With Panerai Registration and service booklet dated 25 November 1994, original fitted wooden presentation box.
This "Luminor Marina" 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 was the first PVD coated military wristwatch ever available to the public. 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.