In 2017, Officine Panerai introduced Radiomir 3 Days Acciaio 47mm (PAM00721). That reference isn’t only a limited edition featuring the codes displayed on Panerai’s first watches, but it is as well a timepiece commemorating part of the brand’s history, that of World War II.
In the early 40s, the German Navy asked their Italian allies to teach them the techniques in use by the Italian swimmers hit squad. This is how in 1943, around 200 Germans from the Lehrkommando 700 joined the Gruppo Gamma, a special unit of the Decima Flottiglia MAS, in Valdagno, Veneto, to be trained as hit men.
Because of a shortage of coal used to heat the pool where the soldiers were training, in 1944 the Germans moved to the Sylt island in the North Sea. This is where a special force was formed, named Keller, with the mission to sabotage the bridges used by the Russians for replenishment.
The German Kampfschwimmer (frogmen) where equipped with the same technical instruments as the Italians – supplied by Guido Panerai e Figlio – which included a compass and a watch. The timepiece in question is the 3646 reference without the Radiomir Panerai writing on the dial, later nicknamed “Nazi”.
During the period spent on the Sylt island, some of the German soldiers engraved the word Kampfschwimmer, the year 1945, their personal initials, and the names of the Einsatzgruppe and Keller groups on the casebacks of their watches. These unique engravings were made with a modified razor provided by a local watchmaker.
The new Radiomir 3 Days PAM00721 directly brings us back to that moment in history and to the 3646. That special edition, limited to only 1.000 watches, comes with a cushion case made of 47-mm polished steel, and a black sandwich dial with luminous Arabic numerals and hour markers. The purity of the case and the dial’s great readability are completed by a plexiglas crystal.
On the back, through the see-through sapphire crystal you can see the P.3000 calibre, hand-wound with a power reserve of 72 hours. Waterproof up to 100 meters, the watch comes with a brown leather strap with beige stitching and buckle latch.
Finally, the Panerai 3 Days Acciaio 47mm (PAM00721) comes with a box made of pear wood, in which you can find a second plexiglas crystal, a personalized certificate featuring the Special Edition’s serial number, and a rare booklet on the military equipment in use by the special troops of the Regina Marina Italiana. (Price € 8.900)