If you are a Panerai lover, you probably recognize this watch. That’s because it is the third iteration of the Mare Nostrum, dating back to the early days of Panerai. The Mare Nostrum was the first chronograph ever produced by Panerai, first created in 1943 for the Italian Navy. The design was later revived in 1993 as the first re-edition, the reference 5218-301/A, which was in production until 1997. The watch you see here is almost exactly like that 1993 re-edition, though with a few small updates.
This watch starts with a 42mm AISI 316L stainless steel case, just like the 1993 edition, with round chronograph pushers, and a tachymeter bezel calibrated to 60 Km/h. The very first Mare Nostrum measured in at a whopping 52mm, so there is a quite a difference here, and it makes the watch, you know, actually wearable. The dial, which is also quite attractive, has two different colored accents: bright white for the signature and the two registers, and beige SuperLuminova (with a slight faux-patina vibe) for the indexes, Arabic numerals, and hands.
Panerai chose to use the same movement as the pre-Vendome edition, the caliber OP XXXIII, which is based on an ETA 2801-2 with a Dubois-Dépraz chronograph module. It is COSC-certified and has a power reserve of 42 hours.
It’s pretty cool that Panerai has stuck to the archives for this watch. It’s an attractive piece that will likely be a hit with new and old Panerai collectors alike. The latest is being produced in a series of 1,000 pieces and comes in a wooden box that is shaped like the Luigi Durand De La Penne, an Italian Navy destroyer ship from the era of the original Mare Nostrum.
The watch retails for $10,200 and you can read more about it by visiting Panerai online.