A topic of discussion that is often misunderstood or confused is Panerai's release of OOR or 'Out of Range' watches. What are OOR watches and what do they represent, where do they come from and what makes them special?
First, OOR stands for 'Out of Range.' OOR watches refer to limited micro edition releases of discontinued or one-time release Special Edition Panerai watches. OOR watches are released typically several years after the initial release or discontinuing of a particular PAM reference number. Just to clarify, there are no hard or fast rules as to OOR watches being produced exclusively for regular editions or special editions and that is confirmed by the fact that there are OOR models both both regular and special editions.
It is widely speculated that OOR series Panerai watches occur when Panerai realizes they have backstock or excess availability of movements, cases, and other materials such that they are able to release a micro-edition of a currently discontinued watch. OOR watches are released in very small batches of typically 25-50 pieces. OOR watches are typically distributed on an exclusive basis primarily through the Panerai Boutique Store districution channel. The Panerai boutique stores use OOR watches to leverage customer relationships, affinity and repeat business by offering their top clients right of first refusal on these watches. As such, they usually sell out very quickly. For that reason, OOR Limited Edition watches in the secondary or resale marketplace are very rare, few and far between. As such, they are considered prized possessions. OOR watches are a unique anomaly exclusive to the Panerai brand and represent a unique 'quirk' within the contemporary history of Panerai.
In the case of the PAM 232 Radiomir 1938, this watch was released as a special limited edition, one-time production of only 1938 pieces for the I series in 2006. 1938 is a significant number because this watch is a remake of the original 1938 Radiomir. As a tribute to the original 1938 Radiomir, all of these watches had sandwich dials and solid stainless steel casebacks. As much as that prevented viewing and appreciation of the movment, Panerai wanted to keep this watch as authentic as practical to its original DNA. As a Special Edition release, the protocol is to retire the PAM 232 reference number after its initial release in 2006. In the case of this PAM 232 OOR, Panerai quietly and discreetly re-released a very limited number of PAM 232 models as a special ‘OOR’ or Out of Range production series of only 40 pieces. The PAM 232 OOR is identical to the original PAM 232-I in every way including the Special Edition massivley oversized burlwood presentation box set, and Special Edition Parchment Scroll (individually numbered to match the watch) with the exception of the millesimation on the caseback which in the case of this PAM 232-OOR is identified as ‘OOR xx/40’ for its edition number. In the case of this PAM 232 OOR, this watch was originally sold circa 2009 several years after the initial release of the Pam 232-I series. This watch represents a rare and unique find seldom seen available for sale in the secondary market.