Panerai Radiomir California
For over a century, the Panerai family legacy has been intertwined with precision instruments made to accompany the Italian military in their exploits. Commissioned by the Royal Italian Navy to supply high-precision instruments, it was Guido Panerai’s Radiomir - a radium- based substance that illuminates for visibility in the dark – that began it all when it was patented in 1916.
An archival receipt shows that the Radiomir prototype was presented in 1935, and over the years, the sandwich construction has been progressively adjusted and is currently made of only two superimposed plates. Other improvements include the crown-protecting device, and a new luminous substance, the Luminor. A watch produced strictly for the military, the forces used it until the early 1970s, with its designs protected by military secrets.
In 1996, Officine Panerai leaped into the commercial watch market in 1992, launching three collections of ten references in limited editions - the 44 mm Luminor and Luminor Marina watches and the 42 mm Mare Nostrum chronograph, which were presented on 10 September 1993 at the La Spezia military harbor in the presence of Duke Amedeo D’Aosta, son of Sir Aimone di Savoia, the then supreme head of the Italian diving department. Radiomir was only made public in 1997 when the Vendome Group – today Richemont Group - acquired Panerai, introducing the first Vendome special edition in sixty pieces - the PAM 21 model in a platinum version.
The acquisition advanced Panerai’s history into contemporary developments from the reopening of the historic boutique in Piazza San Giovanni to the establishment of the Panerai Manufacture in Neuchâtel where fine Swiss watchmaking meet innovation driven by an Italian soul. With a century of innovative instruments developed for performance in response to evolving technical needs, Panerai projects into the future via research, strategic partnerships, sustainability, and empowering modern heroes.
These initiatives include eSteel™
, a next-generation metal obtained from pre-consumer recycled steel scraps (up to 95%) coming from different industries, preferably from Swiss watchmaking industry, whose production significantly reduces CO² emissions, and a partnership with the IOC-UNESCO to develop solutions with the aim of building a more sustainable, equitable society.
As part of the Radiomir family, Panerai introduces an exciting timepiece featuring never- before-seen details from the Maison. The Radiomir California PAM01349 is the first time ever that a California dial is crafted in 45mm, historically always produced in 47mm, while its color in green makes the watch a collector’s worthy piece.
Inspired by Ref 3646 from the archives of the Maison, the Panerai California Dial is characterised by alternating Roman and Arabic numerals, bar indexes, and a minute track. The hours 10, 11, 1, and 2 are marked with Roman numerals, while those for hours 4, 5, 7, and 8 are marked with Arabic numerals, resulting in a dial where every half is distinguished by the two different types of numerals.
With a case set in Brunito eSteel™
- a brand-new finishing and first-ever in the history of Panerai, the timepiece showcases a characteristic antiquated look, accentuating its appeal to watch connoisseurs in search of authenticity and storied timepieces.
Every case is hand-finished one by one to create a seasoned look, giving each watch a unique character. The intently weathered effect of the eSteel™ case, created via PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition), is paired with a cushion-shaped 45mm case, slim wire lugs, and a hollowed green dial featuring a shaded texturized creativity. The Super-LumiNova® highlights the iconic California indexes in beige, illuminating in green when in the dark, while the vintage appeal of the dial is accentuated with metallic blue hands and a domed sapphire crystal reminiscent of the Plexiglas® crystal used in the early versions of the Radiomir developed for the Italian military. The watch also has a cone-shaped crown, a design that distinguishes the Radiomir collection from other Panerai timepieces.
PAM01349 comes with a supple calf leather raw cut strap with 3 points seams in dark brown with contrast stitching. The strap features a detail that is exclusive only to this timepiece, a hot printed inscription of “G. Panerai e Figlio”, the exact same phrase found on the signage of the original Panerai workshop in Florence.
The Radiomir California Dial is exclusively available in Panerai boutiques.