Miguel S. from the Philippines asks:
Wondering on what your take is on the Panerai PAM 359? What other options do I have based on price that could be a better buy…or should I just stick to this?
AND…what’s your take on U-Boat watches? Haven’s heard much about it from you?
Like I mentioned, Panerai, like many other watchmaking brands and also for many different motives, had a discontinuous history. The business began in Florence (Firenze) in 1860 where Giovanni Panerai set up a watchmaker shop and marketed marine gear. In the early part of the prior century Panerai’s origins in horology were cemented since they became the supplier of watches to the Italian Navy. At that time, Italian frogmen would utilize their watches to synchronize and time attacks and in some cases even mount torpedoes that they would browse to deliver down docked enemy ships. Having a private time instrument that you could wear and watch submerged was a must for all these surgeries and Panerai provided just that with their big watches which comprised a patented luminescent radioactive material: radiomir.Working using Rolex, Panerai helped develop a number of the first water resistant timepieces. Earlier Panerai models even included Rolex movements.However, possibly because of Italy’s loss in World War II or on account of the quartz crisis of the 70’s, or maybe a bit of both, the newest pretty much disappeared.What occurs next is well recorded, but suffice to say that American celebrity and noted watch collector and enthusiast Sylvester Stallone gave the brand a boost of life by wearing a Panerai in one of his movies and by wearing the watches on the red carpet and during interviews. What followed was the acquisition of the company from the Richemont Group and its own flourishing, aided by the obsessive Paneristis and online forums. Jake’s Panerai World blog has a thorough account of this Panerai history, including the heterosexual link, that I recommend the curious reader peruse for information and illustrations.
Max here, the PAM 359 is fine. It has the new 1950 case and also in-house movement. Its singular appeal is classic Panerai dial, but with all Arabic numbers on the dial vs. the 12, 3, 6, 9 (or less) that is typical on other Panerai models.
I know all Panerai watches look somewhat alike, but there are differences that one starts appreciating as one becomes more knowledgeable about the brand. So, for me, I like most of the Panerai 1950 models (they all are “modern”, cased in 44mm or 46mm, and fitted with in-house movements). I’ve reviewed my own PAM 321 on aBlogtoWatch here:. It’s a great watch and one I plan to keep forever.
I cannot get my head or heart around U-Boat. Looks too much like a Diesel watch that can be had for $300. Or maybe Diesel looks like U-Boat… Now, I love and wear Diesel jeans, belts, and even sneakers but would not be caught dead with their watches—unless I was being paid to model
If you want Italian-flavored design stick with the original: Panerai
If money is no object then get a Bulgari, especially the Daniel Roth or Gerald Genta sub-collections. You’ll get Italian influence but real watchmaking genius and pedigree.
We choose a few questions each week and publish them. Want to ask the aBlogtoWatch team a question? We want to hear from you »