November 16, 2014
In addition to the newest additions to the Radiomir 1940 case family unveiled a few weeks ago, Officine Panerai is introducing a special edition box set featuring the Luminor Daylight 8 Days Acciaio and Luminor Black Seal 8 Days Acciaio DLC (acciaio = steel). These special “Pre-V” remakes are being offered as a set and given Panerai reference PAM 785, with total production limited to only 500 sets. Panerai timepieces made before the Panerai was bought by Vendome Group (the predecessor of Richemont) are known amongst Panerai cognoscenti as “Pre-Vendome” watches. For obvious reasons, Pre-Vendome/Pre-V Panerai’s tend to be highly collectible — and very expensive — timepieces.
Between 1993, the year of the first collection of watches not made exclusively for military use, and 1997, the year when the brand was acquired by the Richemont Group, Officine Panerai created just a few hundred watches which over the years have acquired an extraordinary value, becoming cult objects for many enthusiastic collectors.
Panerai describes the PAM 758 set as follows:
“…consisting of two models inspired by two of the watches most representative of the pre-Vendôme era, made to order in 1996 for the American actor Sylvester Stallone, a great enthusiast and spontaneous advocate of the brand, who was at the time involved in the film Daylight: the Luminor Black Seal and the Luminor Daylight.”
The PAM 785 set comes in a pear wood box which also contains a model of the human torpedo (Siluro a Lenta Corsa or Slow-speed torpedo) on a teak base and a rare publication about the military equipment of the special forces of the Royal Italian Navy, naturally including Panerai watches and instruments.
The two models are both 44mm stainless steel, though the Luminor Black Seal is distinguished with its DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon) finish, hence its black color. Another perhaps obvious difference between the two models is the design of the dial. The Luminor Daylight is white with numeric hour markers and a detailed minute track while the Luminor Black Seal has a black dial with numerals at only the cardinal points in. Both watches have the small seconds dial at 9 o’clock; another element taken from the past by Panerai which over the years has become a distinctive characteristic.
Collectors should take now, however, that the “Slytech” notation as found on the original Pre-V models is not present on the modern day remakes. And also, despite their historical inspiration, Panerai has of course opted to update the mechanical calibers in each watch: both have Panerai’s in-house P.5000. The P.5000 is a manual-wind caliber with power reserve of eight days.
The closed back of the case is engraved with the inscription “Officine Panerai Firenze” and the OPlogo (not pictured). The watches are shown on Pre-V style straps with sewn-in buckles (two identical, spare straps are also included). Good looking watches with a nice box and assorted accessories — great for the Panerai die-hard.