The Panerai Luminor Black Seal and Luminor Daylight Special Edition Set
Panerai Luminor Black Seal and Luminor Daylight
Special Edition Set
Between 1993, when the brand was officially relaunched, and 1996, Officine Panerai has made more or less 2500 timepieces and 12 models, mainly Luminor Marina and Mare Nostrum, both prototypes and standard production watches. It is all about highly sought after watches especially those references the brand from Florence made to order for Sylvester Stallone, a Panerai enthusiast and spontaneous brand ambassador, to film his movie "Daylight".
Two references out of those twelve, namely the Panerai Luminor Black Seal 5218-218/A and the Panerai Luminor Slytech Daylight 5218-207/A, may be regarded as true “collector's watches” since they represent two of the most eagerly sought after “modern” Panerai. So highly sought after to push Panerai, in preserving its roots and listening to its fans' suggestions, to satisfy them by offering two new remakes. This is what has happened in these days approaching Watches and Wonders, a watch fair that takes place in Hong Kong, a place where they simply love Panerai.
Panerai has come with a reference, called PAM0078, that identifies not just one but two watches included into a special box that brings along a scaled down Slow-Speed torpedo or SLC (siluro a lenta corsa) and a publication about the history of the Italian Navy equipment. By opening the box you find two watches, the Panerai Luminor Black Seal 8 Days Acciaio DLC – 44mm and the Panerai Luminor Daylight 8 Days Acciaio – 44mm, that have, in common with their precursors, just a 44mm wide case and the dials, black or white and their design. The 1996 Panerai Luminor Black Seal ref 5218-218/A is PVD coated, while the Panerai Luminor Black Seal PAM00785 is DLC coated. The old ones were equipped with a Unitas 6497 manual wind caliber ensuring a 45 hours of power reserve and a frequency of 2,5Hz.
The 2014 twins adopt the in-house P5000 manual wind caliber, entirely conceived and assembled in Neuchatel, where the brand's R&D is based, that is a modern caliber with a double-barrel for a total of 8 days of Power Reserve, frequency of 3Hz, Glucydur balance wheel and KIF Parechoc antishock device. Black dial, Arabic numerals and indexes for the Black Seal, white dial and just Arabic numerals for the Daylight.
The 90's Panerai Luminor Black Seal ref 5218-218/A and Panerai Luminor Slytech Daylight ref 5218-207/A were custom made for Sylvester Stallone, as you can get from the Slytech Panerai lettering at 6, at a time when Panerai was just a small Florence atelier to produce luxury military watches for the chosen few. Today Panerai is an industry. Their dial was a T-Dial, meaning their indexes were covered with Tritium, just before it had to be replaced with the Super-Luminova. Tritium, as I wrote already elsewhere and enthusiasts are aware of, changes its color over time (even more on a "Non-Matching" dial where there's an evident difference in color between indexes and hands) and becomes yellowish which converts any normal production timepiece in something quite unique: the end result is priceless to a collector's eyes and according to the price many collectors are willing to pay to own one.
The Panerai PAM00758 is a bit different and is not to be regarded as just a re-edition of a couple of holy grail watches from the past, otherwise it will result in just any marketing operation out there while, instead, as the opportunity to revamp design and details "paneristi" love from the past and apply them to the modern collection, such as the OP logo on the solid case back and the tang buckle which, if you look carefully, is a bit different from the stock Luminor Marina's, especially when it comes to the central pin's geometry that is thinner and longer on the PAM00758.
We added this article to our “Collecting Watches” column and did it right as the PAM00758 set will be produced in just 500 pieces, but is it going to be a true “Collector's Item”? It will depend on the price tag of this box, which is overall nice and with a lot of stuff to feed a Panerai addict but that in recent times has grown too much after Panerai widely adopting manufactured calibers on its collections. In recent times vice-versa, some models featuring an in-house movement have not met with the same success as their predecessors with sourced calibers. The Radiomir California PAM448 for example features the amazing caliber P3000 but it is less sought after than the first ever California LE PAM 249. While we wait for the official price to be released any way and in order to complete my evaluation, I can just talk about the pros of these two models that are many, with the Black Seal sitting in pole position in my wish list thanks to its military look and its unique indexes color where Panerai has been able to reproduce the same yellow you may find on a T-Dial.
(Photo credit: Google; courtesy of Panerai)
Gaetano C. @Horbiter - Watches & Luxury