47mm wide and pretty? This must be a Panerai. Today I review the Panerai Luminor 1950 Equation Of Time 8 Days Acciaio Replica Radiomir 1940 3 Days, aka PAM514 (PAM00514). I’ve been spending a lot more time with Panerai over the last few months. It is a brand that hasn’t gotten a lot of my attention in a few years. Why? Well let’s face it, even Panerai lovers will agree that in many instances, if you are familiar with a few Panerai watches, you are familiar with most of them. Panerai has a few set case styles and a few set dial styles with a lot of mixing and matching and slight tweaks. To the “un-initiated” those tweaks are just that, to the initiated, however, those tweaks can be game changers.
A good example is the case used by Panerai for the PAM514. Known as the Radiomir 1940, the case is really a combination of design elements from the Radiomir and the Luminor. Some might call it a historically-influenced transitional case from Panerai’s history – and that would be true, but in many ways it is a good way to combine a bit of love for the Radiomir and Luminor cases in a distinct design. So yes, these are design tweaks, but in many instances I like to think that Panerai is working hard to design the perfect Panerai for each distinct flavor of consumer taste out there.
Since the Fiddy, Paneristis have been clamoring for a “base” Fiddy. Base in Panerai speak identifies a watch with just the hour and minute hands and nothing else. In addition, the watch ought to be a normal production piece (not limited) so that everyone can have an opportunity of owning one in a slightly less mad cost. Panerai listened, and in 2011 answered Paneristis’ prayers together with all the PAM 372 – a two hand 1950-style model that wasn’t a limited edition.As a result, the PAM 372 is one of the most eagerly anticipated Panerai watches recently. It was so tough to get your hands on one that I just managed to get mine – this watch you see here from the review – earlier this year. Obviously, I enjoy the watch and now I will attempt to explain why.Like that the Fiddy, the PAM 372 also has a 47mm 1950-style stainless steel case, but with subtle differences. For one, the situation is completely polished stainless steel rather than brushed. However, the signature “device protecting the crown” keeps its brushed completing. Additionally, the case also has a slightly different shape. It is less chunky and contains a cushion-shape profile which is more similar to the Radiomir watches. Additionally, it has thinner lugs.These subtle modifications to the case has had a profound influence on how the PAM 372 looks and wears. In general, it seems less bulky, and despite its large size, I found that it fits better than the smaller 44mm Luminor 1950 watches. It’s less top heavy, and sticks nearer and more snugly to the wrist. I have smaller 6.5-inch wrists and I discovered that the PAM 372 to be comfortable enough to wear the entire moment. That said, the PAM 372 is by no means a little watch at 47mm wide.
When Panerai – Luminor Submersible 1950 Bronzo Pam00382 Replica released the PAM514 in 2013, they also released a sister model, known as the PAM512. What is the difference between the two? Both are Radiomir 1940 watches but the PAM512 comes in a 42mm wide case with a different movement (and no date). The PAM514 is 47mm wide with Panerai’s in-house made P.3000 manually wound movement – a mechanism that is quite attractive visually through the expansive sapphire crystal caseback window.
The P.3000 is a simple yet elegant movement. The bridge design is attractive and the mixture of industrial design and grace is apparent when you look at it and difficult to master in the way Panerai was able to achieve. Operating at a frequency of 21,600 bph (3Hz), the P.3000 has a power reserve of 72 hours. Functionally, the movement offers the time with subsidiary seconds dial and the date. When you pull the crown out one spot it moves the hour hand around in one hour stops which is useful for traveling, and also how you set the date. Though it does make adjusting the date a bit of a nuisance compared to a traditional quick-set date.
I’m now so happy with my PAM 321 that I am considering adding a Submersible 47mm variation for my list of future timepiece acquisitions… And believe me that after I got the PAM 321, I believed this would be my first and last Panerai, since in the moment, in my mind they all looked the same. Now I visit every version and I immediately lust at the additional attributes or minor differences. It’s since gone on to become one of the very popular Panerai L’astronomo Luminor Tourbillon 1950 Replica models. Why? Probably because it combines so much of why people like the brand like a minimalist army style and iconic case. Before I move on to talk about the opinion, it’s required to comprehend the circumstances under which this watch was conceived and its importance to Panerai’s history.Back in 2002, Panerai released a Special Edition model known only as the Luminor 1950 or more beautifully and simply as the “Fiddy” (such as “fifty” for 1950). Limited to only 1,950 units, it wasn’t long before the Fiddy started exchanging hands at well over list price. Even now, over a decade later, it is exchanging hands for more than twice its record price.
Oh yes, the date. What an odd item to be the source of controversy. Panerai integrates a date disc that matches the tones of the rest of the dial and I think overall makes the dial feel more useful. Though people do argue that the addition of the date window takes away from the overall elegance of the dial. I suppose everyone is right. The PAM512 doesn’t have the date, as well as many other Panerai models. Like I said, each of these is a slight tweak meant to satisfy at least one super picky Panerai fan.
While there is nothing new about the dial design of this Radiomir 1940 3 Days watch, it is very attractive and legible. You have the typical Panerai “sandwich dial,” as well as lume with a slightly aged-style color. Unlike the Panerai Luminor, only the top part of the dial has text – which I happen to enjoy. Overall, Radiomir dials are probably my favorite of what Panerai has to offer… across a range of what are admittedly a lot of nice dials. It is a Panerai, so the lume is pretty great – no complaints there.
There are reasons why folks adore and wear their watches. Maybe their view has some emotional connection to an event in their past, maybe it was a present, and if you are like us (watch nerds) you simply enjoy having a useful mechanical toy on your wrist that likewise has fashion. While I usually easily understand my fellow watch enthusiasts, I will be the first to admit that originally I did not understand precisely the subgroup of watch nerds that are quite frankly fanatics of this Officine Panerai brand, otherwise known as the “Paneristis”.If you aren’t familiar with this particular breed of watch lover, just spend a few minutes perusing the Paneristi forum and that I pretty much guarantee that you will leave the website astonished, maybe confused, by the real enthusiastic and frequent posts from Paneristis all over the world. They discuss every version, post pictures, speculate on new versions, give advice to newbies, and even frequently throw parties (all over the planet) where fellow Paneristis come for a good time, make friends, and of course show off their cherished Panerai models.I was simply ignored when I found that the Paneristis and failed to know why they existed in the first place. Also mesmerizing was why Panerai, a relatively newly revived watchmaking firm with limited styling, had become such an iconic brand? That is, I was dumb, until I got my first Panerai… In this post I will examine my Panerai Luminor 1950 GMT or PAM 321 while still attempting to shed some light on the Paneristi movement. While I do not consider myself a member of the “cult” yet, I do now have a heard appreciation for its brand and its products and that I think I also know what the passion is all about — or at the very least I shall talk with you my comments on the topic.
Talking of size, the PAM 372 uses the in-house P.3000 movement, a hand-winding calibre that measures a whopping 161/2 lignes – roughly 37mm. However, it is merely finished and two big brush-finished bridges cover a lot of it, hence there is really nothing much to look at it.Beating in 21,600 vph, the P.3000 uses two mainspring barrels connected in series to provide it a power book of 72 hours or 3 times – hence the name. The PAM 372 winds really smoothly, as if the crown itself was bathed in rich butter. There’s no clicking noise, just a small resistance that builds and builds until the motion is fully wound. But to generate enough electricity for 3 days, it will take many turns ahead of the watch is fully wound. This should not be an issue because winding is among the joys of a manual movement and I found it enjoyable to end the PAM 372. The P.3000 is a basic time-only movement, but it does have a helpful feature its sleeves up. Pull the crown into the second place, and it allows you to advance only the hours. This is beneficial if you end up traveling around timezones. Nevertheless, the motion was never among the PAM 372’s strong selling points since there are far more innovative in-house Panerai moves on the market. The P.3000 is about as basic as it gets.Much of the PAM 372’s allure is down to the dial, which is remarkably reminiscent of the vintage Reference 6512. Like the classic 6512, it has a sandwich dial along with a simple design with just the hour mark (12, 3, 6 and 9 have been in Panerai’s feature font) along with the phrases Luminor Panerai engraved on it. The engraved words are then full of an “ecru” coloured paint, as are the hour mark. To fit it, the minute and hour hands are finished in gold. Like many Panerais, the PAM 372 is highly legible, both night and day.
The funny thing about many of the different Panerai Luminor 1950 Gmt Ceramica Tuttonero Pam 438 Replica case styles is that they wear differently and cannot be judged by the size alone. For instance, a 44mm wide Luminor 1950 case will wear larger than this 47mm wide Radiomir 1940 case. Why? Well a major reason has to do with the relatively flat caseback. The exhibition caseback window on the PAM514 is thin and allows for the watch to sit with a much lower profile than some of Panerai’s taller fare.
So while this Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 Amagnetic Price Replica watch is wide, it is also thinner than you might expect, making for a very comfortable fit. I think that this style case in a 44mm size would be perfect for my wrist, and Panerai is probably planning one or has probably already produced something very similar. I also like the very well-polished steel case which goes with the look well. Panerai also produced an 18k rose gold version of the Radiomir 1940 3 Days, known as the PAM515.
I usually don’t discuss watch crowns, but in this case I am going to mention it because Panerai made a particularly nice one. Unscrew the crown, and you’ll see that the stem is very thick and feels very secure. It is difficult to explain it in words, but I just wanted to mention that I was pleasantly surprised by the crown. The case is water resistant to 100 meters and over the dial is a sapphire crystal.
Note that photographing most Panerai watches is exceedingly difficult given the large domed sapphire crystal. Even though Panerai applies an anti-reflective coating, there is going to be a lot of glare. Given the simple dial and prominent hands and hour markers it doesn’t seriously effect legibility, but it is a part of the Panerai ownership experience.