Thursday, January 31, 2013


If you were born in 1943 and looking for a 'birth year' vintage Rolex your options would be pretty limited, especially if you were looking for something sporty. Most of the pre-war models were very dressy and small (in todays standards). Rolex had already developed the Oyster case system to and had mastered the design of the waterproof case. The just in the early days of their Oyster Perpetual's aka 'bubble backs'. These watches were 'sporty', waterproof and automatic but they were still relatively small. The larger cases of the 'datejust' for example was only launched in 1945.

So what would I choose?

Panerai - PAM300 MARE NOSTRUM, CIRCA 2010

I would take a serious look at the Panerai Mare Nostrum - PAM300.  Firstly, when Panerai was commissioned to produce a wristwatch for the Italian Navy in the 1930's they turned to Rolex.  Rolex actually supplied them with the cases, movements & crowns for their late 1930's RADIOMIR watches. So the company has a strong tie to Rolex.  Secondly, the original 1943 Mare Nostrum was produced in very limited supply just before the allied invasion when production stopped, thus making a 'period' piece outrageously expensive if you could even find one for sale.  For that reason, the modern redux of the Mare Nostrum is the perfect solution.  The watch was introduced in 2010 at the SIHH show in Switzerland and was limited to 99 pieces, making it still very rare and a solid investment.  Thirdly and lastly, this watch is the absolutely beautiful. Sporty and very large (52mm), a classic Naval timepiece.  This watch is still quite pricy, approximately $50,000- on the collectors market.

So there you have it ;)  In my opinion, a very 'sporty' solution to an early 1940's birth year wristwatch!

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