Officine Panerai has once again partnered up with the historic British gunmaker Purdey. This time around they have manufactured new models themed on Africa’s “Big Five” animals.
The arms dealer Purdy is owned by the Richemont group, which also owns Officine Panerai, among other luxury brands. There is a long tradition of gun engraving that showcases a characteristic style. Though when applied to watch cases it winds up with an end result reminiscent of tattoo techniques, like we saw on the “Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu” or the “Bell & Ross BR01 Burning Skull”.
The 44mm case is made of stainless-steel with a brushed finish. But, what really catches the eye are the refined engravings of animals, found on the protective metal cover over the dial, which opens back on a hinge. These etches were done by the historic British gunmaker company Purdey that have worked with the Officine Panerai brand before, creating similar motifs and applying the same engraving technique.
This specific collection is a series of tribute watches that celebrate safari hunts aimed at Africa’s big five “game animals”, the: lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino. So these are the five fierce animals we can find individually decorating each metal cover. Panerai explained that the engravings are first outlined with powdered chalk or magnesium powder; after that it’s hand-engraved with a burin. This whole process requires more than a week to complete.
While the perimeter of the engraved area is inspired by African artwork patterns and the phrase “Panerai for Purdey”. These final embellishments on the dial cover are done via a gold inlay. The artwork patterns are very reminiscent of the classical engravings found on ornate hunting rifles, just like those produced by Purdey and that historically engaged in hunting out the animals portrayed on this watch collection.
Once we flip these various animal themed dial covers over, time is exhibited on a panda style dial. There is an off-white/silver round center, followed by a wide black ring filled with white hour index markers and the Arabic numerals: 6 & 12. There is also a sub-seconds dial at the 9 o’clock position and a date aperture at the 3 o’clock spot. All the hands, numerals and index markers have undergone a luminescent coating, for an enhanced legibility.
Officine Panerai Luminor 1950 Sealand for Purdey
These “Officine Panerai Luminor 1950 Sealand for Purdey” (references below) is powered by a self-winding mechanical movement, caliber OP III, with 21 jewels and 28,800 vph. This caliber is based on the Valjoux 7750-P1 base movement. Power reserve can last up to 42 hours when fully wound; while water-resistance can reach up to 50m (164 feet).
Mounted to the watch is a brown Calf Monte Carlo strap, with exposed yellow gold stitching and secured to the wrist by a stainless-steel buckle. All these watches are limited editions of 33 units per model.
Ref#: PAM 831 – Lion
Ref#: PAM 832 – Elephant
Ref#: PAM 831 – Buffalo
Ref#: PAM ??? – Tiger
Ref#: PAM ??? – Rhino
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