The chronograph made by Officine Panerai in 1943 for the deck officers of the Royal Italian Navy is revived in a Special Edition of only 150 examples.
Many people know that the ancient Romans, following their conquest of Egypt and Spain, named the Mediterranean Sea “Mare Nostrum” (“Our Sea”) since they controlled the greater part of its coastline. It was the during the rule of Trajan that the Roman Empire reached it maximum size and its control of the Mediterranean coasts was then complete, entirely justifying the title. On the other hand it may not be known that, many centuries later – between 1941 and 1942, to be precise – there was a short period when Italy spoke again of “Mare Nostrum”: this was when, during the Second World War, the victorious missions of the Royal Italian Navy meant that for a short time a wide area of the Mediterranean Sea was controlled by the Italian fleet.
It was undoubtedly this second period, much closer to our own times, that the Panerai family had in mind when in 1943 it named the chronograph created for the deck officers of the Royal Italian Navy “Mare Nostrum”. This name had already been used by Guido Panerai in 1924 for what was probably the first Panerai chronograph, but all traces of this first model have been lost. However a few prototypes of the 1943 chronograph still exist, and these have enabled the new watch to be reconstructed with great technical accuracy and similar aesthetic characteristics. The new Mare Nostrum Titanio is a Special Edition of the greatest interest, consisting of only 150 units. It faithfully reproduces the 1943 model, updating it to the highest standards of today’s high quality watchmaking and with some fundamental differences compared to the original.
The first difference compared to the vintage watch is the material of which the large case 52 mm in diameter is made. The metal used for this tonneau-shaped case is not steel but brushed titanium, a material which combines excellent non-allergenic properties and greater lightness than steel with the structural toughness needed to resist high pressure, external stresses and corrosion. The wide flat bezel, the screw back and the winding crown engraved with the words “Mare Nostrum” are all made of brushed titanium as well.
The chronograph functions are controlled by two classic push buttons, also made of brushed titanium, and the readings are indicated by the central seconds hand and by a subsidiary minutes counter dial at three o’clock. The continuous seconds hand rotates in a subsidiary dial at nine o’clock. Protected by a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment, the dial is made in two levels and, instead of the dark green of the vintage model, it is a sophisticated tobacco brown, which coordinates with the brown leather strap and its ecru stitching.
The new version of the Mare Nostrum has a hand-wound manufacture movement: the OP XXV calibre developed on a Minerva 13-22 base; it is 12¾ lignes in diameter and has a balance wheel making 18,000 vibrations per hour, like the Angelus movement of the vintage prototype. This is a high quality watchmaking calibre, hand-finished, with top-of-the-range technical details such as the column wheel and the swan neck regulator. The bridges are made of Maillechort, a nickel silver alloy that is particularly hard to work, and they have a sophisticated Côtes de Genève finish.
The Mare Nostrum Titanio – 52mm has the reference PAM00603 and it is water-resistant to 3 bars (a depth of about 30 metres).
|Calibre||:||Exclusive Panerai OP XXV|
|Functions||:||Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph with two counters|
|Case||:||52 mm, brushed titanium|
|Dial||:|| Brown on two levels with luminous Arabic numerals and hour markers |
Minute counter at 3 o’clock
Seconds at 9 o’clock
Central chronograph hand
|Water-Resistance||:||3 bar (~30 metres)|