Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days Acciaio PAM 673: Marina Militare

The PAM 673, Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days Acciaio, houses the P.3000 manual-winding movement in its 47mm case and is water-resistant to 10 bar (approximately 100m). Limited to 1,000 pieces. Photo: © Panerai

The PAM 673, Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days Acciaio, houses the P.3000 manual-winding movement in its 47mm case and is water-resistant to 10 bar (approximately 100m). Limited to 1,000 pieces. Photo: © Panerai

Even though there isn’t any branding on its black dial, seasoned watch collectors will obviously know that this PAM 673 is a Panerai.

The clues being the characteristic case including its crown protection device and the familiar 3, 6, 9 and 12 Arabic fonts. For those with sharper eyes, there is the sandwich dial and the “Marina Militare” inscription.

Marina Militare is Italian and means “Navy” when translated to English. This inscription on the upper half of the dials appeared following the request of the Italian Navy.

Such Panerai’s divers’ wristwatches with the “Marina Militare” inscription on the dials were made exclusively for the Italian Navy from the 1930s to the early 1950s.

There is no branding on the dial. On the upper half, “Marina Militare” is inscribed on this sandwich dial. A domed Plexiglas is used on the front and sapphire crystal is on the case back. Photo: © Panerai

There is no branding on the dial. On the upper half, “Marina Militare” is inscribed on this sandwich dial. A domed Plexiglas is used on the front and sapphire crystal is on the case back. Photo: © Panerai

The 47mm diameter case of this PAM 673 features the same proportions as those produced back in the late 1940s with its elegantly cusped caseband. Similar to its historical version, the dial of the PAM 673 is protected by a domed polymethyl methacrylate, in order words, Plexiglas crystal.

Polymethyl methacrylate or PMMA is a synthetic resin produced from the polymerization of methyl methacrylate. PMMA is a transparent and rigid plastic that is a substitute for glass.

Unlike the historical version, this PAM 673 has an open display case back, protected by sapphire crystal. As such, one can view the brand’s Calibre P.3000 manual-winding movement with three days (72 hours) of power reserve after being fully wound.

Another feature of the P.3000 is its rapid time zone adjustment mechanism. With this one can adjust the time, namely the hour hand only, either forwards or backwards independently without disrupting the running of the minute hand.

The “secret” behind this ability to adjust the hour hand is the star wheel with 12 teeth and a small spring clutch.

Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days Acciaio
PAM00673
Introduced in 2016
Technical Specifications:

• Calibre P.3000 manual-winding movement
• 21,600 vibrations per hour (3Hz)
• 72 hours power reserve
• Diameter of balance wheel: 13.2mm
• Domed Plexiglas protecting the dial
• Black dial with luminous Arabic numerals and hour markers
• 47mm diameter case in AISI 316L polished steel
• Water-resistant to 10 bar (approx. 100m)
• Sapphire crystal case back
• Ponte Vecchio Tuscan leather strap with OP logo imprinted and beige stitching
• Comes with a second rubber strap, a spare Plexiglas crystal, a steel screwdriver and certificate
Limited to 1,000 pieces

Patek Philippe stainless steel Reference 1518: Steel Rare

Patek Philippe Reference 1518 in stainless steel. Made during the 1940s and 1950s, this Reference 1518 is valued at more than CHF3 million and is offered for sale in November 2016 at The Geneva Watch Auction: Four by Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo. Photo: © Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo.

Patek Philippe Reference 1518 in stainless steel. Made during the 1940s and 1950s, this Reference 1518 in steel is valued at more than CHF3 million and is offered for sale in November 2016 at The Geneva Watch Auction: Four by Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo. Photo: © Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo.

Launched in 1941, Patek Philippe’s Reference 1518 became the world’s first perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch produced in series.

Between 1941 and 1954, only 281 pieces of this Reference 1518 were made, the majority of which were in yellow gold.

What came after the Reference 1518 is the Reference 2499 and it is housed in a wider case with fluted lugs.

The dials of the Reference 1518 and Reference 2499 are similar because both are powered by the Calibre 13-ligne Q, highlights J. Michael Mehltretter in his book, Patek Philippe: Cult Object and Investment.

From what we understand, this is the Calibre 13-130, the ebauche by Valjoux and Victorin Piguet & Co. (Vallée de Joux).

However, the Reference 1518 had a 35mm diameter while the Reference 2499 is in a 37.7mm case. The Reference 2499 has a turned case middle and soldered-on band lugs.

The pink gold version of the Reference 1518 is obviously less common than the yellow gold model. According to auctioneer Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo, approximately 44 pieces are known to be in pink gold. Even rarer are the stainless steel models of the Reference 1518.

Why are vintage Patek Philippe watches, notably those with the perpetual calendar complication, housed in stainless steel watchcases particularly rare?

“Stainless steel is by far the rarest case material that Patek Philippe chose to use during the mid-twentieth century for their complicated watches, considering the extremely high value of their movements.

“For many, steel complicated Patek Philippe watches are the ultimate in distinction to collect,” is what auction house Phillips puts it.

“After 40 years of international watch auctions and hundreds of books written on the subject, only four are known to exist. Of the four, three have at some point appeared at auction, with the last one [the last of the three] selling over a decade ago,” according to Phillips.

“The fourth example has never appeared at a public auction, and this is the watch to be offered. This watch, since its rediscovery in the 1990s, has always been exclusively held in private collections.”

This rightly explains why the fourth Reference 1518 will be appearing at the Phillips auction in Geneva in November 2016. It is also clear why Phillips declares this Reference 1518 as the ne plus ultra watch of the 20th century.

In fact, all three versions of the Patek Philippe Reference 1518 will be offered by Phillips.

More significantly, it comes as no big surprise why the Reference 1518 in stainless steel is valued in excess of CHF3 million, way above its “siblings” in pink gold (estimated value between CHF600,000 and CHF1.2 million) and yellow gold (estimated value between CHF250,000 and CHF500,000).