Saturday, November 21, 2009

Pre-Vendome Panerai PVD steel 202/A

In 1993 Officine Panerai produced a series of watches for the normal consumer market (Panerai had been producing instruments for the navy since 1860). These watches were produced and sold before Vendome acquired the company in March 1997. For this reason, these particular models are often referred to as "Pre-Vendome" or "pre-V" watches. Any of these Pre-V watches are now hard to find and considered to be collectible. Asking prices have gone through the roof, which is especially true for certain watches - the PVD steel Panerai 202/A is one of them.

Panerai PVD steel Pre-Vendome 202/A
Pre-Vendome Panerai 202/A

The top part of the dial - underneath the 12 - has two lines of text "Luminor Panerai" and the bottom part of the dial shows "Marina Militare". The 202/A is often referred to as being a "four-liner" because of the text on the dial. Very few Panerai watches have "militare" in their model name. Besides the 202/A, the most famous watches that have this are the special edition Panerai 36, the destro 217 and the elusive model 267 (only six units produced).

Panerai PVD steel Pre-Vendome 202/A
Click photos for larger version

Some of the 201/A and 202/A watches were produced with a varnish that caused the color of the tritium to change to dark orange. You can see this in the photos. This was actually a fault in the production process of these watches, that Panerai corrected before producing all the units. Therefor only some of the watches have this orange color. Because the color of the indexes/numbers is different than the color of the tritium hands, these watches are referred to as "non-matching".

Panerai PVD steel Pre-Vendome 202/A
The background shows a sculpture by artist Eng Tay

The Pre-Vendome watches have manual wind movements that are housed in 44mm cases. All these models originally came in oak wood boxes. Several Pre-Vendome watches are part of the "Slytech line", referring to the actor Sylvester Stallone. Stallone is a dedicated Panerai fan, rumored to own hundres of Panerai watches - old and new models. The Panerai Pre-Vendome reference numbers are 5218-201/A, 5218-202/A, 5218-203/A, 5218-205/A, 5218-207/A, 5218-209, 5218-210, 5218-301/A, 5218-302, 5218-304 and the 5218-218.

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Pre-Vendome Panerai stainless steel 201/A aka Logo

Photos © 2009 M.Wilmsen
Sculptures © E.Tay

Do not distribute, publish or post these photos

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