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01/50 Panerai Submersible Royal Navy Clearance Dive

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Significantly limited edition Panerai references are a rare sighting in the second-hand market. The kind of “limited edition” that when you search it into Chrono24, nothing comes up. The typical criteria for a great limited edition can include: a low production run (max 100 units), historical significance, excellent provenance, classic design and exclusivity. These limited editions will have their own millesimation numbers, indicating which exact unit it is (e.g. the number 32/50 unit). The more coveted limited editions are subjectively the examples with specific millesimation numbers, ie. 1, 8 (Chinese lucky number) and the final unit (50/50).

The watch featured today arguably has all these limited edition factors. On top of this, its millesimation number is 1! Introducing the Panerai Submersible Royal Navy Clearance Diver PAM00664, with the special millesimation number R01/50.

The PAM664 is the first-ever collaboration between the military and Panerai to produce an exclusive watch. The collaboration between the Clearance Diving branch and Panerai is solely attributed to one individual; Richard Hughes, an experienced leader and diver within the Royal Navy Clearance Diver branch.

The project’s origin isn’t glamourous - Richard reported to QP that he simply emailed Panerai through the website and, “After a short exchange, myself and the head of Panerai UK, Philippe de Saint Lager, met and discussed in further detail. Panerai seemed to be really excited about the whole prospect of making this bespoke piece; however both parties proceeded with caution as we both wanted to do this right. Once the whole idea got approved from the highest level within Panerai, the whole process was a quick, easy and exciting project”.

“It was done on a strictly first-come, first-served basis,” added Hughes. “The only stipulation being that you had to be a serving member within the Clearance Diving branch to be an owner. There were plenty of requests to extend the edition, however we all felt 50 was a perfect number and those lucky 50 have such an exclusive and valued watch to their name.”

Based on the design of the PAM00024, a popular Submersible that has been produced since 1998, the PAM664’s differences were found on the caseback, having the engraving of the Royal Navy Clearance Diver’s crest and the millesimation number. The boxes and papers also differed, being the large, special edition versions.

The watch has a 44mm stainless steel case, an Egiziano-style diving bezel, small-seconds and date. It is powered by the OPIII, based on the ETA 7750.This particular model is commissioned by the original owner, Richard Hughes, a leading and experienced diver within the Clearance Diver branch, who personally discussed and worked with Panerai to design and execute the PAM664.

Included within this set are personal letters of thanks and congratulations, from Angelo Bonati, ex-CEO of Panerai and Amandine Rohmer, ex-Head of Retail Watches & Jewellery for Harrods.