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

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

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