Photo Essay: The Rare Panerai Mare Nostrum

Ming Thein
September 16, 2011
Photo Essay: The Rare Panerai Mare Nostrum

Here’s something you don’t see every day! I was recently lucky enough to have some lens time with this rare beauty: a pre-Vendome Officine Panerai Mare Nostrum chronograph. Only 500 were made. I recall having the opportunity to purchase one for not that much money in the early 00s; like everybody else in that position, I’m now kicking myself. It’s a simple, functional timepiece with trademark Panerai legibility, but some interesting twists like that unusual crown, which not only lacks the locking guard, but is also rather curiously shaped. (It winds well, though). The watch is powered by a manual wind ETA 2801-2 with a Dubois-Depraz 3217 chronograph module; these were (and are still) notorious for being quite sensitive and finicky. In fact, this particular timepiece recently returned from a service to rectify precisely that chronograph problem.

Enjoy the photographs! As always, clicking on an image will link to a larger version.


For the curious, the clock that appears in the background is a 1950’s GUB deck chronometer.

_7047519 copy

_7047347 copy

_7047439 copy

_7047418 copy

_7047468 copy

_7047421 copy

_7047525 copy

_7047410 copy
As you can see, those screws can sometimes prove tricky…

_7047389 copy

_7047373 copy

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