The Panerai Radiomir 323 10 Days GMT

The Panerai Radiomir 323 10 Days GMT

Postby koimaster » January 3rd 2013, 9:22am

Panerai has a rich history that begins in Florence, Italy in 1860, where Giovanni Panerai first opened a small retailer that sold up-market pocket watches. It was his son Guido who took the business in the direction of mechanical engineering and secured contracts with the Royal Italian Navy to build wrist worn-diving equipment like compasses and depth gauges. The company's first breakthrough was the development of the process to create luminous markings, a material dubbed Radiomir. This allowed peak underwater visibility for Italian divers and was instrumental in building watches for the Italian Frogmen, who often found themselves underwater at night.

In 1935, Panerai approached Rolex to help them build a complete diving watch for these Frogmen. With the nighttime visibility problem bested, the only additional requirements were that this watch be big and ultimately waterproof. The resulting watches were quite effective, and helped further develop technology to produce what we now call luminescence as well as water tight cases. By all accounts, there were less than 1000 of these Panerai Rolex watches produced, and as you might imagine, they command a small fortune when they come to auction. Nevermind that the Radiomir used to light the dials happens to be highly radioactive (see #88 on your periodic table). Nevertheless, this nomenclature remains Panerai today, and graces of the dial of the very 323 that I am reviewing here. For more on Panerai's history, click here.


http://www.hodinkee.com/blog/a-week-on-the-wrist-panerai-323-radiomir-10-days-gmt



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