The new Radiomir Eilean is Panerai’s way of celebrating two historic anniversaries. And its definitely a piece to look out for. The modern Panerai watch as it is recognised today began in 1936 with the Radiomir, an instrument devised to support marine missions named after the material patented by Guido Panerai to illuminate dials and sights.
Its unmistakable and outstanding features – a large, cushion-shaped steel case, luminescent numerals and indexes and welded wire lugs, have passed largely unchanged from one generation of the Radiomir collection to the next. This serves as a testament to the stature of the original.
In a stroke of fate, a yacht that would become a part of the Panerai story was also created the same year. The Eilean, designed by preeminent boat builder William Fife III of Scotland’s Fife boatyard, sailed the seas of Europe and the Caribbean for decades before falling into disrepair in the early 21st century. However, Panerai acquired the yacht in 2006 and began restoring it to its full splendour.
In an inspired move, the watchmaker has brought together the lineage of two these two icons for an anniversary piece.
The Radiomir Eilean
Details that reveal the special nautical inheritance of the new 45mm Radiomir Eilean are apparent from every vantage. The surface of the dial features striations and a variegated brown finish that evokes the teak deck of the yacht, while the case back and strap bear an inscription that reads ‘Eilean 1936’, which is identical to the one located on the ship’s boom.
Likewise, the dragon emblem that decorates the boat’s hull is reproduced in an engraving on the left-hand side of the case. The 45mm case is composed of patina steel with a matte finish that reflects light with a softer, warmer lustre than highly polished metal.
Within the case, vintage-style golden finish hands mark the time on a signature sandwich dial featuring numerals and indices in beige Super LumiNova with a green glow, features that remain faithful to the appearance of early models.
The Radiomir Eilean is presented with a stylish leather strap sourced from Tuscany, the Italian region where Panerai was born. The watch strap features painstaking stitching inspired by lacing found on the sails of the historic yacht.
Faithful to the heritage of the Radiomir inside and out, the Radiomir Eilean features a hand-wound movement. Like its forebears, its case is water resistant up to 10 bar (about 100 meters). Its calibre, is designed and developed at the Panerai manufacture in Neuchatel, has a three-day power reserve.
Available in only 449 pieces per year, a reminder of the sail number of Eilean, the Radiomir Eilean will debut in July 2021. The launch of the timepiece coincides with the arrival of its namesake yacht in Portofino as part of a celebration of Italianate, a concept that describes the highest expression of distinctly Italian culture, style, and identity.