Ceramic is a material characterized by a combination of metal and non-metal atoms. Known and used by man for centuries, it can also be produced artificially through simple processes or extremely sophisticated methods, which allow high-performance materials to be synthesized.
In the field of watchmaking, some types of ceramic like synthetic sapphire or rubies(both varieties of Aluminium Oxide-AI203) have already been in use for some time as they satisfy specific requirements of hardness and reliability. In addition, ceramic has established itself as one of the most interesting and successful materials for the creation of cases and other watch components traditionally made for metal.
Panerai Composite is the new material introduced into fine watchmaking for the first time by Officine Panerai. Employed up until now in the aeronautic industry and for the creation of automotive and motocycle components that require a particularly high level of performance. Panerai Composite is obtained through an electrochemical process of ceramization of the aluminium, resulting in a material with unique features.
Characteristics and Performance
Panerai Composite is a material harder and lighter than the ceramics commonly used in watchmaking to manufacture cases(zirconia), but is also harder than metals such as aluminium, steel and titanium.
These characteristics make Panerai Composite an idea material for the creation of watch cases as it guarantees comfort, great aesthetic qualities - it can be synthesized in various colours, resistance to knocks, scratches and high temperatures.
Furthermore, Panerai Composite is ductile, allowing for complex geometries and processing, and is inert, so it does not change its structure or appearance over time.
The Ceramization Process
The ceramization process of aluminium leading to the synthesis of Panerai Composite is not similar to any other techniques currently in use in the watchmaking industry. In traditional coating processes, in fact, layers of ceramic dust are applied onto metal and only the topmost surface of the case is involved in the process itself.
With Panerai Composite, the aluminium cases are immersed in a chemical bath where, thanks to a conductive liquid and to the electricity which generates extremely high temperatures(up to 10,000℃), the metal undergoes an electrochemical process that profoundly modifies its structure while still allowing it to remain faithful to the original geometry. The result of this process depends on many factors, including the solution used, the immersion times, the material and the shape of the piece being worked on.
Before being mounted on a Panerai watch, each case undergoes finishing and is put through a series of tests that certify its aesthetic and technical qualities. The result is a material that is extremely homogeneous, solid. Of matt appearance and solt to the touch.
The entire ceramization process is totally environment-friendly: the only working residue is, in fact, the hydrogen which separates from the oxygen molecules that become integrated into the case.
Radiomir Composite Marina Militare 8 Giorni - 47mm
The new Radiomir Composite Marina Militare 8 Giorni 47mm introduces itself by showing the two most authentic sides of Officine Panerai: state-of-the-art technological innovation and a deep-rooted history.
The material used for the case is truly innovative in the field of fine watchmaking: the Panerai composite is a material whose features and performance are exceptional, being practically immutable over time. The result of an electrochemical process of ceramization of the aluminium, this material is harder than the ceramics normally used for cases in watchmaking(zirconia), and also harder than metals like steel and titanium, as well as being lighter. Thanks to its qualities of ductility and reliability, the Panerai composite allows for complex and extremely precise workings and is the result of processes that, up to now, were employed in the creation of components for the aeronautic industry and for car and motocycle races requiring the highest levels of performance.
From the aesthetic viewpoint, the Radiomir Composite Marina Militare 8 Giorni 47mm has a mono-colour look: the matt, deep brown of the 47mm Radiomir case and of the crown are in tune with the brown of the dial and strap in vintage leather. The stitching of the strap is a reminder of the ecru color of the Super-LumiNova on the hands and the other elements of the "sandwich" dial: indexes and numerals, small-seconds dial at 9 o'clock, the words Marina Militare and Panerai and the second dial with the inscription 8 giorni brevettato, deriving directly from the historic models.
The movement of the new Radiomir Composite Marina Militare 8 Giorni 47mm is the P.2002/7 Calibre, entirely developed and built by Officine Panerai. Hand wound and with a 13¾ lignes diameter, the movement is made up of 191 components and has three barrels ensuring a long power reserve of around 8 days, a traditional feature of Panerai watches since the 1940s.
The Radiomir Composite Marina Militare 8 Giorni 47mm PAM00339 is a special editon of 1000 watches that pays homage to the historic link with the Italian Navy, to which Panerai was a specialised supplier. This is not the first watch Officine Panerai has dedicated to this alliance. Indeed, in the past it created special limited editions like the Luminor Marina Militare in 1998 and the Panerai Luminor Marina Militare in 2005.
Specifications of Radiomir Composite Marina Militare 8 Giorni 47mm
Movement: Hand-wound mechanical, Panerai P.2002/7 calibre, executed entirely by Panerai, 13¾ lignes, 6.6mm, 21 jewels, Glucydur balance, 28,800 alternations/hour. KIF Parechoc anti-shock device. Power reserve 8 days, three barrels. 191 components.
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds.
Case: Diameter 47mm, brown Panerai composite material, with removable wire loop strap attachments(patented). Winding crown personalized Panerai.
Bezel: Panerai composite material.
Back: Panerai composite material.
Dial: Brown with luminous Arabic and Roman numerals and hour markers. Small seconds at 9 o'clock.
Crystal: Sapphire, formed of corundum, 1.9mm thick. Anti-reflective coating.
Water-resistance: 10 bar(100 metres).
Strap: Panerai personalised leather strap and large-size brown Panerai composite material.