Panerai is once again reviving the Mare Nostrum, this time in the form of a titanium cased special edition with a design reminiscent of the original prototype developed in 1943. So named for the Royal Italian Navy’s WWII victories in the Mediterranean Sea, Mare Nostrum translates to “Our Sea.” The naming dates back to 1924, used on what was likely the first Panerai chronograph, but any hint of these watches has long since disappeared. This left Panerai with the 1943 prototypes from which to draw their inspiration for a new watch, something we’ve seen before in the ‘90s and again about four years ago.
The newest Mare Nostrum is a faithful reproduction of the 1943 model, according to the Italian manufacturer. We’ll note that Panerai has derived the newest design to a much greater degree of accuracy than we’ve seen in other renditions of the Mare Nostrum. Of course, this is still a thoroughly modern watch, and similarities to the original are only skin deep. The biggest departure come in the case material used, which, as you may have guessed from the name, is titanium. With a 52 mm case, there is a lot of it, too. It’s brushed titanium shaped with broad, flat surfaces much like the original. It’s imposing as it is light on its feet, and frames the watch in an appropriate context of historical conquests.
The dial is set into two levels, and rather than the dark green used on the original, the new Mare Nostrum has opted for a tobacco brown coloring for maximum throwback appeal. The dial features gilt printing and gold hands, which is also a departure from the original, but complements the brown of the dial in a handsome and ergonomical manner.
The Mare Nostrum Titanio houses a hand-wound, Panerai manufactured movement, the OPXXV caliber developed on a Minerva 13-22 base. It beats at a slow 18,000 vibrations per hour just as the Angelus movement did in the vintage prototype. The hand-wound chronograph features a column wheel and swan-neck regulator, as well as bridges made of Mailechort, and Côtes de Genève finishing on the plates. None of this is visible, however, as the case uses a screwed-in back plate in an effort to remain authentic.
Panerai will build just 150 examples of the Mare Nostrum Titanio (PAM00603), so don’t sleep on contacting your nearest authorized dealer if you’re interested. We’ll update with pricing details and live pictures as we get them. Until then, learn more about the new Mare Nostrum at Panerai’s website, right here.
Thanks to hodinkee.com for the news!