Anyway, the 321 is powered by the new in-house P.9002 movement. This calibre is similar to the P.9000 and P.9001 but it supports a power reserve indicator on the dial. Much like the one you can find on for instance the PAM90 (which incidentally was the first Panerai watch I owned). Apart from all the obvious functions, the PR indicator on the dial is about the only thing that the two watches have in common. The 321 is absolutely in a different league altogether (you can click the photos for a larger view).
PAM321 with its power reserve indicator on the dial
The PAM321 - like the PAM320 - has a 12 hour GMT function but lacks an AM/PM indicator on the dial. The second time zone hand is black. I'm guessing that the Panerai designers figured that a silver time zone hand would be too busy in combination with the power reserve indicator on the dial. In my personal opinion a black second time zone hand is better looking than a silver one. Regardless of what else is incorporated on the dial.
A side view showing the sandwich dial and cushion shape of the 1950's case
Like the PAM312 and PAM320, the PAM312 has a Luminova sandwich dial (above photo) that makes it very easy to read the time even in low light conditions. The luminova lights up very bright and stays charged for a long time. The crystal is 2.6mm thick and doesn't have a date magnification window or cyclops. Despite its crystal display back, the watch does have a 300m depth rating which is quite amazing. The earlier Manifattura watches - e.g. the 233 and 270 - also have a crystal display back but a depth rating of 100 meters. Some people feel that a watch with a display back is automatically "degraded" to being a "fashion watch" rather than being a "tool watch" or a real divers watch. I've never agreed to that point of view when it comes to Panerai watches. The functions being offered and the specifications are what really matters when it comes to that. The fact that the new P.9000 series again have a depth rating of 300 meters proves my point.
Luminor 1950 3 Days GMT Power Reserve Automatic 44mm
The 321 comes with an exceptionally well made black crocodile strap and a brushed steel buckle that has the word Panerai engraved. The photo below shows the PAM312 and PAM321 next to each other. As you can see the word Panerai is not on the dial of the 321 because of the position of the power reserve indicator. Besides this - and apart from the fact that the 321 has a GMT function - the design of the two watches is nearly identical.
Side by side view of the PAM321 and the PAM312
Considering the state of my personal collection, I like the 321 best out of the 312, 320 and 321. Otherwise I would have a really hard time deciding between the 320 and the 321.
The crown guard seen from the back of the watch
Related postsPAM312 Luminor 1950 Marina 3 Days Automatic
PAM320 Luminor Marina 1950 3 Days GMT
The PAM312 and PAM104 compared
All photos © 2009 M.Wilmsen