The engraving carried out by hand by expert Italian craftsmen make the Radiomir Firenze Special Edition unique. It is only available in the historic Panerai boutique in the Tuscan city.
There is no machine or tool which can replace the depth and beauty of the action of a human limb. The gesture is the expression of knowledge, experience and mastery and, for centuries, artists and craftsmen have given expression to fantasies, to dreams and to the ingenuity of mankind with their gestures.
The impossibility of exactly repeating an action means that each example of the Radiomir Firenze is unique and different. Only 99 examples of this new Special Edition are being made and they are sold exclusively in Officine Panerai’s historic Florence boutique in Piazza San Giovanni. The brushed steel case 47 mm in diameter has the same dimensions as the first watch created by Officine Panerai in 1936, and it is entirely decorated with engraving carried out by hand by expert Italian craftsmen, the designs being inspired by motifs which recur in Florentine iconography.
Like the inlays which adorn the marble facades of the churches of Florence, the engravings, with their lines of fascinating purity, enhance the elegant structure of the case, covering the caseband and the winding crown. The lines created by the skilled hands of the engravers form geometric figures which create a harmonious whole in which details of great symbolic significance stand out, such as the Florentine lily, the emblem of Tuscany’s most important city since the 11thcentury.
Each case requires more than a week of work on the part of one engraver, work that is made particularly demanding by the hardness of the AISI 316L stainless steel. The geometric and floral motifs are first drawn as a temporary outline – using powdered chalk or magnesium powder – and then engraved with a burin. The engraved surfaces are formed of very thin parallel lines which give depth to the design, accentuating the contrasts between light and dark. Any error that the engraver might make as he works with his burin on the case, which is already completed and finished, would irrevocably damage the work already carried out, just as a poorly-aimed blow by a sculptor on a block of marble would mean that the artist had to start his patient work all over again from scratch.
The name of Florence, the city of Officine Panerai’s birth and the inspiration of this unique model, is inscribed on the black dial in characters that are typical of vintage Panerai watches. The dial itself is enhanced by a satiné soleil finish which catches the light and diffuses it, creating fascinating, surprising effects. Like all Panerai models, the luminosity of the dial is increased by its sandwich structure: the light from the luminous material which enables the time to be read at night emerges through holes corresponding to the figures in the upper of the two superimposed discs which form the dial.
The movement of the new Radiomir Firenze is the hand-wound P.3000 calibre, designed and made in the Panerai manufacture in Neuchâtel, and it can be admired through the sapphire glass porthole which is positioned in the centre of the back. The two spring barrels connected in series provide a power reserve of three days and the balance, which is unusually large (13.2 mm in diameter), oscillates at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour (3 Hz). The movement is also fitted with the device which enables the hour hand to be moved when setting the watch without interfering with the running of the minute hand.
Consistent with its origins as a watch originally designed for military use underwater, the new Radiomir Firenze (PAM00604) is water-resistant to ten bar (a depth of about 100 metres) and it is supplied with a black alligator strap with contrasting ecru stitching.
MOVEMENT: Hand-wound mechanical, P.3000 calibre, executed entirely by Panerai.
FUNCTIONS: Hours, minutes.
CASE: 47 mm, AISI 316L brushed steel.
DIAL: Black with luminous Arabic numerals and hour markers.
POWER RESERVE: 72H.
WATER-RESISTANCE: 10 bar (~100 metres).