The Panerai Radiomir 1940 Chronograph was unveiled at SIHH 2014. Top of the range model in the current line-up it is available in three limited edition retro styled versions in precious metals. The cushion shaped case is typically Panerai style but the dial design is something we havent seen before, Panerai’s usual minimal design is replaced by a retro-styled dial design reminiscent of chronographs from the early 20th century. The dial design is not inspired by past models but a new design.
Panerai Radiomir 1940 Chronograph – Dial
The Panerai Radiomir 1940 Chronograph comes in three different dial variants. They are an ivory dial model called the “Platino” which is limited to 50 units (PAM518), with a polished platinum case, a brown dial model called the “Oro Rosso” (PAM519) with an 18 ct polished red gold case and a black dial model called the “Oro Bianco” (PAM520) with an 18 ct polished white gold case, these last two being limited to 100 editions.
I find all three to be very appealing and it would be difficult to say which of the three I prefer, since all of them have their own distinct attractions. The Platino, the platinum version has a beautiful ivory dial, with simple baton or dot hour markers and blued steel accents for the chrono sub dials and chrono seconds. While the Oro Rosso, the red-gold version has a deep brown dial and the mixed Roman andArabic numerals that is referred to as a California dial, and used on the Radiomir since 1936.
Lastly the Oro Bianco, the white gold version, also like the red-gold version features a black dial but is the only one using the sandwich structure dial that Panerai is well known for using two plates that have been layered on top of each other with luminous section in between. Two cut out sections are at the 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock positions.
All three versions of the Panerai Radiomir 1940 Chronograph use retro syringe style hands, have a tachymeter scale for calculating average speed as well as a standard time display. They also have a chronograph with two registers, one for running seconds and the other a 30 minute register, as well as using the large central seconds hand.
Panerai Radiomir 1940 Chronograph – Case and Strap
At 45mm in diameter the “1940″ Radiomir style case is quite large but not particularly so for a Panerai which tend to be on the large size usually. But rather than the Radiomir’s signature wire lugs the case is fitted with Luminor style lugs. In keeping with the retro styling the 1940 Chronograph has a 2.8 mm thick plexiglas crystal for the dial and also a sapphire crystal on the back for viewing the OP XXV calibre movement. The cases are water-resistant to a depth of 50 metres and come fitted with an alligator strap and matching tang buckle.
Panerai Radiomir 1940 Chronograph – Movement
The new Panerai Radiomir 1940 Chronograph uses the OP XXV calibre movement which is developed on a Minerva 13-22 base. Panerai has had associations with the Swiss manufacturer Minerva since the 1920′s when it was a supplier to Panerai. This is a hand-wound column wheel chronograph movement and it features 22 jewels, beats at a rate of 18,000 vph and has a 55 hour power reserve.
The 1940 Chronograph movement features a high level of craftsmanship which can be appreciated through the large sapphire crystal display back, where some of the movements details such as the polishing and chamfering of the individual components, the Côtes de Genève finish of the bridges and the column wheel and swan-neck regulator can be viewed and appreciated.
Panerai Radiomir 1940 Chronograph – Conclusion & Pricing
The new Panerai Radiomir 1940 Chronograph is produced in limited numbers and of precious metals which naturally means they on the higher price scale for Panerai watches with the Red- Gold “Oro Rosso”, (PAM519) retailing for €44,900, the White Gold, “Oro Bianco” (PAM520) retailing for €46,900 and the Platinum, “Platino” (PAM518) retailing for €59,900.