By TLex Yes, at 52mm this is a big boy, but thanks to its Titanium construction, the gorgeous new Mare Nostrum Ti AKA PAM00603 should still be pretty wearable (I’d certainly rock one). The Mare Nostrom in fact was first made by Officine Panerai in 1943 for the deck officers of the Royal Italian Navy and has been released as part of its 2015 Special Editions collection in a series of just 150 pieces.
The name ‘Mare Nostrum’ comes from Latin and means ‘Our Sea’, a reference to the Mediterranean sea from the times of the Roman Empire. Many centuries after; between 1941 and 1942, there was a short period when Italy spoke again of ‘Mare Nostrum’: this was during the Second World War, when the victorious missions of the Royal Italian Navy meant that for a short time a wide area of the Mediterranean Sea was controlled by the Italian fleet.
In 1943, the Panerai family created a chronograph for the deck officers of the Royal Italian Navy and called it ‘Mare Nostrum’, a name that had already been used by Guido Panerai in 1924 for what was likely the first Panerai chronograph. Sadly, all traces of this first chrono have been lost.
However a few prototypes of the 1943 chronograph do still exist; these were used so that the 2010 STEEL Mare Nostrum and the new Titanium version could be reconstructed with great technical accuracy and with similar aesthetic characteristics. The new Mare Nostrum Titanio is a Special Edition consisting of only 150 watches. It faithfully reproduces the 1943 model while updating it to the highest standards of today’s high-end watch-making and with some fundamental differences compared to the original.
The first difference compared to the vintage watch is the material from which the large 52mm in diameter case is made from. The metal used for the tonneau-shaped case is not steel but brushed Titanium, a material which combines excellent non-allergenic properties and greater lightness than steel with the structural toughness needed to resist high pressure, external stresses and corrosion.
The wide flat bezel, the screwdown caseback and the winding crown
engraved with the words ‘Mare Nostrum’ are all made of brushed Titanium.
Water-resistance is however is only 3 bars, the equivalent depth of
just 30 meters despite the structual toughness of Titanium mentioned before :(
The chronograph functions are controlled by two classic
chrono-pushers, also made of brushed Titanium, and the readings are
indicated by the central seconds hand and by a sub-minutes counter dial
at three o’clock. The continuous seconds hand rotates in a sub-dial at nine o’clock.
Protected by a Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment, the
dial is made in two levels and, instead of the dark green of the vintage
model, it is a sophisticated tobacco brown, to match the
brown leather strap and its ecru stitching.
The new version of the Mare Nostrum has a hand-wound manufacture
movement: the OP XXV caliber developed on a Minerva 13-22 base; it is
12¾ lignes in diameter and has a balance wheel making 18,000 vibrations
per hour, like the Angelus movement of the vintage prototype. This is a
high quality watch-making caliber, hand-finished, with top-of-the-range
technical details such as the column wheel and the swan neck regulator.
The bridges are made of Maillechort, a nickel silver alloy that is
particularly hard to work, and they have a sophisticated Côtes de Genève