First released in 1938 for the Royal Italian Navy, the earliest Panerai Radiomir Replica displayed archetypal characteristics of brand, from the rounded Arabic numerals at the cardinal points to the luminous ‘sandwich’ dial for extra legibility in the dark.
The patented substance called Radiomir, for which the Replica Watch itself got its name, was eventually banned and replaced with significantly less toxic Luminor material in 1949. Sound familiar? They created an entirely new watch around that luminous compound too.
The first Fake Panerai Radiomir was reference 3646 and clocked in at 47mm with that signature, waterproof stainless steel cushion-shaped case with Arabic numeral, a sandwich dial with the radioactive Radiomir, wire lugs, and a sturdy leather strap.
The crown was smaller but featured a serrated pattern for easy maneuvering. The first Radiomir copy watches were also produced by Rolex, featuring a manually-wound calibre 618 movements.
What set this particular Panerai Radiomir apart were new elements like a marked bezel for calculating immersion time and a crown guard mechanism which we now know and associate with the Luminor.