The image above shows a genuine Panerai 372, this design was based on the Vintage Panerai, its a combination of old and new.
Adding an Angelus 240 cal with a 2mm thick 3 Piece Dial will not fit inside the watch case without modifications. There are two problems, a) the 8 day Angelus 240 cal movements is fairly thick and the dial by watch standards is very thick indeed. In short the dial and movement are far too thick for the watch case.
Why use such a thick dial if its going to be difficult to fit? This is one of the main differences between a Modern build using Modern Type Parts and a Modern Build using Vintage Type Parts. The 3 Piece (2mm thick) dial is very similar to what Panerai used 50 years ago. Whilst it is problematic to fit it is however, special as it has so many of the old characteristics that can only be found in a Vintage Panerai Dial.
Above: The start of the very first MV watch. This was to be a prototype case to see how to solve the problem of fitting an Angelus with thick dial into a small space. The first case was not a success and was destroyed when it was machined too much on the inside. The second was an improvement, the third a success and the four had the final modifications.
Above: Trying to solve the problem with fitting the 240 cal with thick dial into the Case. Three areas have to be very accurate, the overall depth, the alignment of the stem and stem tube and the total height so that the Case Back screws into place and holds everything together. Get one of these wrong and the project will fail.
Above: The solution was to make a new bezel, outer spacer ring, inner spacer ring and also machine the inside of the case.
Above: This was the case that was selected to have the engraving removed. Its not easy as the depth of engraving is quite deep. In removing the engraving its easy to lose the shape of the case. One case was destroyed when the shaping failed. Above is the second and successfully shaped case.
Above: unfortunately there are two sides to do and its a slow process, all hand work.
Above: The Angelus Movement before and after the Plate Conversion.
Above: The movement is a little low inside the holder, the holder was modified so that the top surface is flush with the movement. This movement was fully stripped, deep cleaned and polished then rebuilt by a master watchsmith. Its amazingly accurate for its age, + or – a few seconds a day (good for this type of movement).
Above: Everything is in place, a sapphire crystal has been added, so there just one last thing to do and thats to upgrade the strap above to an authentic Panerai calf skin strap.
Above: Two types of Bridge Plates were used on the three watches. Two watches didn’t have CDG (cotes de geneve) and one had full CDG. The watch in the image above is without CDG (similar to the 203 which didn’t have CDG)
Above: Its time to enjoy.