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Panerai

An ode to The Base: The Panerai PAM112 and PAM560

One of my closest watch friends was very surprised that one of my favorite watches was my Panerai PAM112, a 44mm case Luminor model with a manual wind movement and no seconds hand.

“I just can’t believe you’d wear a watch that big,” was his reaction.

It’s true, on my 7-inch wrist, I’ll generally sport watches that are 40mm and under. That said, I once owned an Orient Pro Saturation Diver that is over 45mm and I really enjoyed that watch. With the Panerai Luminor models, there’s a joy in its oversized look. The simpler, the better in my opinion. The large 12, 3, 6, 9 markers and straight hands make it very legible with a minimalist esthetic that works so well with the spirit of the manual wind movement.

I also think the 112’s modern cousin the PAM560 is fine choice and is available new currently. The main difference is it contains an in-house 8-day power reserve movement, which is pretty handy. The dial says “8 Days” on it and my preference is for the cleaner dial of the 112, but I don’t think you can go wrong with either if you are drawn to the look. The 560 had been available in the sandwich dial, where the markers are cutout and place over a luminescent disc as in most 112s, but is currently available with a sausage dial, which has painted markers.

The pleasure of wearing a huge Panerai is in its audacious look. It’s an overtly manly watch that is not ashamed to take up a large chunk of real estate on the arm. Some days, you wake up feeling like you must strap on a large chunk of jewelry. My colleague @chronos_1010 tells me he will always have a big Panerai in his collection. Here’s his PAM911 in action on his Instagram feed:

Plus, you can customize them with a range of aftermarket straps. Some of my favorite are from Toshi Straps, which are very simple and made from supple high end leathers. Richard, the owner, is a joy to work with.

I know Panerai watches go in and out of style. But the days of Stallone’s single handed revival of the brand are long gone. In 2018, the trend is towards smaller watches, but you can be a rebel and go with a watch that might just have the lugs extend beyond the limits of your wrist.

 

 

 

Panerai

The Panerai Luminor California 8 Days DLC PAM00779: We’re in love

When it comes to Panerai, we’ve written about how one should stick to more traditional sized models. After all, if you’re into Panerai you should be getting into something that’s a bit loud and proud on the wrist. While we’re not dissuading anyone from acquiring a smaller model, it’s our opinion that models such as the new Panerai Laminar California 8 Days DLC PAM00779 are ideal for anyone who wants a taste of strapping on a big ole PAM.

The new model is a titanium DLC’d case with a California dial, which using Roman numerals on the upper half of the dial and arabic numerals not the lower half. It’s a bit quirky, but the dial design is still very much in-line with horological history. The blue hand combined with the cream dial markers really makes for a handsome look. Sometime blacked out watches can look too flat, but the blue hands really are a subtle way to counter this effect. This model also comes on a dark brown bund strap, which is a combo that somehow really works. The big footprint of the strip mitigates the large 44mm case size. The PAM00779 also comes with a rubber strap for those who want to partake in some water fun.

A 3Hz P.5000 in-house calibre offers a massive 8-day power reserve (using 2 mainspring barrels), a much desired trait in today’s Luminor line. The super clean dial (sans date complication) is always going to be a hit, as big, simple and bold is one of the hallmarks of the brand.

While were not sure how the coating will hold up, fortunately Panerai watches, in general, look even better with some wear marks. This one will retail for just less than $10,000 when it comes out later this year.

 

Panerai

Our take on the smaller Panerai Due

The Everest/Monta crew hit up the Panerai boutique in Lucerne during one of our days off from Baselworld 2018. Two of us gravitated towards the more traditional sized 44mm-47mm models, while the other two guys with us tried on the smaller watches in the brand lineup, the newish Panerai Due line. Just this week Hodinkee posted a review of the 38mm Due, which, predictably, had most of its comments focused on the low water resistance rating of 30 meters and how that is inherently contradictory to the brand’s tool-watch heritage.

So how do we feel about these smaller Panerai watches?

OK, but…

The truth is: In the real world a lot of non-watch people will recognize the Panerai esthetic—simple dials with oversized cases and a signature Luminor crown guard. So for some people, the new smaller and thinner Due models offer the Panerai look without the bulk. So even with the snap on caseback and measly 30 meter water resistance, people who choose the Due get that brand recognition on the wrist when sitting in a business meeting. For men, the smaller size does allow you to fit the Due underneath a shirt cuff.

However…

Even with the practical elements of a smaller, slimmed down Panerai, we are still in the camp of “If you’re going to get a Panerai, get a Panerai!” It’s like if you have decide to eat a chocolate chip cookie, enjoy a full-on version, not some “healthier” take with less sugar or more fiber. So if you like the Panerai look, go for the classic larger case sized models. Save it for more casual outfits and proudly rock a watch that might be too big for you in the traditional sense. We recommend getting your feet wet with one of the Panerai Base models, such as the 8 Days Acciaio.

The Base Logo remains one of the most popular models with Panerai fans as it remains true to the company’s heritage in the looks department.

Our colleague @chronos_1010 is also a Panerai fan and when’s he’s not spending time with his GMT II or Sub, he’s been wearing his limited edition PAM911, which features a seductive green dial. He’s also owned the PAM372, a popular 47mm case model that uses a 1950-style case and Plexiglass crystal and has a dial reminiscent of the vintage Reference 6512. Both watches are big and simple, yet have a elegant beauty in the overall package.