PAM359 Luminor Marina 3 Days Automatic
Not many Panerai watches have all the numbers on the dial - except for the 3 in this case because that's where the date window is. My first impression was that the watch was to replace the PAM164 - and that it did not really seem to have much of Panerai's DNA. Vintage Panerai specialist Volker Wiegmann however posted a photo from the Panerai historic archive (on paneristi.com) that proved me wrong. I can't repost the photo here, but the dial is definitely inspired on that particular photo. For your information, Volker is co-writer of several must have books about vintage Panerai. His website www.vintagepanerai.com is also worth checking out.
The Luminova is beige
The PAM359 has a black sandwich dial that appears to have a nice brownish hue under certain light. The color of the Luminova is beige as opposed to the green Luminova that we are used to from most Panerai watches. Beige colored Luminova seems to be in vogue now as it's also used for the 2009 Special Edition Egiziano (PAM341), the new composite Radiomir (PAM339) and the new "Lo Scienziato Radiomir Tourbillon" (PAM348 and PAM350).
The watch has an all polished 1950's style case
An interesting detail is that - to my knowledge - this watch has the first all polished 1950's style case. All other watches with this type of case are brushed, usually in combination with a polished steel bezel. Examples are the 233, 270, 127, 312, 320 and so on. The crown guard with its Reg. TM. engraving however is brushed. As you can see in the above photo, the 359 has a crystal case back. The watch has Panerai's in-house P.9000 automatic movement with a power reserve of three days.
The crown guard has a brushed finish
Besides the crown guard, the steel part of the case back also has a brushed finish and the large size steel buckle is brushed too. The watch comes with a very nice black strap with beige stitches. The color of the stitches perfectly matches the color of the Luminova. I don't think that I have seen a nicer OEM strap to date.
The large size buckle with its brushed finish and Panerai engraved
The PAM359 is not in shops yet, it is expected to be available later this year. When I first posted about this watch I really didn't expect that the watch would get so much positive feedback - although of course not everyone is very enthusiastic about it. Looks like this 359 will be a popular watch amongst both seasoned Paneristi and the regular watch buying public. One of the good things is that it is a regular production watch, so it may not be as difficult to get a hold of one as would be the case if it was released as a special edition.
The black strap has beige stitches that match the color of the Luminova
Click the photos for a larger version
All photos © 2010 M.Wilmsen - do not use the photos without permission.
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