This Radiomir (like many of Officine Panerai’s other models) is in possession of the exact same case that the original watch that the company manufactured in 1938 for the Italian navy. The big difference between this model and its ancestor is that this version has been modified with a highly innovative material. Just glancing at it will alert you that this isn’t your typical Panerai timepiece… More on that in a minute.
This watch, the Radiomir Black Seal Ceramica – 45 mm evokes a sense of nostalgia in any watch collector who knows anything about the history of Panerai’s longtime existence. The company’s lengthy and esteemed entanglements with the Italian Navy has pervaded every watch that Officine Panerai has ever released, and the Black Seal Ceramica is no exception, with its nautical roots most notably obvious in, as mentioned before, its classic throwback of a case. Just looking at it briefly reminds me of the men of the famed Gamma group of the Italian Navy. An undaunted and unrivaled group of soldiers, who, during the Second World War used a slow type of torpedo known as either “SLC’s”, “black seals” or “pigs” for their various strategic maneuvers, the Gamma group are widely respected by history buffs for their skill and bravery.
Since this watch’s original design was used by such active men under such trying situations, its case is undeniably one of the most impermeable cases on the watch market today. The watch’s winding crown and screwed-on back case both serve this function preventing any sort of leakage that could damage the inner workings of such an exquisite time piece.
As a Radiomir (named for the zinc sulphur, radium bromide and mesothorium based luminescent paint on the watch’s face) the watch has impeccable visibility at all times and under any condition, darkness, cloudiness or anything other sort of varying extremes. Like most Panerais this watch is durable, stylish and very classical.
Now to what makes this piece so special… The material that this watch’s case is made from. Known as zirconium oxide ceramic, this beautiful black material is a high-tech zirconium oxide powder that contains 3% binder and also selected coloring pigments. Officine Panerai’s decision to use this radical and high-tech material comes as no surprise, with the company constantly taking design risks to spruce up their already well tested base models. This technical experimentation is something that Officine Panerai has always strived for and presumably always will. This zirconium oxide powder is worked using an isostatic technique that naturally enhances the material’s extreme strength and resistance to extreme temperatures and corrosion.
This Panerai model is unmistakable and simply stunning with its glossy black sheen. As all of the watches we profile here at DaLuca, it would look remarkable bound to your wrist with any of a number of our custom, handmade watch straps. Take a peek at our store link and tell us which of our products you think would match up best with the Ceramica!