It's called "Mare Nostrom", meaning "Our Sea", though at a first glance it is not even vaguely pelagic - and with a water resistance of just 30 metres it is not exactly built to withstand the depths.... yet there is much to admire in the plain beauty of the new Panerai Mare Nostrum Titanium watch.
In 1943 Officine Panerai designed a prototype for the Italian Navy - a functional chronograph for use on deck and not for covert missions beneath the sea. The new Panerai Mare Nostrum Titanium takes design inspiration from this vintage rarety, replicating its aesthetics to produce an authentic but modern edition.
It is no secret that Panerai enthusiasts love this sort of retro stuff, all the better if its a small series edition like this one - and the combination of rich brown dial coupled with brushed titanium makes it particularly pleasing on the eye and light on the wrist, even if it does measure an ample 52mm across.
Back in the day, the inclusion of chronograph pushers meant that water resistance would be compromised, hence the restrictive 30 metres of water resistance of this model. And, even though the OPXXV calibre has been given some very fine finishing, Panerai have stubbornly stayed true to the original and have covered the craftsmanship with a screw-in back.
The two-level dial adds depth, the broad brushed bezel adds girth and the gentle patinaed effect of the indications hints at it origins. The mechanically modern hand-wound movement has all the tricks - Glucydur balance, Incabloc anti-shock capabilities plus a column-wheel chronograph with swan-neck regulator. Power reserve is to 55 hours.
Even though retrospective limited editions are beginning to be singled out for criticism (as an easy way not to make "new" things), I have to say that this Panerai Mare Nostrom Titanium, limited to just 150 pieces is splendid indeed.
More details at Panerai.