I’ve written about the “Panerai for Purdey” collection of watches on a couple occasions over the last five or so years. In short, these hand-engraved models are extremely exclusive: very limited production and mostly unknown to most run-of-the-mill Panerai fans. From 2002 to 2009, Panerai made a limited number Luminor Sealand models in partnership with Purdey (Panerai refers to them as the “Luminor Sealand for Purdey” watches, whereas Purdey simply states “Panerai for Purdey”), featuring big-game or game bird engravings on the foldable “hunter-case.”
In 2002, the first Panerai/Purdey collaboration, only 100 pieces in total were made. Then, another 3 collaborations followed between 2005 and 2009 (all of 100 pieces each), featuring Game birds, Flower scroll, Eagle, Falcon, Tiger, African dangerous game all hand engraved as well. So, prior to 2017, only 400 Panerai for Purdey watches have been made and hand engraved!!! And with only 80 pieces in this year’s release (breakdown below), the Panerai for Purdey Collection will remain a very rare and sought after collector’s item.
If you are not familiar with Purdey: Purdey is a bespoke rifle an gun maker (they also make some clothing and leather goods) based in Britain. They are likewise an exclusive brand and cater only to the elite customers of their category, in fact you might even call they clientele Royal, as they hold warrants from the HM The Queen of England, The Duke of Edinburgh, and The Prince of Wales, among other distinguished clientele.
The newest Luminor 1950 Sealand watches combine Panerai’s latest high technical skill with its watchmaking knowledge and experience. Each individual case is engraved by hand by skilled craftsmen, as with Purdey’s guns and rifles, and requires more than a week of work on the particularly demanding and robust AISI 316L stainless steel.
The specs of the 2002-2009 watches were different from the latest versions: the older models have Luminor Sealand Automatic 44 mm steel case, housing the OPIII Calibre, with solid steel back and black dial, vs the 2017 versions which have a see-through display back and the Panerai P.9000 in-house caliber. Not sure about the dial, though hopefully a bit more inspiring than prior models!
The 2017 collection is made up of 80 numbered pieces that are engraved with the Big Five game animals: lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino: 18 Lions, 17 Leopards, 15 Buffaloes, 14 Elephants, and 16 Rhinos.
The motifs are first drawn as a temporary outline, using powdered chalk or magnesium powder, and then engraved with a burin. The engraved surfaces are formed of very thin parallel lines which give depth to the design, accentuating the contrasts between light and dark.
The outer edges of the watch feature gold inlay and a pattern inspired from African art. As noted, the Panerai Luminor 1950 Sealand 3 Days Automatic Acciaio watch is equipped with a P.9000 calibre.
The water resistant calf straps of the watches are made from a particularly smooth, flexible leather with a remarkable aesthetic finish and high technical qualities. Each piece is presented in a pear tree wood box with accompanying tools and an additional black rubber strap.
It is not hard to see why these watches are highly sought after pieces by collectors: the thematic engraving and association with Purdey is truly an exclusive combination.
The retail price of each watch in this exclusive collection is £20,500. Available direct through the Purdey “Panerai for Purdey” website pages.