Paneristi.com, the 20-year-old online community dedicated to Panerai watches, has created a special edition to commemorate two decades of communal online fanaticism for the brand. Dubbed the Venti (PAM2020), it harkens back to the 1930s Radiomir models, and at 45mm with old-school wire-type lugs and no crown guard, the watch will wear much smaller than its diameter suggests. Regarding this choice of model, however, one has to wonder why—given that the Paneristi.com logo includes Panerai’s iconic lever-style crown guard mechanism—the designers didn’t go with a Luminor or Submersible model that uses the lever. It might not have mattered so much, but we find that iconic crow lever engraved into the dial of the PAM02020 as part of the Paneristi.com logo.
Setting that missed opportunity aside, the Venti is a lovely concoction that incorporates a cognac-colored radially brushed sandwich dial with beige lume inside a classic stainless steel Radiomir case with a light brown calfskin strap. The Paneristi.com logo and “2000-2020” at 6-o’clock are in black against the cognac dial, giving the co-branding a subtlety that, I assume, many will find more tasteful than if it had matched the white “Panerai Radiomir” logos at 12-o’clock.
These warmer tones nod to the patina of original Radiomir series watches of the 1930s, and these warm, earthy colors have also proven popular in modern watches like the Egyptian-brown PAM663 and the coffee-like tones of the faded PAM687 dial (both released in 2016). The radially brushed dial of the PAM2020 however, is unique and I commend Panerai for creating something special for this commemorative watch.
The Venti is a relatively basic model, but for many, that’s pure Panerai. The in-house P.6000 movement is hand-wound, holds 50-hours of power on a full wind, and beats at a common 21,600 vph. The solid caseback doesn’t allow us to see the impressive full bridges of this movement and instead repeats the commemoration of Paneristi.com found on the dial.
There will only be 1,020 of these limited edition watches available, and if Panerai has played their hand right, they should sell out in record time. It may be easy to look cynically upon these micro-marketing efforts as nothing more than a way to move more units, but it is also lovely to witness Panerai herald the fans and collectors who have helped sustain the brand’s popularity over the past two decades. This watch also gives community members a chance to own something created specifically for them—and there’s no denying the appeal of that proposition.