BY HARLAN CHAPMAN-GREEN
For 2023, Panerai’s novelties focused only on the Radiomir, Panerai’s other watch model. While it’s true that there are technically four different collections in Panerai’s catalogue, they are either the Luminor or they look very much like a version of the Luminor. The Radiomir is the one that stands out from the others chiefly because it doesn’t have Panerai’s iconic patented crown-locking system. That doesn’t mean it’s lacking in charm, though, and my visit to Panerai’s Watches & Wonders Geneva stand at Palexpo can attest to this.
Radiomir Otto Giorni PAM01347 & PAM01348
Typically, I like to save my favourite models to last in my articles, but in this case the other watches I’m covering are really special, so let’s do these now. The new PAM01347 & 01348 feature a different finish style to most new watches. This watch is made of eSteel, which is Panerai’s proprietary blend of stainless steel, where 54.8% of the blend is made up of recycled steel. It’s not as much as Chopard’s Lucent Steel A223 that we saw on the L.U.C, but it is still more than most of the watch industry.
The finish on the watches is called Brunito, which translates to English as ‘burnished’. According to this article, burnishing can have structural benefits for metals like Panerai’s eSteel as it can increase hardness and therefore resistance to scratching. Panerai’s blurb doesn’t explicitly say that, so I wouldn’t rush to go out and test that theory, but it could be good to know.
Either way, the darker colour of these watches combined with the choice of blue or brown dial and strap makes this watch. Measuring at 45mm across, this watch is large and yet still comfortable on the wrist, as most Panerais are. Even people who think they can’t usually pull off a watch of this scale might be in luck. Water resistance is 100m, but the beautifully thick leather strap attached may make you think twice about going for a dunk with this on.
Inside these two watches is the hand-wound calibre P.5000, an in-house made movement without any running seconds displays. Nevertheless, it’s still a good movement. With a 3Hz beat rate and twin barrels, this calibre can run for eight days (192 hours) before needing to be rewound. It also looks good in there, contrasting the aged exterior with the clean finishing we’ve come to expect from Panerai. The price is $9700.
Radiomir Calendario Annuale Goldtech PAM01363 and Platinumtech PAM01432
The watch Panerai was really eager for me to see during the show was the new Radiomir Calendario Annuale. It’s no wonder they’re excited about this model; it’s their first-ever annual calendar watch. What is an annual calendar? Well, unlike a regular date watch, an annual calendar knows the length of eleven months of the year and adjusts itself accordingly, so as long as the watch is running you only need to change the date indicated at the end of February. This is because, unlike a perpetual calendar which Panerai also makes, an annual calendar does not take leap years into account, making the watch simpler and thus more affordable.
The PAM01363 is the watch I got to see, and it’s a bit of a beast. While the Radiomirs above are quite restrained on the whole, the 45mm 01363 is made of solid 18k polished Goldtech, which is Panerai’s age-resistant rose gold colouration, like Rolex’s Everose gold. There’s also a Platinumtech version, Platinumtech is a proprietary platinum alloy which is more resistant to scratches and dings than regular platinum.
As with all Panerais, reading the time and annual calendar is a doddle. The day and date are marked in the windows on the dial, while the months are on a ring around the dial’s edge. I did ask and, yes, all markets will have the calendar indications in Italian, so get used to being a little more cultured.
Inside both watches is the self-winding calibre P.9010/AC, which has a 4Hz beat rate and a 72-hour power reserve. It also has a few things most other dress watches don’t, such as the same level of Incabloc shock protection as Panerai’s sportier watches to help ensure durability. It also has a zero-reset mechanism for the small seconds, so that when the crown is pulled, the seconds return to zero and stay there until the crown is pushed back in, allowing for more accurate time setting.
In Goldtech, the price is $39,200, and in Platinumtech that rises to $88,100. These are both boutique exclusive watches, but Panerai is not limiting the amount that they make.