Every watch brand with an illustrious history has experimented with their watches over their years to be the first to push the envelope and be the first to bring in that something new. And every once in a while, we get a glimpse into that world, when a piece of horology history comes into the public eye.
A recent such event was when an extremely rare and very attractive titanium experimental prototype Panerai diver's wristwatch went under the hammer at Christie's. Perk up for this news, Paneristis...the watch wasn't the only thing. It came with three framed limited edition prints of technical drawings of the watch, signed by former chief of Officine Panerai's mechanical engineering department and drawing room, Alessandro Bettarini.
The watch itself was accompanied by a letter, dated 16 May 2014 and signed by Bettarini, which certified that it was one of eight experimental prototype watches (four each in titanium and bronze) that were designed for the Divers Corps in the Italian Navy in a project that was launched in 1985, with the last prototype being manufactured in 1988. This piece also came with Bettarini's "Documento di Manutenzione" (Service Document), signed by him, confirming the inspection and cleaning of the watch, during which Mr. Bettarini also hand-engraved his signature on the inside of the case back.
This watch has a dial with a metal disk with pins for movement and a plexiglass disk which is painted, engraved and filled with phosphors, in keeping with the process followed at Officine Panerai at that time. The three limited edition prints are Bettarini's original drawings from 1983 and '84 for the titanium prototype, like this prototype Panerai piece. From a set of only 20 pieces in this edition, these auctioned prints were the ones numbered 1/20.
The man who got his hands on this piece and those prints is a lucky man indeed and will be the envy of Paneristis everywhere! To get the whole story on this watch and the limited edition prints, visit this link.
Now, just because you couldn't get this piece doesn't mean you shouldn't be the proud owner of another Panerai watch. Check out our online catalog of Panerai watches and contact us for any questions or any help. Better yet, if you're nearby, come on down to the store.