Friday, June 20, 2014

Shreeve & Company Preview: PAM00518 Chronograph

Panerai From A Woman's Perspective
by Maria

...New Panerai Model Coverage...

PAM00518 Chronograph
Exclusive Shreeve & CO Preview

I am madly in love with Panerai and was fortunate enough to have recently attended a wonderful Panerai Event at  Shreve & Co. in Palo Alto, California, with Jake.  Shreve & Company reminds me of a big girl’s candy store, with Panerai being my favorite candy in every flavor I could ever dream of!  This is where I got a chance to wear the all-new mouth-watering Radiomir 1940’s Chronograph "Platino", but lets just call it the Platino 518. Platino is platinum in Italian...

The Platino Chronograph is part of Panerai’s Special Edition Collection–and it indeed is very special–with only 50 pieces made for the international marketplace and they retail for $78,000!  If the shear exclusivity of the Limited Edition Platino doesn’t tempt your palate, then the stunningly bold and timeless aesthetics surely will.  This beautifully solid 45mm Platinum Cushion Case has a hypnotizing tachymeter scale running along the perimeter of the dial, which calculates the average speed for any type of competition you may be involved in, even if it’s just for fun.  

Jake took the photo of me below wearing the all-new PAM518 at the recent Panerai Shreeve event. I really like the way it looks and fits so elegantly on my wrist, and I like how strong looking and striking it is.  

I could rock it just as good as any gent with a crisp clean-collared shirt and slacks, or wear it on a day out on the boat. I could even sport it with my Sunday's Best.

I really like the sophistication of the PAM 518 dial, which pays homage to the original Rolex made prototype Panerai from 1936 (more on that later).  The dials outer tachymeter ring has a beautiful blue minute-hand, as does the 3 O’clock subdial which is used for counting seconds. The 9 O’clock subdial counts hours, and has a gold arrow hand. At 12 O'clock, the dial has a set of matching luminous stick markers, and at 6 O'clock it has a single stick marker. The rest of the luminous markers are circular and tastefully positioned on the dial, which were a perfect choice–minimal but far from being unnoticed. 

The subdials sit on a soft ivory dial which is swept over by the blue central chronograph hand.  The heavenly blue accents on the ivory dial work together harmoniously, like the big blue sky with white clouds (in reverse). The Platino vault offers a vintage looking plexiglas crystal, instead of a sapphire crystal, which gives the PAM 518 a romantic warm essence and timeless beauty when looking down at the beautiful piece.

When I tried on the Platino 518 it felt like a 47mm watch instead of a 45mm watch.  This is due to the exquisite detail of the Platino on a large ivory dial and I believe it is the largest white dial Panerai has made to date on a Radiomir. The 518 has a larger than life look and grand feel.  Anything larger than a 45mm wouldn't work and Panerai did a great job with its proportion. Also, the PAM 518 is on the thinner side with a very flat back, kind of like a PAM 372, so it lies flat on the wrist, which looks great.

It's interesting to note that one of the details that makes the dial look so clean, is that the Radiomir dial designation looks really simple and uncluttered, as does the Panerai dial designation below it. This reminds me of the beautiful simplicity of the PAM 210 and the PAM 231, which are also both 45MM.

1936 Panerai Reference 2533 47mm
First Rolex Made Panerai Prototype

The Platino 518 is derivative of and clearly inspired by the first Radiomir Panerai prototype ever made, known as the Reference 2533, which was made by Rolex for Panerai in 1936. The Reference 2533 was the beginning of the vintage Radiomir as we know it.  The 2533 used a 47mm Rolex pocket watch cushion  case, which as a standard featured, included lugs that were soldered on the case, as seen below. 

The Reference 2533 featured a Rolex movement and Rolex winding crown. If the prototype Reference 2533 is the Chalice for Panerai, then the Platino 518 is the Holy Grail. 

This next image shows the backside of the Rolex movement made for the Panerai Reference 2533. Notice at the bottom of the case back there is a "2533" engraving. This historically significant model, of which there are only several known examples, features a screwed-on plexiglass exhibition caseback with Officene Panerai Brevattato engraving. 

It is also interesting to note that Rolex first used exhibition casebacks in 1931 to showcase how a Rolex Oyster Perpetual movement rotor operated, thus it is fascinating that Rolex incorporated the same feature into this prototype Panerai to showcase the Rolex 618 Calibre movement.

Below, we see an image of the first receipt from Rolex for the Reference 2533 for making the Panerai, which is dated June 13, 1936, and it appears courtesy of Francesco Ferretti.

Below we see a wrist shot of the PAM 518 on Jake's wrist, which he took at SIHH in Geneva earlier this year. It was the first wrist shot published on the web, since Jake was the first to get a detailed briefing from Panerai at SIHH.  

I remember when I first saw this wrist shot, thinking what a great looking watch it was! Then I realized the Platino 518 reminds me of one of my favorite vintage Rolex Watch designs of all time, which is the 44MM  Rolex Split Seconds Chronograph Reference 4113 which was made between 1942 and 1943, which set an all-time auction record at Christie's in 2011 when it sold for $1.16 Million–and it was worth every penny! What does the PAM 518 have that the Reference 4113 doesn't? To name a few; much more masculine lugs with a sleek elegant appearance, but the most prominent feature is the mesmerizing exhibition case showcasing the Minerva Movement.

Inside The PAM 518
Much More Than Just A Pretty Face 

The PAM 518 exhibition case back, which showcases the stunning Minerva movement is just as, if not prettier than it’s face.  The PAM 518 has a see-through sapphire exhibition crystal flat case back which perfectly shows off the hand-wound Elite Panerai Opus XXV Calibre movement, which is exclusively made for Panerai by Minerva.  What does this all mean?  Technically … a lot! It contains a vertical clutch, column wheel chronograph that measures 12 3/4 lignes, 22 jewels, a glucydur balance, and 18,000 a/H.  It features a swan’s neck regulator and offers a power reserve of 55 hours.  

We will have to get into the complexity of movements another time so you can appreciate and fall in love with the Platino all over again.

The Platino is tied with a rich brown alligator strap and finishes off securing this beauty with a 18ct polished white gold buckle taking you down to a water resistance depth of 50 Meters.  50 meters is definitely not too deep considering Panerai offers many timepieces that can go deeper, but would you really need to sink this treasure to the depths of the deep ocean? I think not. 

The Panerai brand has a fascinating history which began in 1936 with Rolex making all their watches. Panerai watches came into existence as a top-secret military watch made for the Royal Italian Navy by Rolex, and they were the very first dedicated dive/tool watches. The Radiomir Reference 2533 was the very first Panerai prototype ever made, so it is great to see some of its DNA make it into the PAM 518.

Just as history and fashion repeat itself, Panerai outdoes itself here introducing in 2014 a new kind of Radiomir, The Platino flawlessly magnificent!

No comments:

Post a Comment