This very first morning at Watches & Wonders Geneva 2023 is as intense as we expected it to be. The race is on for everyone to get inside and see what’s new. Highlights abound, with many brands putting their focus on a single collection. Such is the case at Officine Panerai, where the beloved Radiomir takes center stage. New releases include a Radiomir Annual Calendar, Eight-Day Power Reserve, a new California dial and – the one we love the most right now – the Quaranta in Goldtech™.
The new Quaranta (translated from Italian to mean 40) is the most sophisticated of the Radiomir lot thanks to its elegant Goldtech™ case – and clean sandwich dial. The case is crafted using Panerai’s proprietary gold alloy of gold, platinum and copper in a high polish finish. The PAM01026 reference, also boasts a sandwich dial with crisp white sun brushed top dial with cut outs for the markers and the numerals at 12:00 and 6:00, and a lower dial that is covered with beige Super-LumiNova that lights up bright green in the dark.
The Radiomir Quaranta is the contemporary reinterpretation of the brand’s legendary 47mm diver’s watch from the 1940’s. However, the iconic cushion shaped case is thinned down to a 10.15mm thickness (the slimmest in the entire Panerai lineup) and is smaller — in a 40mm diameter — to exude a sense of modern sporty luxury. It also boasts a cone-shaped crown and an interchangeable alligator strap.
Powering this watch is the automatic mechanical P.900 caliber that measures just 4.2mm thick and is the first of its size from the brand to also combine the small seconds and date and to offer three days of power reserve. The watch is water resistant to 30 meters, and another version that is water resistant to 50 meters is already in the works.
History of the legendary Panerai Radiomir
The sophisticated look of this watch is so much more desirable when one knows the rich history of the Radiomir. This watch’s roots dates back more than 100 years to 1916 when Guido Panerai was commissioned by the Royal Italian Navy to supply precision instruments. He developed and patented a “self-luminous sight for launching torpedoes at night and for firing weapons in general.” It was an invention that sealed Panerai’s destiny.
An archive receipt proves that in 1935, Panerai presented the Radiomir prototype as an underwater watch. The watch boasted a radium-based material to illuminate the numbers and displays under water. The case was made in three parts to be highly water resistant and there were other important features (like wire loop strap attachments, and more) that made the watch highly wearable for the frogmen commandos in dark waters.
For most of the 20th century, this brand created models for the military. However, it leapt onto the commercial watch market in 1992—making three collections available to the public at large. Since then, and especially under the ownership of the Richemont brand, Panerai has continued to evolve all of its collections, endowing watches with the newest technological and mechanical innovations. Now, it is time for the Radiomir. Evolving yet still true to its purpose – luminosity, legibility, precision.