Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Two base Panerai watches - 11 years difference

Besides the real vintage, Pre-Vendome and Pre-A-series Panerai watches, the early A series Panerai watches are sought after too. The first three are by now financially out of reach for most of us enthusiasts. If you can find one at all. Prices have gone through the roof over the last few years. But as said, the A series (1998) Panerai watches are special and sought after too - and still to be found for reasonable prices. One of the reasons that these early models are sought after is that the indexes and hands are made with Tritium, a substance that has now been replaced with Luminova. An example of such an early watch with Tritium is the base model Panerai PAM 2A.

Panerai PAM2A and PAM0K base
Panerai PAM2 A next to a PAM0 K on the right

The PAM2 is no longer in production - there are A series and a few B series units only. But one very similar base model that has been in production since 2004 (G series) is the PAM0 aka the Logo. Still in production and very popular. The design similarities are quite obvious as you can see in the above photo. The most important difference is the use of Tritium versus that of Luminova on the new PAM0.

Panerai PAM2 and PAM0 base

The PAM2 is about 11 years older than the Logo on the left. The tritium of the PAM2 has already developed a nice patina (yellowish color) but it is still in excellent shape. With some of these older Panerai watches, the tritium is deteriorating and even coming loose. It's interesting that the shape of the numbers is almost exactly the same on both dials and that the numbers and indexes are more or less equally thin. The paint does appear to be slightly higher on the dial of the 2A than it is on the Logo. And the edges of the paint seem to be slightly more rounded.

Panerai PAM2 and PAM0 base

Another difference between the two watches - besides obviously the logo on the dial of the PAM0 - is that the crown guard of the PAM0 has a brushed finish. Furthermore the lever of the 2A is not in the center of the crown guard - a detail that you can see in the above photo. The lever is however almost exactly in the center of the crown guard of the PAM0. Like the 2A, the Logo still has the old strap changing system with screws, as opposed to the new push button system that is found on other new Panerai watches.

Panerai PAM0 close up of the dial
Close up of the PAM0 dial

Panerai PAM2 and PAM0 base
Luminova (PAM0) versus Tritium (PAM2)

One last note with regards to older Panerai watches with tritium dials: Panerai are no longer having Tritium replacement parts in stock. They will replace your Tritium parts with Luminova parts if you send your watch in for service. That is of course unless you clearly instruct your service center not to touch those parts.

Related posts

PAM00000 Panerai Luminor Base Logo
The Panerai 1950's style Luminor case
PAM2A in this post about composition
PAM24A Submersible (A-series)

All photos © 2009 M.Wilmsen

1 comment:

  1. wonderful shots as always... i have been panerai less for awhile, may be considering something simple :) will see. cheers, raph