The Panerai Radiomir California offers a more compact take on their classic dial The Panerai Radiomir California offers a more compact take on their classic dial

The Panerai Radiomir California offers a more compact take on their classic dial

Fergus Nash
  • The Panerai Radiomir California is their first California dial in a 45mm case.
  • For the first time, Panerai have experimented with a faux-aged PVD case.
  • The green and gilt dial gives the watch a lot of old-world charm thanks to modern techniques.

Panerai haven’t been the fastest brand to pick up on new trends historically, but the new Panerai Radiomir California shows that they’ve had their ear to the ground. A mix of bold new case finishing and reduced sizing converge on their unique California-style dial to remind us that a Panerai can still offer a rugged archetype of a luxury diver lifted with Italian flair.

Panerai Radiomir California

If you’re one of the Paneristi, then you’ll be well aware of what the Radiomir represents. Originally designed for luminous gun sights in 1915, the radium-based material invented by Guido Panerai was then used in Rolex-produced wristwatches for the Royal Italian Navy. Those mil-spec watches of the 1930s and ‘40s birthed Officine Panerai as we know it today, and the reference 3646 is one of the main inspirations behind this Panerai Radiomir California. Rather than release a sparkling new reissue, Panerai have decided to evoke the long history of the brand by ageing the watch from the factory. This is a brand new technique for Panerai, using PVD coating technology to create what they call Brunito, or a burnished look, on recycled eSteel. The effect is almost akin to acid etching, giving the case a darkened look similar to tarnished silver without the actual damage concerns.

Panerai Radiomir California

Although this style of case is nothing new to Panerai, this is the first time that a California-style dial has been made available in the 45mm case size. That’s quite an important step, as the 48mm lug-to-lug length may inspire people who have been previously put off by the 47mm cases to finally try out this iconic style. The mix of Roman and Arabic numerals was pioneered by Panerai to aid visibility in low-light, separating the top and bottom halves of the dial distinctly so there could be no confusion of orientation. The Panerai Radiomir California has a stunning green and gilt dial that almost feels royal, with a fumé effect to exaggerate the effect of ageing and blued hands cementing that old-world charm.

Panerai Radiomir California

Powering the watch is Panerai’s in-house calibre P.5000, with manual winding for an authentic vintage experience and a glorious eight-day power reserve thanks to twin mainspring barrels. It’s also one of the few Panerai watches to be granted a sapphire display caseback, giving you a peek into the balance. Most of the movement is covered by a large brushed plate, in a similar style to movements of the 1930s.

The Panerai Radiomir California pricing and availability:

The Panerai Radiomir California will be available from Panerai boutiques, authorised dealers and their website. Price: €12,500

Brand Panerai
Model Radiomir California
Case Dimensions 45mm x 48mm x 12.5mm
Case Material Recycled eSteel
Water Resistance 100m
Crystal(s) Sapphire
Dial Green
Lug Width 27mm
Strap Calf leather
Movement P.5000
Power Reserve 8 days
Availability Available now
Price €12,500