Tuesday, December 29, 2009

PAM268 Panerai Radiomir 8 Days

The third Radiomir wristwatch that Panerai produced with an in-house movement is the Panerai PAM268. The white gold PAM200 and the platinum PAM201 were the first two Radiomirs with a P.2002 based movement - both are special editions from 2005. In my personal opinion, the 268 is one of the nicest Radiomirs that Panerai produces. But if the number of posts on watch boards about a watch is an indication of its popularity, then this particular Radiomir must be one of the most underrated Panerai watches.

Panerai PAM286 Radiomir 8 Days
Panerai PAM268 Radiomir 8 Days

There is much information to be found regarding the Luminor 1950 PAM233 - which has a similar (P.2002 based) hand wound mechanical Manifattura movement and a power reserve of 8 days. Information about the 268 however is scarce. It's quite odd, especially if you consider how good looking, functional and unique this watch is. Panerai produced only 400 units in the J-series (2007) and 600 units in the K-series (2008). To my knowledge, the watch is currently still in production.

Panerai PAM286 Radiomir 8 Days
Click the photos for a larger version

There are of course other Radiomir watches with an 8-day power reserve. The discontinued PAM190 is one example, but the two hardly compare. The 190 has a modified JLC movement (OP XIV), no date and no power reserve indication on the dial. The JLC movement is undoubtedly one of the finest movements around - but the P.2002 can easily compete and what's more, it's really Panerai - which does make it more interesting to me.

Panerai PAM286 Radiomir 8 Days and the PAM233
Panerai PAM268 and the PAM233 on the right

Both the 233 and the 268 have the horizontal power reserve indicator on the dial and both watches have a date function, sadly without a quick date change function. Besides the lack of the GMT function that is available on the PAM233, there is one other difference between the P.2002/3 movement used in the PAM268 and the P.2002/1 movement that's used in the PAM233 being that the P.2002/3 does not have a seconds reset function.

Panerai PAM286 Radiomir 8 Days and the PAM233
Case backs of the PAM268 and PAM233

The most obvious visual difference between the 268 and the 233 is of course the case. A Radiomir case with an onion shaped screw in crown, versus a Luminor case with the distinctive Panerai crown guard. Again, if posts about watches on the watch boards are an indication, it seems that the Luminor case Panerai watches are generally more popular than the Radiomir case watches. Perhaps it's because of the crown guard on the Luminors which is so typical for Panerai. Other important differences between the 268 and 233 are that the 233 has a domed crystal - which the 268 does not have - and the so called cyclops (magnifying lens) above the date at the nine o'clock position on the 268.

268 crown with Panerai OP logo
Detail showing the OP (Officine Panerai) logo on the crown and the "cyclops"

The straps on the 268 in these photos are after market straps (blue alligator by ABP and tan strap by Justin Chen). The original strap that comes with the watch is a black alligator strap with Panerai personalised steel large-size buckle.

A comparison

The table below shows an overview of the most noticeable differences and similarities.





















PAM268PAM233
case diameter45mm Radiomir44mm 1950's Luminor
case finishpolished stainless steelbrushed stainless steel
crystal1.9mm flat2.0mm domed
date magnificationcyclopsnone
GMTno24 hour
second resetnoyes
dial typeSandwich, no 3 or 9Sandwich, no 3 or 9
dial paintLuminovaLuminova
water resistance100m100m
case backsee through sapphire crystalsee through sapphire crystal
strap attachmentremovable wire loopslugs
strap width26mm24mm
strap changing1.4mm screwsnew push button mechanism
crownonion shaped screw incrown guard push down
movementin-house P.2002/3in-house P.2002/1
power reserve8 days8 days
power reserve indicatorhorizontal on dialhorizontal on dial

Panerai PAM286 Radiomir 8 Days

More photos of the 268 can be found on paneristipix.com.

Related posts

Twenty strap combos for a Panerai 233
PAM312 Luminor 1950 Marina 3-days
An iconic Panerai, the 232
PAM316 48mm Radiomir Tourbillon
An overview of posts about wristwatches on this site

All photos © 2009 M.Wilmsen - do not copy without permission
Thanks to TB for lending me the watch to take pictures

3 comments:

  1. Hi Martin, I bought this amazing watch a few days ago and I fully agree with you. This Radiomir is one of the most underrated Panerai watches and I don't understand why... this one is a pure beauty. The cyclops doesn't bother me at all and adds a symetry to the watch with the small seconds. I only miss the small seconds reset function on this watch.

    I would like to give new shoes to my watch and I'm in love with the strap displayed on your pictures (brown with white threads). Would you please give me all references of this strap ? Thank you.

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  2. Hi Bertrand, congratulations with your 268. The tan strap with antique stitches was made by Justin Chen. Send me an e-mail for his contact details.

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  3. This is a beautiful watch. I just picked one up in Tokyo today! I love it. Seeing it on your site with the brown strap really confirmed what a beautiful watch it is as I really didn't like the black strap it comes with.

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