Before getting into aesthetics, just from the standpoint of objective rarity and historical importance, it’s a pretty remarkable piece and would probably attract a great deal of attention. The story goes that in the early ’80’s, Panerai’s chief of mechanical engineering, the famous Mr. Alessandro Bettarini, started work on a series of prototype watches intended to fill modern requirements for combat diving.

The watches would have to, according to lot notes from a Christie’s auction of one of the titanium prototypes in 2014, fill requirements to be “waterproof to great depths, antimagnetic, and easy to read,” and the notes also tell us that a total of eight prototypes were made – four in bronze, and four in titanium, with many changes made to the designs as the prototyping process progressed (one change, for instance, was the substitution of tritium filled glow tubes for the luminous baton markers used in earlier prototypes).