The new Ceramic Chrono monopulsante (PAM317) is about to make its way to the AD's soon. I had the opportunity to take photos of this wonderful watch a few weeks ago. The 317 features the new hand-wound mechanical calibre P.2004 which is completely manufactured by Panerai. Panerai calls the in-house movements Manifattura.
The watch offers an impressive number of functions: hours, minutes, seconds, second time zone, 8-day power reserve, 24h indicator, second reset, horizontal power reserve indicator and single-button chronograph (hence the name monopulsante).
The production process of this watch is extremely complicated because of the hardness of the ceramic. Drilling the hole for the stem apparently takes two hours. This must be one of the reasons that it has taken longer than expected for these watches to hit the AD's. BTW there's no need to go to your AD now because all units are sold already.
All parts of the watch are ceramic. Contrary to what I've read elsewhere, the crown guard is ceramic too, not PVD steel.
The only thing that is PVD coated are the bridges that you can view through the sapphire crystal case back.
I would have expected that the 317 was an easy watch to photograph because of its black ceramic case. I was wrong. Ok I didn't have to struggle to try to prevent unwanted reflections in the case, but finding the right lighting setup wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. I ended up using mostly dark backgrounds and 3 Nikon speedlights to make the watch look 3d. Being a Panerai enthusiast (understatement of the year) I absolutely love this watch. It looks relatively small because of its color.
As you can see in the picture below, I lit the watch from two sides to emphasize the domed crystal and I used a third Nikon speedlight to create ambient light, but the case still doesn't show enough detail.
Imo this is one of the nicer pics I took of this watch because it shows just enough detail in both the case and the strap and the domed crystal is showing nicely too. The watch comes with one of the nicest OEM straps I've ever seen, a black buffalo strap which is extremely comfortable.
The watch was photographed on a black glass background. I created the bright spot by aiming one of my speedlights at it from above. Two other speedlights were used to light the watch from the sides.
You can view the rest of the photos I took here.
All photos © 2009 M.Wilmsen