The Panerai Radiomir 1940 is one of the most popular classic military watches. These iconic diving watches were originally developed for the Italian navy. Top models are made of gold and have a 10-day power reserve.
The Radiomir 1940 series pays tribute to the diving watches Panerai created for the Italian navy in the 1940s. Each timepiece has a cushion-shaped case made of stainless steel, titanium, yellow gold, or ceramic. The company builds their calibers in the Swiss city of Neuchâtel. Certain movements come with impressive complications, such as a GMT function or 10-day power reserve.
Unlike the rest of the Radiomir collection, 1940 models feature traditional lugs crafted from the same block of metal as the case. The different Panerai Radiomir 1940 models range from 42 to 49 mm in diameter.
One of the rarest Radiomir 1940 watches bears the reference number PAM00399. This timepiece is highly coveted among collectors and requires a large financial investment. This is also true of the PAM 398 in rose gold. Both the 398 and 399 had limited runs of 100 pieces.
The ref. PAM00657 is yet another interesting model. It boasts a GMT function and 3-day power reserve.
|Model||Price new (approx.)||Features|
|Radiomir 1940, ref. PAM00514||6,300 USD||Automatic caliber P.3000 with a 3-day power reserve|
|Radiomir 1940 3 Days Automatic Acciaio, ref. PAM00657||9,200 USD||3-day power reserve, automatic, GMT function, small seconds|
|Radiomir 1940 3 Days Automatic Acciaio, ref. PAM00933||11,500 USD||3-day power reserve, blue dial, small seconds|
|Radiomir 1940, ref. PAM00399||22,500 USD||Extremely rare, limited to 100 pieces, manual caliber OB XXVII|
|Radiomir 1940 Oro Rosso, ref. PAM00398||41,000 USD||Limited to 100 pieces, 18-karat gold case, manual caliber OP XXVII|
The ref. PAM00514 is a relatively inexpensive entry point into the Radiomir 1940 series. This 47-mm watch has a polished stainless steel case that is water-resistant to 100 m (10 bar, 328 ft). Panerai equips this timepiece with the in-house caliber P.3000. It has central hour and minute hands, a small seconds at 9 o'clock, and a date display at 3. The P.3000 features 21 jewels and ticks at a frequency of 21,600 alternations per hour (A/h), which is equal to 3 Hz. A sapphire glass case back offers a view of the movement at work.
The black sandwich dial has Arabic numerals at 6 and 12 o'clock, with line indices marking the other hours. This kind of dial is comprised of two overlapping discs. The lower disc is coated in SuperLuminova, while the upper disc features cut-outs for the indices and numerals. This allows the luminous material beneath to shine through. Panerai mounts this model on a brown leather strap with a pin buckle and white stitching. Prices for a new timepiece sit around 6,300 USD. You can save about 1,100 USD by purchasing a pre-owned watch.
The Radiomir 1940 ref. PAM00657 comes with a GMT function and 3-day power reserve. The Panerai caliber P.4001 powers this timepiece. This movement features an off-center micro-rotor that swings in both directions. It also has 31 jewels and a balance frequency of 28,800 A/h (or 4 Hz). A pair of double barrels lends this timepiece its 3-day power reserve.
There are central hands for the hours and minutes. An additional central hand shows the time in a second time zone. The subdial at 9 o'clock serves as both the small seconds and an AM/PM indicator, while the date display sits across the dial at 3 o'clock. SuperLuminova indices and Arabic numerals at 6, 9, and 12 o'clock shine against a dark brown dial with vertical stripes. The stainless steel case is water-resistant to 100 m (10 bar, 328 ft) and 45 mm in diameter. Its lugs sit 24 mm apart. Sapphire glass protects both sides of this timepiece. The PAM 657 comes on a brown leather strap with white stitching. Prices for this model range from 8,000 to 9,200 USD.
Panerai presented the ref. PAM00933 in 2018. This timepiece is limited to a run of 388 pieces. At 42 mm in diameter, it's relatively small by Panerai standards. The caliber P.4000 powers this timepiece and is nearly identical to the GMT caliber P.4001. Thanks to its double barrels and bidirectional micro-rotor, this movement has a 72-hour power reserve.
The PAM 933 has hour and minute hands, along with a small seconds at 9 o'clock. The blue sunburst dial has the same line indices typical of the Radiomir collection, as well as Arabic numerals at 3, 6, 9, and 12 o'clock. Like many Radiomir models, it features a classic sandwich dial design. The stainless steel case has sapphire glass on both its front and back sides and is water-resistant to 100 m (10 bar, 328 ft). Panerai pairs this watch with a blue leather strap with white stitching. Never-worn pieces sell for roughly 11,500 USD, while pre-owned editions demand about 8,700 USD.
Only 100 copies exist of the ref. PAM00399. As a result, it is one of the most expensive Radiomir 1940 models. Panerai outfits this timepiece with the exclusive manual caliber OP XXVII. This movement powers the central hour and minute hands, as well as the small seconds at 9 o'clock. It contains 24 jewels and ticks at a frequency of 18,000 A/h (2.5 Hz). Fully wound, the OP XXVII has a power reserve of 55 hours. The black sandwich dial has luminous line indices. The Arabic numerals at 3, 6, and 12 o'clock also glow in the dark. Plexiglass protects the dial from the elements. The 47-mm case is made of polished stainless steel and is water-resistant to 30 m (3 bar, 98 ft). This means you can leave your watch on while washing your hands, but should take it off before going for a swim. Panerai mounts the case on a 26-mm-wide brown leather strap with white stitching.
If you'd like to call one of these limited edition timepieces your own, be sure to have around 22,500 USD on hand for a new watch and 18,000 USD for a pre-owned version. The ref. PAM00398 is technologically identical to the 399; however, its case is made of 18-karat rose gold. This timepiece is also limited to a run of 100 pieces and costs some 41,000 USD.
In 2019, Panerai added four new models to the 1940 series. These timepieces are known as the Radiomir Edizione Verde Militare (Italian for "green military edition"). Each model has a matte green sandwich dial and indices coated in honey-colored SuperLuminova.
The PAM00999 with a GMT function is the perfect watch for frequent travelers. Its polished stainless steel case is 45 mm in diameter and water-resistant to 100 m (10 bar, 328 ft). The automatic caliber P.4002 powers this timepiece. The movement has a decentralized rotor, two barrels, and a 3-day power reserve. Three central hands display the hours, minutes, and time in a second time zone. There's also a date display at 3 o'clock, a power reserve indicator at 5, and a dual small seconds and AM/PM indicator at 9. This watch comes on a brown leather strap with white stitching and has a list price of 12,200 USD.
Other than its lack of a power reserve indicator, the ref. PAM00998 is nearly identical to the PAM 999. Panerai equips this timepiece with a version of the caliber P.4002. The final watch is mounted on a light brown strap with white stitching. The list price for this model sits at 12,000 USD.
The ref. PAM00995 also has a 45-mm case in polished stainless steel. The in-house caliber P.4000 ticks away inside this timepiece and powers its central hour and minute hands, as well as the small seconds dial at 9 o'clock. Like the PAM00988, a brown leather strap with white stitching holds this watch securely on the wrist. Its official list price comes in at 11,200 USD.
The case of the ref. PAM00997 is made of solid black ceramic. It's 48 mm in diameter and water-resistant to 100 m (10 bar, 328 ft). Panerai outfits this model with the manual caliber P.3000. This movement provides the watch with its central hour and minute hands and a small seconds dial at 9 o'clock. Panerai pairs the PAM 997 with a black leather strap with white stitching. This timepiece has a list price of 13,300 USD.
The Radiomir California ref. PAM00424 is a great alternative to the Radiomir 1940. This model has been in production since 2014. Unlike the 1940 series, this timepiece has narrow wire loop lugs and a conical crown. Its stainless steel case is 47 mm in diameter, water-resistant to 100 m (10 bar, 328 ft), and has sapphire glass on both sides. As its name suggests, this watch has a California dial, which means it combines Arabic and Roman numerals. Each hour marker is coated in SuperLuminova. The in-house caliber P.3000 provides energy to the central hour and minute hands, which also glow in the dark. You can purchase a never-worn model for around 6,000 USD. Pre-owned pieces cost slightly less at about 5,700 USD.
The stainless steel, 42-mm Luminor Marina ref. PAM01028 is water-resistant to 100 m (10 bar, 328 ft). Its power comes from the in-house caliber P.9010. There are central hands for the hours and minutes, as well as a small seconds at 9 and a date display at 3 o'clock. This model comes on a stainless steel bracelet and demands some 7,500 USD new.
There's also the popular Radiomir Black Seal 3 Days Automatic ref. PAM00754. The 45-mm watch has the words "Black Seal" inscribed on its dial. In terms of price, this model is a relatively affordable entry point to the Radiomir collection.
You'll find other interesting alternatives in the Luminor collection. These models are also based on classic military diving watches. One of their most distinctive features is the prominent crown-protecting bridge, which helps keep the crown securely in place.