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Panerai Radiomir Black Seal : Test, journal and photos with Cresus.fr

Les Rhabilleurs
Le 20 November 2014

Borrowing a beautiful watch, wearing it a few days, making pictures of it and giving it back reluctantly has become our very own habit at Les Rhabilleurs. Especially since Lionel & Alexandre, our in-house troublemakers, got used to wearing different timepieces every weeks and keep sending me pushy e-mails when I can’t give them their toy of the week, a bit like spoiled brats.

Our partner Cresus helped me find the solution to our scarcity of beautiful timepieces: every two months we’ll write a review on a mythic model offered by Cresus on its website. (Discover it here)

We start today with the Panerai Radiomir Black Seal, reviewed by Lionel. This watch, you’ll see, boasts specific characteristics and a very special history that explain its name.

I leave you to his expert hands, hoping that he’ll treat you as well as the model he reviewed.

I hope you’ll enjoy discovering this very special timepiece,


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I guess Immortals know things that we, simple web pen pushers, ignore. Those scholars of the French language, who keep an eye on the wheat but also on the chaff Alexandre and I love to produce on this website, must know the real stuff.

When on top of being an Immortal, you are the “youngest academician”, it’s a sign that you carry an immense knowledge that we feel obliged to respect. Young Immortal defines perfectly Jean-Christophe Ruffin; it was whilst reading one of his novels, Le Grand Coeur, that I finally understood the mixed feelings I always have had towards Panerai.

I was peacefully sitting near a fire in a interior smoking from Le Noeud Papillon when Jean-Christophe hailed me: “In Florence, I learned to make the difference between the art of craftsmanship, that is greatly refined, and the art of artists, in which completely different things filter through: genius, exception and novelty”.

Watch Panerai Luminor Black Seal wrist

Ruffin’s words were so spot-on that my Bolivar almost fell from my lips. I instantly transposed Ruffin’s lines to the Florentine watchmaking brand, which always stroke me by its ambivalence: were Panerais wristwatch produced by an ingenious watchmaker or were they “timepieces of art” designed by artists in the Renaissance’s cradle?

This personal indecisiveness, stemming certainly from my very own ambivalence towards the brand, makes Panerai one of those brands we love to hate…. Or hate to love.

Watch Panerai Luminor Black Seal Lionel

Going further, I rushed to Cresus and conviced the lovely Alexandra to let us wear and review the famous Radiomir Black Seal.

Why this one in particular? Simply because it epitomizes the DNA of the brand and reflects the heritage of more than a century.

The Immortal’s words still appealed to my stubborn self, by reckoning a few sentences lower: “this art can be improved upon, but all together, it is inherited.”

Legacy can be felt when you put on the Radiomir on your wrist. Paneristes go farther: for them it’s more than a legacy, it’s a myth.

Watch Panerai Luminor Black Seal lifestyle

I humbly admit I don’t fully understand the Black Seal collection. Intuitively, I expected the name to apply exclusively to the version with black ceramic (because of, you know, the color).

It turns out that it actually applies to an entire collection inspired by historic models. Hence the readable dial, the cushion shape and a pretty chocolate croco bracelet. No sandwich dial, strangely.

This estrangement can surely be explained but I admit being too lazy to look it up.

What struck me finally was the pleasure I had wearing this Radiomir.

Panerai Luminor Black Seal watch style

I, who; I shamefully confess; made fun a couple of times of the cult Panerai, worn solely by bodybuilders, have changed my mind and stood low.

The watch is extremely well finished, agreeable to wear and surprisingly reasonably sized albeit its 45mm-diameter.

Watch Panerai Luminor Black Seal movementPanerai Luminor Black Seal watch crown

I don’t think it will suffice to reconcile the Pro and Anti Panerai but I enjoy sharing my own experience (I’m conscious nobody asked me anything): I’m not sure to be the type of customer Panerai targets but I took great pleasure in wearing it a few hours on the Seine in the cold light of a autumnal day.

She carries in her the legacy of a great name that knew how adapt industrially and commercially to enter the exclusive ranks of universal brands.

“A l’immortalité[1]”

(“To living Forever”).

[1] Seal of the Académie française created by the Cardinal Richelieu

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Discover this Panerai Radiomir Black Seal on Cresus.fr by clicking here

And see all available watches on www.cresus.fr !

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Watch Panerai Luminor Black Seal hiPanerai Luminor Black Seal stylePanerai Luminor Black Seal lifestyle