Panerai Radiomir 8 Days.
EIGHT DAYS OF POWER FOR THE MOST CONTEMPORARY RADIOMIR.
Text ) Christophe Persoz, Watchmaker
The Radiomir collection is enhanced by the 8 Days model, using an innovative movement which once more reaffirms the philosophy of Officine Panerai, firmly based on functional simplicity achieved through Haute Horlogerie solutions. This is a return to the past, with the representation in a modern key of a mechanism which Officine Panerai has already experimented with, the hand-wound 8-day movement. The calibre used in the 1940s was the Angelus, while the new model from Officine Panerai has a Jaeger-LeCoultre base.
The complexity of the Radiomir 8 Days is the result of many factors. The case is 45 millimetres in diameter and consists of three parts; it is fitted with the patented slim wire loop strap attachments which provide the maximum resistance and reliability. The roundness of the caseband, with curved planes intersecting where the diameter is greatest, requires numerous operations, carried out by only the most expert craftsmen, since the smallest mistake in the polishing operation would irreparably damage the pleasing convexity of the watch.
The screwed back and crown ensure waterresistance to 100 metres, a degree of watertightness that is important for a piece which combines sporting qualities with elegance. Its unique style is reinforced by a leather strap with an over-sized buckle, the trapezoid design of which is inspired by that of the earliest models created by Officine Panerai. This horological adventure began in 1938 with the Radiomir made to order for the Royal Italian Navy, and the design returned in the late 1990s, since when the production of this model has been planned to meet the demands of the public of enthusiasts, searching for pieces distinguished by a strong, sought-after personality.
The debut of the Radiomir range of Officine Panerai’s latest historical phase dates back to 1997, with a model created a limited platinum edition with a period Rolex movement. This piece is highly sought-after by collectors and sells for very high prices at international auction sales. In its turn the Radiomir 8 Days is distinguished by its prestigious mechanical movement: the Panerai OP XIV calibre is actually based on the JLC 1877 calibre, a hand-wound movement with a power reserve of eight days, a duration now considered standard for currently produced top-of-the-range watches. The finish of the movement is reinforced by its Côtes de Genève decoration, as well as by its burnished blued screws. A peculiarity is the unusual positioning of the graduated scale indicating the power reserve, which is fitted on a bridge of the movement and therefore visible through the sapphire glass porthole on the back of the watch.
The dial of the Radiomir 8 Days is made using the technique employed by Panerai for its early watches: it is a sandwich dial, in that it consists of two superimposed discs, the upper one being perforated, while the lower one is covered with luminous material. The small seconds dial is at 9 o’clock, in accordance with the traditional Officine Panerai positioning.