Panerai. A very rare PVD-coated stainless steel limited edition cushion-shaped military diver's wristwatch with original certificate and box


Panerai. A very rare PVD-coated stainless steel limited edition cushion-shaped military diver's wristwatch with original certificate and box
Signed Panerai, Luminor Marina Militare, Officine Panerai Firenze, Ref. 5218-202/A, no. 0088, movement no. 3126, case no. 6047, manufactured in 1994
Cal. UT 6497 nickel-finished anti-magnetic lever movement, 17 jewels, Glucydur balance, black "sandwich" dial, luminous baton and Arabic numerals, luminous hands, large cushion-shaped water-resistant-type case, screw back, crown protecting bridge, large stainless steel Panerai buckle, case, dial and movement signed
44 mm. wide

Brought to you by

Dr. Nathalie Monbaron
Dr. Nathalie Monbaron

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Lot Essay

With Panerai Registration and service booklet dated 13 July 1994 and original fitted wooden presentation box.

This Luminor Marina Militare wristwatch is one of the exceedingly rare and highly collectible so-called "Pre-Vendôme" models.

The celebrated manufacture Officine Panerai, founded in 1860 by Giovanni Panerai, had been supplying diving instruments and equipment followed by watches to the Italian Navy since the late 19th century.

Panerai's precision devices, notably compasses, manometers and watches, were supplied to Italian Naval forces, hence the designation "Marina Militare", later followed by naval forces of other countries, but were never sold publicly.

In 1993, while still belonging to the Panerai family, Officine Panerai re-issued a watch originally developed in the 1930s for the Italian Navy. Based on the original drawings of the "Panerai Radiomir" watch, the Luminor Marina Militare was the first PVD coated military wristwatch ever available to the public. The model was made in an exceedingly small series of only 140 examples as well as 10 prototypes.
The watches were fitted with the hand-wound, anti-magnetic ETA UT 6497 movement, 44 mm. black PVD coated stainless steel case, case back engraved with the "OP" arrow logo, reference and serial numbers, "sandwich" dial, large PVD coated buckle also featuring the "OP" logo sewn into the leather strap.

Physical Vapour Deposition or PVD coating has been used for decades primarily in military applications because of their outstanding wear resistant properties. It is easily distinguishable by its black matte, gun metal or stealth appearance.

Following the acquisition of Panerai by the Vendôme Luxury Group (now Richemont Group) in 1997, several details on the watches produced thereafter were modified. Most notably the "OP" logo which was discontinued, rendering the early models highly coveted collector's pieces.

The present "Pre-Vendôme" Luminor Marina Militare, No. 88 of the limited series of 140 examples, is preserved in like new condition, still retaining the original "OP" Panerai leather strap, PVD coated buckle, wooden box with oval steel plate engraved with the "OP" Panerai logo and the Registration and Service booklet.

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