Officine Panerai Radiomir Composite Marina Militare 8 Giorni PAM00339

Officine Panerai presented a number of new pieces at SIHH in Palexpo, Geneva this week. Among them, one of my favourites, the Officine Panerai Radiomir Composite Marina Militare 8 Giorni - PAM00339.

Released in a limited edition of just 1000 examples, this Radiomir exudes classic Panerai simplicity, evoking the memory of early models and mounted on a vintage leather hand-stitched strap, yet it marks a new milestone in materials technology. The silky 47mm case is constructed in a remarkable composite, new to watchmaking and developed by Panerai, which is harder than stainless steel, titanium and even conventional ceramics. Composed of ceramisised aluminium, the material is the result of an elaborate electrochemical process and is lighter and more durable than any other used by the manufacture to date.

The Militaire models have historically been official issue to the Italian Navy since the 1940s and nowadays only appear in limited numbers at intervals of several years, making them highly sought after and collectable.

The signature sandwich dial, a deep brown like the case, features small seconds at the 9 o'clock position and the 8 Giorni Brevatto legend at the 3, denoting the eight-day power reserve available from the fully in-house P.2002/7 Calibre manual-wound mechanical movement.

As the pursuit for futuristic materials remorselessly pushes forward, it is really nice to see a tasteful application of old and new technology as one, and Panerai have nailed it with the Radiomir Composite Marina Militare 8 Giorni.