Friday, September 17, 2010

Straps by Julien Landa - part I

Julien Landa is an accomplished artist who is famous for his amazing oil paintings of mostly still lifes and landscapes. You can see some examples of Julien's oil paintings on his website. Besides being an artist, a fellow Dutchman and a true gentleman, Julien is a well known and skilled strap maker. Certainly within the Panerai community, Julien is very well known for his artistic strap creations which Julien calls "Art for the wrist". This blog would of course not be complete without at least a few entries dedicated to Julien's work. And so I received ten different straps to post about.

Various straps by Julien Landa / landastraps
Nine of the ten different straps by artist Julien Landa

All the straps are completely made by hand from start to finish and Julien uses a variety of the finest leathers. The straps are without a doubt all very well made.

The first strap, shown below on a Panerai PAM127 aka Fiddy, is a chocolate brown 26mm strap. The leather has been treated to get a distressed look. It is cut from a very soft cow hide. The color of the stitches matches that of the strap although it's a slightly lighter brown. The sewn in buckle is a straight pre Vendome style buckle. This is a beautiful and very comfortable strap.

Chocolate brown strap by Julien Landa / landastraps
Chocolate brown strap by Julien Landa / landastraps

Chocolate brown strap by Julien Landa / landastraps
Panerai PAM127 with Julien's chocolate brown distressed strap

Chocolate brown strap by Julien Landa / landastraps
Pre Vendome style buckle

Judging by how often I've seen people post about this particular strap (below) on the various fora, the "Stonewashed Blue jeans Special Edition" strap must be one of Julien's most famous straps. This is a very unique strap finished by hand to achieve this Blue jeans look. The tip of the strap is brown as is the fixed keeper.

Stonewashed Blue jeans Special Edition on Panerai PAM233
Stonewashed Blue jeans Special Edition on PAM233

Various straps by Julien Landa / landastraps
The Blue jeans strap comes with a sewn in buckle

The reddish brown strap showing on the Panerai PAM000 (logo) below is made from Julien's finest leathers. According to Julien this leather will develop an amazing patina over time. The strap that I received already shows this. It is definitely one of my favorites amongst the ones that I received and it's quite unlike any other strap I have seen before.

Panerai PAM000 logo with a strap from Landa Straps
Panerai PAM000 showing Julien's Reddish brown strap

Various straps by Julien Landa / landastraps
Landa Straps Reddish Brown strap

The fourth strap is a light brown cow hide strap with a fine grain and off-white or cream stiches. The leather kind of reminded me of a school bag I used to have as a kid. It's very supple and its finishing is slightly glossy as you can see in the below photos. The strap is showing on a Panerai PAM233.

Light brown strap by Landa straps on a PAM233
Light brown strap on a Panerai PAM233

Light brown strap by Landa straps on a PAM233
The strap comes with a nice brushed steel buckle

The last strap in this post is this very distressed looking brown cow hide strap. Julien tells me that the original leather looks the way it does, he does not treat it to make it look this distressed. Photos don't do it justice at all. This is a very cool strap that you have to see in person.

Distressed brown strap by Landa straps on a PAM000
Distressed brown strap on a Panerai PAM000 (Logo)

Distressed brown strap by Landa straps on a PAM000
Click the photos for a larger version

A post about the other straps will follow shortly. In the meantime you can have a look on the website where several ready made straps are offered for sale. You can also find some excellent Panerai photos there.

You can see the rest of the photos (41) on Landa Straps.

All photos © 2010 M.Wilmsen - Do not use without permission.

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Monday, September 13, 2010

PAM176 G Luminor Base Titanium

The Panerai PAM176 is a base titanium Luminor with a 44mm case. Panerai started production of this model in 2004. There are 400 units in the 2004 G series, 800 for H, 800 for I, 700 for J and another 800 in the K series (2008). And the watch is currently still in production but I don't know the numbers that were produced in 2009 and 2010.

Panerai PAM176 Luminor Base Titanium
Panerai PAM176 G Luminor Base titanium 44mm

What makes the G model unique is that after G, the PAM176 was fitted with a sandwich Luminova dial. As you can see in the photos, this watch has a painted dial. Furthermore, the G version of the PAM176 still has the Panerai engraved bridges that you can see through the crystal case back of the watch. 2004 was also the year when Panerai started to use the slightly larger crown guard on the Luminor models. Even though there are well over 3,000 PAM176 watches in total, there are only 400 units of this special G model.

Panerai PAM176 Luminor Base Titanium
The PAM176 G has a painted Luminova dial

The PAM176 has the hand wound mechanical Panerai OP X calibre with swan's neck regulator for precise adjustments. The power reserve is 56 hours. The 44mm case and the bezel are brushed titanium. The watch has a 3.5mm thick sapphire crystal and it has a depth rating of 30 bar (300 metres). The photo below shows the see-through case back and the Panerai engraved bridges.

Panerai PAM176 Luminor Base Titanium
The watch has a crystal case back and the Panerai engraved bridges

The strap that is showing in these photos is not the original OEM strap that comes with the watch. It's a French military strap by David Lane Design. You can find more information about this particular strap here.

Panerai PAM176 Luminor Base Titanium
Click the photos for a larger version

All photos © 2010 M.Wilmsen - do not use without permission

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

New Kaktus straps contemporary line

Kaktus straps - well known for their vintage styled Panerai straps - recently introduced a completely new line of contemporary straps to "dress up" your Panerai watch. The new line uses exotic skins like alligator and ostrich. The line also includes nubuck straps in different colors.

Kaktus straps - alligator straps
Kaktus contemporary line alligator straps

Kaktus straps - nubuck straps
Kaktus contemporary line nubuck straps

By collaborating with some of the most skillful craftsmen in the business Tomas (owner of Kaktus straps) has created a very nice new collection. Only the highest quality alligator, ostrich and nubuck skins are used. The straps are available in 26 or 24mm widths and most of the straps taper down to 22mm for a more classy look. The straps come with a brushed or polished Kaktus buckle or deployant, but the original Panerai tang buckle will of course fit as well. The buckles have a Kaktus signature engraving which is done by a Swiss company that works for many high end watch manufacturers.

Kaktus straps - Ostrich strap on a Panerai PAM233
Ostrich strap on a Panerai PAM233

Tomas asked me to take some pictures of the new line for his website. The idea was to shoot pictures in a slightly different, more contemporary style. This entry shows a small selection of the photos and straps. You can view a gallery with all 66 photos of the new Kaktus straps here on

Kaktus straps - Grey alligator strap on a PAM243
Grey alligator strap on a Panerai PAM243

Kaktus straps - black nubuck on a Panerai PAM0 aka zero
Black Nubuck strap on a Panerai PAM0

Kaktus straps - brown alligator strap on PAM249
Brown alligator strap on a Panerai PAM249

The new straps can be seen and pre-ordered on this page of the Kaktus-straps website.

All photos © 2010 M.Wilmsen - do not use without permissions

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Saturday, September 4, 2010

PAM55 Luminor Base with a tobacco dial

The Panerai Luminor PAM55 has a titanium 44mm case and a tobacco brown dial. The millesimation database states that 1500 pieces were made in 2000 (C-series) and then another 1200 in the year after (D). According to the owner of this watch however, the millesimation numbers were combined for a given watch type from the A series to the E series. For example: In the the C series there were 1500 Luminor Bases made, including the models 2, 10 and 55. Out of those only 300 units were a PAM55. And in the D series there were only 200 PAM55's made. These limited production numbers and its tobacco dial make this watch a rare bird. Taking that into consideration, prices on the second hand market are still relatively low. The PAM55 has a painted Luminova dial and a solid case back.

Panerai Luminor Base PAM55
Panerai Luminor Base PAM55

Base Panerai watches - no seconds hand, no date - have always been popular amongst Panerai collectors but it seems that watches like this PAM55 are getting more attention than before lately. That is to say, I've seen quite a few posts on the fora recently about this particular model.

Panerai Luminor Base PAM55
The PAM55 has a tobacco brown dial

A Paneristi friend who owns one was over in my town so I had a brief opportunity to take photos of his watch. The pictures are a bit grainy because I forgot to adjust my ISO settings - consequently all these pics were taken at 1600 ISO which I only realized when I was done. Bummer, beginner's mistake, I know... But when I edited the pictures I was actually surprised that although the photos have much more noise than usual, the quality is still acceptable. The full frame sensor of the D700 is more forgiving than I thought it would be.

Panerai Luminor Base PAM55
Ammo strap by Kevin Rogers/Adeeos

The strap that is showing in these pictures is not the original strap that came with the PAM55. The strap is one of Kevin Roger's amazing ammo straps. It's a beautiful strap, very soft to the touch and a great match for the titanium PAM55.

Panerai Luminor Base PAM55
Panerai Luminor Base PAM55

You can find more photos that I took of this watch on

Panerai Luminor Base PAM55
Detail of the L SWISS L dial - click the photos for a larger version

All photos © 2010 M.Wilmsen - do not use without permission.

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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Panerai 332 Regatta in The Expendables

Whether you like the movie or not, it does feature Sylvester Stallone wearing a Panerai. Sly is of course the man who put Panerai back on the map in the 90's as I'm sure most Panerai fans will know. His PAM332 Luminor 1950 Regatta Rattrapante is clearly visible in several shots in the movie. For the record, this is an unusual post for this blog because normally there are only entries with my own photos and text. In this case however, both the photos and the text below are provided to me.

Sylvester Stallone wearing his PAM332 in The Expendables

The long tradition linking Officine Panerai to the yachting world is celebrated once again this year with a special edition dedicated to the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge. This international vintage boat event sponsored by the Florentine company sees the most incredible yachts from years gone by, restored and returned to their ancient splendour and ready to battle it out in a series of regattas on an international circuit, with stages in both the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.

As in the past, just 500 numbered examples have been produced of this special limited edition watch, the Luminor 1950 Regatta Rattrapante 44 mm, DLC (PAM00332). It is a split-second chronograph, complete with chronometer certificate, that counts down the 5 minutes to the start of the regatta. A highly specialised model and therefore a real sailor’s instrument, not just by name, but also due to its technical content.

Panerai PAM332 Luminor 1950 Regatta Rattrapante
PAM332 Luminor 1950 Regatta Rattrapante - Photo © Panerai

The case of new Regatta has an unusual new design, different from the 2008 edition; the steel is no longer polished but blackened with a treatment called DLC. This stands for Diamond-Like-Carbon and means that the metal has been subjected to a process that makes it even harder and more resistant, in particular to corrosion. DLC treatment is much less prone to the scratching and streaking that often occur with other metal-burnishing procedures.

The Luminor case measures 44mm in diameter and DLC treatment has also been extended to the three buttons, winding crown and lever bridge, the latter being the strong signature feature of Luminor watches with the dual function of protecting the crown and ensuring its watertight seal. Waterproof to 100 metres (10 bars), this watch has a screw-down back plate, which is burnished and engraved with the event logo, edition year and the model's identifying numbers and production number.

The dial, covered by 2-mm thick anti-reflective sapphire glass, has a black clou de Paris background: a close-knit weave that gives an impression of depth and highlights the two Arabic numbers and the stud hour markers, luminescent like the hands except for the first of the two chronograph markers, which is blue with just a tiny luminescent point on its tip. The tachymeter scale is imprinted into the raised edge of the dial, while the five minute countdown is also highlighted in blue, shown on the minute counter square.

The Luminor 1950 Regatta Rattrapante has automatic OP XVIII calibre movement, 13 ¼ lines in diameter, with double column wheel - distinctive elements of high-quality rattrapante chronographs. The rattrapante or split-second chronograph allows timing of two events starting at the same time, thanks to a second hand that can be stopped and then realigned with the first while the latter continues its course. The third button, at 8 o’clock, stops and realigns the second hand. With its polished decorated surfaces and levers, the Regatta movement also has official C.O.S.C. certification.

The new Luminor 1950 Regatta Rattrapante has a leather strap with burnished buckle bearing the Panerai logo. It comes complete with a spare strap that can be fitted with the tool provided.

Photos and text used with permission and © 2010 Officine Panerai

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