which occurs annually in Geneva. The Watches & Wonders show is relatively new, but the idea is that it it allows Panerai and all other Richemont brands the ability to not have to introduce all of their new models annually at SIHH. Instead the can divide it up, and Watches & Wonders is focused more on the Eastern market, whereas SIHH is focused more on the Western Market. I covered this years SIHH trade-show live from Geneva, Switzerland and tie was absolutely fascinating.










To a large extent, the beauty of this model, as witnessed in the photo below, which gives us a slightly off-angle front view, is that it really shows off the beautiful symmetry and balance of the cushion case. This watch is such a Winner!!! The more I look at it, the more in awe I become!!! THIS is the real Panerai DNA that give Panerai is pure magic...



In The Flesh

Below is a photo of the actual PAM 587 in the flesh, which was taken recently.




Design Analysis

Inevitably Paneristi will compare the new limited edition PAM00587 with the existing standard edition Panerai PAM00372. From what I can tell from analyzing the photos, they are basically the exact same watch, with the difference of the crown-gaurd v. the big 8mm crown. As I mentioned earlier, the hands on the PAM 587 are different, and a not only arguably more authentic but better in design. Specifically, some people have argued that the hands on the PAM 372 are too short, especially compared to the hands on the vintage Panerai Reference 6152 it is based upon. The the hands on the 587, are not only longer, but also sharper looking, which synergies perfectly with the late Art-Deco Populuxe design style of the dial and case, which reeks of 1950s masculine style. 

The 587 also looks sharper, cleaner, longer and leaner, simpler, more streamlined, and less chunky than its sibling 387. In my opinion, the PAM 587 is a pure and absolute Minimalist Masterpiece, and it looks less affected, contrived, and obvious than the 372. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the 372, and wear one, but the 587 is an example of less, really being more. The 372 is more Sylvester Stallone/Rambo, and the 587 is more Cary Grant/James Bond.


"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." 
–Leonardo da Vinci





So what does this mean? As much as I love my PAM00372, I still am crazy about the PAM00587!!! It is so weird how similar they are, but how different they are at the same time!!! There is kind of a Yin/Yang balance between the two vintage Panerai styles, that is almost kind of Zen-like, to mix metaphors ;-)

The suggested retail price for the 587 is $10,100.

In order to properly contextualize the significance of the advent of this new model, I decided to add some previously published material that originally appeared on Jake's Panerai World in a little over a year ago in August, 2013. This next story covers the model the Panerai PAM00587 is based upon. At the end of the story I will add another side by side comparison.



"History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme." 

–Mark Twain

Let's begin with a side by side comparison of the original vintage Panerai next to the new model. On the left we have the Reference 6152/1 next to the modern PAM00587. Obviously the PAM387 has a stunningly warm and beautiful dial and hand color combination. Some people say they think that giving new watches a more patina'd look is inauthentic, but I could not disagree more. I think it is like a beautiful suntan. 




Notice the PAM 587 "MARINA MILITARE" dial designation uses a slightly larger font, which makes it  just a tad bit more legible. On the 6152/1 on the left, we see the "M" in "Marina" is to the right of the 11 baton marker, and on the PAM 587 ins is definitely further over to the left. Also, the 587 "MARINA MILITARE" dial designation is etched into the sandwich dial, and it is colored similarly to the ecru lume and gold hands. Ironically, the original 6152 has  the hands found of a modern PAM 372, but I like the sharper pencil hands on the new PAM 587. 

In my mind, the objective of Panerai today is not to make reproductions of vintage Panerai watches, but to take the best characteristics of their design features, and to present them as beautifully as they can. Ironically, as much as I like the original vintage 6152, I prefer the look of the new 587...

In my personal opinion, Panerai has done an excellent job with the design of this beautiful vintage inspired new limited edition model!!!



Anatomy Of A Vintage Panerai

MARINA MILITARE
Reference 6152/1 Made in the 1940s
17 Jewel Rolex Movement with 8MM Rolex Brevet Crown

Today we are going to closely examine a stunningly beautiful vintage Panerai that was made in the late 1940s for the Italian Royal Navy. This watch has the Italian Royal Navy designation on the Dial which reads: "MARINA MILITARE." In case you are not familiar with the vintage Panerai watches with the "MARINA MILITARE" designation on the dial, they were made for the Italian Royal Navy, and lack any kind of "Panerai" designation on the entire watch. In other words, this watch is 100% pure Panerai, it just does not say so on the watch.



All the photos in this article were taken by Matthew Bain, and they showcase a very, very rare vintage Panerai model which has a "MM" engraving on the back, with a military issue number.

It appears that all the parts on this watch are original. Notice the hands have an interesting patina where they have oxidized over time and the hour hand almost has a sunburst pattern on it. This watch has the serial number 124XXX engraved between the top lugs, and the 6152 1 Reference number engraved between the lower lugs.


The photos below show this beauty from both side views of the case. The first image below shows the 8MM Rolex BREVET winding crown. Keep in mind that Rolex made this watch  for Panerai, which explains why the winding crown has the Rolex five-finger hand winding crown.

From a design perspective, this watch is outrageously beautiful in its simplicity. The 1940s watch case was super-streamlined in every way, yet very masculine. The case is almost identical to the 6152 which has the "Tight Seal Device", but it has the Rolex Brevet winding crown instead.

In my personal opinion, the only vintage Panerai watch ever made, that is more beautiful that this, is the super-iconic Radiomir Panerai Reference 6154 "Small Egiziano" which was made for the Egyptian Navy. The Panerai 6152/1 and the Panerai 6154 are remarkably similar in case design, but the 6154 is skinnier and even more streamlined that the 6152/1.

The photo below shows the 12 sided case-back which has the original Italian Royal Navy Military Issue Number engraving which reads "S.M.Z" on the first line, and "M.M. 103" on the bottom.




The next image below shows the Panerai 6152/1 with the case-back removed, and it appears to have a movement cover which may have been designed to improve anti-magnetic performance.




In the next photo below, we see the 17 Ruby Mechanical Rolex Movement, which is remarkably simple, sturdy, accurate, and durable.



Pictured below we see the inside of the screw-out case back, which has twelve sides. Notice inside is says "Montres Rolex S.A., Geneva, Switzerland, Patented. Stainless Steel. Swiss Made. 6152 1.
One of the most interesting details that sets every single vintage Panerai apart, is how different the patina is, both on the dial and the hands. The unique patina on everywatch is unique and almost like a fingerprint.  This particular watch lume has not darkened or changed very much. The Arabic numeral markers are still bright white, which give the watch a precise, fresh look. The hands also look really cool.





Panerai Marina Militare
Reference 6152-1: 47mm

If you wonder what I look like, here is a photo of me wearing an original Rolex made Panerai 6152-1 with the Marina Militare dial. This watch was made in the late 1940 or early 1950s an is one of my absolute favorite Panerai watches of all time. As previously mentioned if you look closely it has the Marina Militare dial designation as is the model the new PAM00587 is based upon. So just to be crystal-clear, the watch I am wearing in the photo below is NOT the new PAM00587, but the Original vintage Panerai Reference 6152-1, which the PAM 587 is modeled after.




One of the most interesting things about all the vintage Panerai models is how each one has developed a unique patina, as see in contrasting the different version as seen above and below. The one above has greenish lume, and the one below has very white lume, and the hands look like they have have some radium burn or tarnishing.


Friday, September 26, 2014

Panerai PAM 372 and iPhone 6 Plus


...Panerai Wrist Shot Of The Day...

Panerai PAM 372 and iPhone 6 Plus
Two Of A Kind

I took the photo below of my 372 with the new iPhone 6 Plus, which in my mind are similar in the sense they are both large, masculine and very cool looking. By the way, Jake's Panerai World looks amazing in Safari on the iPhone 6 Plus!


Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Greatest Basketball Player In History...Michael Jordan


...Panerai Ultra-Super Coolness...

The Greatest Basketball Player In History

Michael Jordan

44MM Luminor Marina Panerai PAM 172 Tantalium
2003 Limited Edition of 300Pieces

The photo below shows Michael Jordan rockin' a Panerai PAM 172, and it was taken today at the U.S. Open Tennis Semi-Finals.





Sunday, July 27, 2014

Ultra Rare Panerai Prototype Reference 6152/1


...Panerai Studio Shot Of The Day...

Ultra Rare Panerai Prototype
Reference 6152/1

The photos below show one of the rarest Luminor Panerai watches ever made. This is a standard vintage Luminor Panerai Reference 6152/1 made in 1952, which was made with a unique prototype dial. The dial has complete second markers that run around the entire dial. Of course, the detail that makes this watch look so unusual, are all of the small circular second marker, which have never appeared on a base Panerai dial. In other words, just to be crystal clear, this vintage model typically had an identical dial, without the small round minute markers between the 12, 3, 6, 9, and baton 5 minute baton markers.

This first photo was taken by Luciano Cipullo, and it appears in his amazing Panerai book.


To the best of my knowledge this is a unique piece, which is still owned today by the Panerai family. It never ceases to amaze me, how much Panerai experimented with design, and it is equally amazing how many ultra-rare examples of vintage Panerai watches have been documented. I believe this is something Panerai and Rolex have in common, is that they both experimented like crazy, and often times the watches that never made it into production are even more fascinating than the ones that were produced.



The photo below shows the lume pattern of this unique Luminor Panerai that was made in the early 1950s, and as we see, its Lume is still glowing strong!


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Dwayne Johnson Ceramic Luminor Panerai GMT


...Panerai Coolness...

Dwayne Johnson
Ceramic Luminor Panerai GMT
44MM PAM438

Photo by Jason Kempin

Sunday, July 20, 2014

First High Resolution Photos of PAM424


...Panerai Studio Shot Of The Day...

First High Resolution Photos of PAM424
California Dial with No Date

Panerai recently introduced a significant update to the PAM424, which turned it from a date model to a Base Model, and it looks great! You can learn much more about this story by checking out the story I wrote about 5 weeks ago that details the difference between the new and old versions of the PAM424. The photos below are the first high-resolution versions that show the new PAM 424.




Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Luminor Marina Panerai on the Beach PAM00111 44MM



Panerai From A Woman's Perspective
by Maria



...Wrist shot of the day...

Luminor Marina Panerai on the Beach
PAM00111 44MM


Just another day at the beach for this Paneristi.  What could be more romantic than watching the sun set with the one you adore–The PAM111!!!! This Luminor Marina keeps this gal's wrist nice and warm with its larger 44MM case.  The PAM111 will help you count down the seconds with the subdial at 9 o'clock, as the sun drops slowly behind the calming ocean.



Just incase you would like a better look at her face (PAM111), I included a shot of the gorgeous Luminor Marina. This is a hot watch for Panerai and seems to be the gateway watch for many.  






Sunday, July 13, 2014

Luminor Panerai GMT 8 Days Chronograph Monopulsante


...Panerai Studio Shot Of The Day...

Luminor Panerai GMT 8 Days 
Monopulsante Chronograph
Ceramica 44MM PAM00317

Martin Wilmsen took these superb photos of his PAM 317 GMT Chronograph. This model is nicknamed "The Black Night" since it is so dark black. This model is really rare as Panerai only made 500 pieces. The ceramic case on this watch is not formed by traditional machining or casting, but by a process named "Isostatic Pressure", which results in an extremely hard case, which is estimated to be five times harder than stainless steel. The reason this model is named a "Monopulsante", which means "Monopusher" in English, is because the chronograph only uses by a single push button, which starts, stops and resets the Chronograph features.


The photo below shows the exhibition case back which has a sapphire crystal so you can see the movement, which is also blacked-out.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Tom Cruise Luminor Panerai GMT 44MM Reference PAM000063



...Panerai Coolness...

Tom Cruise
Luminor Panerai GMT
44MM Reference PAM000063

Tom Cruise wears Panerai in real life, and in the movie Tropic Thunder, he played the role of Les Grossman, whose character wore a 44MM Luminor Panerai as seen below. Obviously, it is amazing, the level of transformation Tom Cruise went through to change his real looks to look this way, with prosthetics and lots of makeup.



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