While we’ve seen chronographs from Panerai before, the Radiomir 1940 Chronograph is an all new design for 2014 presented in three metals: red gold, platinum, and white gold, each with a different dial. These decidedly retro-feeling dials combine with stylized hands and the classic cushion case to complete the 1940s aesthetic. In addition to the great looks, inside beats a modified Minerva movement that stands out among the rest. Although all three share a number of traits, each of these three limited editions is unique and brings something special to the mix. Picking a favorite certainly isn’t easy.
At 45mm, the Radiomir 1940 Chronograph won’t turn heads for restrained dimensions, but it sits comfortably in the middle among Panerai’s contemporary Radiomir offerings, which run from 42 to 47mm. On all three versions, a sub-seconds dial sits at 9 o’clock with a minutes totalizer at 3 o’clock. The sub-dials are well proportioned with respect to the vintage style tachymeter scale that circles the edge. As a departure from contemporary models that use sapphire crystal, the new model uses a plexiglass crystal, referencing the poly crystal used on the original Radiomir made for the Royal Italian Navy.