Right after the Vendôme Group (now Richemont) acquired Panerai, they released a few models to test the public market. These are called “Pre-A” and were built using parts from the Pre-Vendôme (“Pre-V”) era.

Around 1700 of these were made in 1997-19998 (including Mare Nostrums) and they’re becoming harder and harder every day, with the prices on the second hand market just going up.

The reason they’re called “Pre-A” is becau se most of these were released before the A-series and lack a letter on the caseback indicating which year they were made.

The main thing that stands out on these watches are the Pre-Vendôme style “T-SWISS-T” dials.

Nowadays, the Pre-A Panerais are highly collectible and held in high regard by the Paneristi.

Here is a fantastic article covering Pre-A watches:

Below you can see a macro shot of the Pre-V style dial were the tritium in the dial indices and the hands have aged different resulting in a beautiful patina.

The Pre-A PAM001 is the favorite watch in my personal collection and a watch that I will never sell.

Mandatory wrist shot: