At this year’s SIHH, Panerai debuted two new models for their Luminor 1950 collection, both dedicated to left-handed fans of the brand. Ariel went hands-on with both and now we are looking at the PAM579 Chrono Monopulsante Destro 8 Days Titanio. Housed in the 47mm Luminor 1950 case – made from titanium in this instance – and equipped with an in-house developed and manufactured monopusher chronograph movement, the 579 comprises some of the strongest components of the brand.
Limited in production to only 300 pieces, the PAM579 offers what could be best described as a clever selection of some of the brand’s most traditional design clues mixed up with a few modern elements. The Luminor 1950’s large cushion shaped case, its curved profile and substantial crown-protector brings Panerai’s history to a tangible form, invoking the times when their watches were worn by the Italian Navy divers. Panerai eased up that vintage feel with a modern choice of material for the case. It’s done in brushed and polished titanium. Those with a deep love for the brand – or just with really good memory – will remember a 2011 SIHH novelty, the PAM345. That was a 44 mm version of the exact same case style with the same crown placement, same material and same movement. So what has changed?
First of all, the case is now 47 mm, which is the “authentic” size for the case. Since its first appearance as the Reference 6152-1 from 1946, the cushion shaped 47 mm case and the large crown guard have become the trademark look of Panerai. Speaking of the case, one might wonder what Destro stands for in its description. The Destro cases – with Destro meaning “right” in Italian and referring to the fact that these models should be worn on the right wrist – have the crown and its bridge at the 9 o’clock position. This layout is not new by any means as such watches were also used by navy divers back in the day – decades ago, that is.
Secondly, the PAM579’s dial has been changed to a different shade of brown from that of the predecessor PAM345. Its hands and indexes coated with tan colored SuperLuminova give this new model an appearance that not only matches the brand’s more recent offerings, but also lends the watch what I would call a more vintage mood. And it is that timeless look that so many fans of the brand began to love and expect, with it perhaps being more authentic and in greater harmony with the brand’s communicated history. With a consistently large demand for similarly styled pieces, this special edition of only 300 pieces will likely sell out fast.
Inside the watch is the P.2004/9 in-house movement, equipped with three barrels that help it reach the claimed 8 days of power reserve. That is an achievement that is all the more impressive considering that the movement runs at a more modern 28,800 vph (or 4 Hz), contrary to several instances when we see manufactures achieving longer power reserve partly by dropping the rate of the watch from 4 to 3 Hertz. The back of the movement is covered by large and rather uniquely shaped plates, providing enough real estate for a power reserve indication – a must-have for hand wound movements with such extensive independence. Composed of 329 parts, its column-wheel chronograph supports a bi-compax dial layout, with one sub dial for the running seconds and one for the 30-minutes counter of the chronograph.
With the PAM579 what we are looking at is a piece that mixes the brand’s traditional design elements – such as the case and dial designs – with some of its more contemporary solutions – namely the modern movement and case material. Given the in-house chronograph caliber and the more unusual case material, the PAM579 monopusher chronograph will be priced at $22,500 and it will become available for purchase later this year. panerai.com
Additionally, with just a small circular aperture revealing the column-wheel, the wearer has been refused the superb spectacle of this lateral coupling interfacing using the six pillars of the castellated wheel. It’s a shame, because it seems that some of the virtue of the motion specification is not being adequately shared with its own owner.Nevertheless, that is actually my only criticism of this PAM00526 and, in all honesty, would not dissuade me from considering the timepiece for my collection.anerai has produced an interesting timepiece using the Luminor 1950 Regatta 3 Days Chrono Flyback Titanio. It’s comfortable to wear, has an intriguing dial and proves simple to read, both day and night.Panerai offers many timepieces that are classic in appearance, assigning former historical models of its back catalogue. But by producing the PAM 526, Panerai has revealed it’s capable of creating contemporary watches, dispelling any accusations of being type-cast. Beyond, the fine lines, resides much mechanical virtue and the specification is very impressive.I don’t ever envisage having a yacht, nor competing in a regatta, but possessing a Luminor 1950 Regatta 3 Days Chrono Flyback Titanio stays a realistic proposition.Add to all this study that Mr. Jose Pereztroika of perezcope.com has conducted — read that here — and you’ll learn that the Mare Nostrum’s case layout really is closer to what Panerai had been performing at the mid-1950s, instead of from the early ’40s. Panerai includes a fairly poorly recorded background and the Mare Nostrum is a most fitting example — there’s one real detailed picture from the ’50s, the one that you see farther over, and that is about it. Still, the Mare Nostrum has definitely existed and it’s for everyone to determine just how much weight they provide to the fact of whether Italian navy commanders were rocking it through World War II.