Sunday, August 22, 2010

PAM26 Luminor Marina Left Handed SE 2008

The Panerai PAM26 is a special edition watch from the year 2008 (K). Panerai produced 1,000 pieces of the watch. The PAM26 is a so called "Destro" watch, which means it is intended for left-handed people or in any case, to be worn on the right wrist. The crown and its crown guard are positioned on the 9 o'clock position as opposed to the 3 o'clock position where it normally is.

Panerai PAM26 Luminor Marina Left Handed Destro
Panerai PAM26 Luminor Marina Left Handed

The PAM26 has a steel 44mm case with a hard black coating (PVD). The color of the PVD coating is slightly lighter than that of e.g. the ceramic PAM292 and slightly darker than that of the PAM28. Its color is often referred to as "charcoal gray" or "pencil gray".

Panerai PAM26 Luminor Marina Left Handed Destro
The 44mm case is steel with a hard black coating (PVD)

In an interview with Panerai CEO Angelo Bonati, he stated that Panerai started working on a ceramic case because they had to find a substitute for PVD. Because there is a buyer's demand for black watches but PVD can have problems with scratching etc. and once the PVD is scratched, you can do nothing to fix it. Something to keep in mind if you are looking into buying yourself a PVD watch.

Panerai PAM26 Luminor Marina Left Handed Destro

The dial of the PAM26 is a black sandwich dial and the color of the Luminova is green. The PAM26 has a sub seconds dial at the three o'clock position where it normally is positioned on the nine o'clock position. The movement is a hand-wound mechanical Panerai OP II calibre with a power reserve of 56 hours.

Panerai PAM26 Luminor Marina Left Handed Destro

The watch is a re-edition of the regular production original PAM26 that Panerai produced in 1998 (200 units) and 1999 (500 units). The original PAM26 in the A-series had a so called painted tritium dial as opposed to the 26K which has a sandwich dial.

Panerai PAM26 Luminor Marina Left Handed Destro
The 2008 edition has a Luminova sandwich dial

Apparently there are only 60 to 70 units in the B-series that also came with a transitional Tritium dial with T SWISS T underneath the six. The other units in the B-series came with a Luminova dial. The 2008 SE is a collectible watch that generally sells above its original list price but the 1998 original is of course much more rare and valuable as a result.

Panerai PAM26 Luminor Marina Left Handed Destro
The 2008 edition has a Luminova sandwich dial

You can find many more pictures of the PAM26 on paneristipix.com.

Panerai PAM26 Luminor Marina Left Handed Destro
Click the photos for a larger version

Related posts

PAM28 Luminor Power Reserve
PAM292 Ceramic Radiomir

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

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Gunny Straps

Indonesia based Peter Gunny is a strap maker with an obsession for vintage looking watch straps. When he bought his first Panerai in 2007 he couldn't seem to find the kind of strap he liked for his watch. After running into an old friend who runs a leather factory, Peter got excited about making straps himself. By now, Peter runs his strap business full time and he makes straps for Panerai and other watch brands.

Gunny straps
Straps by Peter Gunny, L-R Paupe, 74, Egypt and MI1

The four straps that Peter sent me to take pictures, from left to right in the above picture:
  • - Paupe, inspired by a photo of a vintage Pape Radiomir found on the Internet.
  • - 74, inspired by a photo of a vintage Panerai in one of the catalogs.
  • - Egypt, thought up when imagining Egyptian artifacts that are found after thousands of years, dirty and dusty.
  • - MI1, this straps is based on an original vintage strap that Peter received from of his customers. That person only had the long end of the strap and he asked Peter to make the short part to go with it.

Gunny straps
Paupe and the Egypt on the right

Gunny straps
The MI1 and the 74

Peter asked me to take pictures of 4 of his straps for his website and this blog. He told me that he didn't think that I would want to do it, because there has been some negativity with regards to his business on one of the Panerai fora. I personally think that Peter deserves more credit than he's been given and that the negativity mainly had to do with the fact that he was accused of asking people to promote his straps on the different fora - it didn't have to do with the quality of his products. After talking to some Indonesian Paneristi I believe that Peter couldn't help that others posted the way they did and in my book, he certainly deserves a break. So I agreed to take pictures and Peter was willing to accept any critique I might have.

About the straps


Gunny straps

One of the most noticeable things about all of these straps, is that the leather is extremely soft. The leather that Peter used for these straps is not real vintage leather which is generally much stiffer, but Peter takes pride in his special techniques to make the straps look the way they do. A process that he calls "vintagizing". Because that process is done by hand, no two straps will be 100% alike.

My first impression was that the straps were machine stitched because the stitches are straight and evenly done, but Peter assures me that the straps are all completely hand made, including cutting the leather, gluing and stitching. The short end of the 74 and the MI1 is thicker than the long end because it has three layers of leather like the original vintage straps. The long end is made by folding two layers.

The 74 series strap


Gunny straps 74 series
The vintage style 74 strap

The 74 strap is made to look like the strap on a vintage Panerai that is pictured in one of the Panerai catalogs - including the number 74 on the short end of the strap. If you have the catalog you can look up the picture and you'll see that this strap is a pretty accurate copy of the original.

Gunny straps 74 series on a Fiddy PAM127
74 strap on a PAM127

I can certainly appreciate the thought behind this and it is a nice looking strap. But I also have to admit that I can't see myself wearing a strap with a number written on it. It's one of those things that you'll either love or not. Then again, if you take it for what it is, it is a great homage to the original.

Gunny straps 74 series on a Fiddy PAM127
74 strap on a PAM127

The MI1 strap


Gunny straps MI1 series
The vintage style MI1 strap

The MI1 strap is another strap that was made to look like a strap on a vintage Panerai. This series is the result of a project that Peter worked on when he had to create the missing short end of an original vintage strap of one of his customers. It's showing on my 249 in these pictures.

Gunny straps MI1 series on a Cali PAM249
The vintage style MI1 strap mounted on a PAM249 (Cali)

The strap seems to be well made and it certainly is akin to the original strap a lot in terms of looks. Again, the leather is extremely soft. I don't know how it will hold up after some wearing. I can imagine that the leather will stretch a bit but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Gunny straps MI1 series on a Cali PAM249
The vintage style MI1 strap mounted on a PAM249 (Cali)

Egypt series


Gunny straps Egypt series on a PAM243 submersible
The Egypt series strap on a PAM243 submersible

I personally quite liked how the Egyptian strap looks on the 243. The leather has a nice texture and it is very comfortable on the wrist. This particular strap hasn't been made to look as old as the previous two (the 74 and MI1) but it does have a "vintagy" feeling to it.

Gunny straps Egypt series on a PAM243 submersible
The Egypt series strap has a straight sewn in buckle

Gunny straps Egypt series on a PAM243 submersible
Panerai PAM243 submersible

Paupe series


Gunny straps Paupe series
Paupe series strap

The Paupe series strap has a nice color. Like the other three straps that Peter sent me, the leather is very soft. It's a well made strap that is again based on a picture of a vintage Radiomir, in thise case the Pape Radiomir.

Gunny straps Paupe series
Paupe series strap

As you can see in the above photo, this strap will certainly become much darker after wearing. The strap already shows some discoloration where the keepers have been. Most straps will change color when you wear them so this doesn't say much about the quality, but it is something you have to keep in mind when you buy such a strap.

You can find more information about Peter's work and his contact details on his website: http://gunnystraps.blogspot.com.

Related posts

An overview of strap posts on this blog

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

Monday, August 16, 2010

French Military strap by David Lane Design

What can I say about David Lane Design that I didn't already say in my earlier posts about his straps? I'm a fan and as a result I have a tendency to speak in superlatives about David's work. His straps are really that amazing.

French military strap by David Lane Design
French Military strap by David Lane Design

I recently bought one of David's Yugoslavian ammo strap in 26mm that I really love. So the decision to get another one of his military leather straps was really easy. I got a French ammo strap in 24mm this time.

French military strap by David Lane Design
The leather has a very nice grain and perfect color

David speaks of "Military Leather Watch Straps" rather than "ammo straps" on his website. I guess that he uses that term because his straps are made from all sorts of vintage military equipment. Not just ammunition pouches, but also belts and clothing dating from the early 1900's and on. So in this case, I'm not really sure if the strap is actually made from the leather of an ammunition pouch or not - but the grain and feel of the leather does make me think it is. Either way, the leather is as fantastic as I expected.

French military strap on a PAM 2A t-dial
Mounted on a Panerai PAM 2A t-dial

David has several ready made Military straps available on his website. Although in my personal opinion his straps are second to none, I just couldn't answer this question someone recently asked me: who makes the best ammo straps. It's a question I couldn't answer because there are quite a few excellent strap makers and the ones from who I bought straps all were a pleasure to deal with. And the ones I dealt with all make great straps. The leather used, makes all the difference of course. I guess I should do a comparison post sometime soon.

French military strap by David Lane Design
French Military strap by David Lane Design

This strap too came with a straight sewn-in GPF style buckle, my favorite buckle. The leather is supple and comfortable on the wrist.

French military strap by David Lane Design
The strap comes with a sewn-in straight buckle

What I do like about David's straps is that he uses a different kind of leather on the inside of the strap (photo below). That way the vintage leather doesn't touch the skin. Sometimes old leathers have been treated with dyes and solvents that may cause skin problems. The inside has a stamp showing David Lane Demarte as the maker.

French military strap by David Lane Design
French Military strap by David Lane Design

All David's straps are completely hand made, start to finish. And each vintage military strap is truly one of a kind. If you are considering a new ammo strap, then David comes highly recommended.

French military strap by David Lane Design
French Military strap by David Lane Design

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

Related posts

Yugoslavian ammo strap by David Lane Design
Sienna strap by Lau & Van Leijden
French ammo strap by Septimus straps
An overview of all strap posts

Saturday, August 14, 2010

How about a 243 in the wild...

Even during a short break in Normandy (France) I can't seem to stop taking pictures of watches...

PAM243 on Swiss ammo in Etretat Normandy
PAM243 on Septimus Swiss ammo strap in Etretat Normandy

PAM243 on Swiss ammo in Etretat Normandy
Cappuccino late afternoon (French ammo strap by Septimus)...

PAM243 on Swiss ammo in Etretat Normandy
Evenings go well with Leffe...

Completely unrelated - but just a few shots to give you an idea of Normandy. It's beautiful.

PAM243 on Swiss ammo in Etretat Normandy
Sunset near Vierville-sur-Mer

PAM243 on Swiss ammo in Etretat Normandy
Sunset at Etretat

PAM243 on Swiss ammo in Etretat Normandy
The "Pont de Normandy" at night

The above photo of the Pont de Normandy (bridge of Normandy) is a 30 second exposure at f16, taken at night after dark. I used the roof of my car as a camera rest.

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

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Septimus Straps French ammo

The second strap that I received from Septimus Straps is a French ammo. I have bought French ammo straps from a number of different makers and I haven't been disappointed with one to date. There's just something about the leather of those vintage pouches that's very hard to explain.

French ammo strap by Septimus straps
French ammo strap by Septimus straps

It's the grain, the look, the smell, the stains, how it feels on the wrist, the idea that the leather has a history... it's everything about it that I just love. If you're not into the whole strap thing like I am, this must sound a little bit strange to say the least - but I absolutely love 'm and I find myself staring at my wrist a lot when I wear such a strap. Ok, it probably doesn't sound strange, it sounds like I'm nuts.

French ammo strap by Septimus straps
French ammo strap by Septimus straps

The French ammo strap that I received from Septimus Straps is truly amazing. Actually, it is simply the most beautiful French ammo I have in my collection. And I'm saying that because it's not just the leather that's great, it's the whole package. The color of the stitches is perfect, I love the GPF style buckle, the keepers are great... it's just rock solid.

French ammo strap by Septimus straps on PAM2
French ammo strap on Panerai 2A

I received the strap without any holes so that I could make sure that it's a perfect fit for my wrist. Punching the holes was a scary operation but it worked out fine. The strap is a perfect match for my 2A.

French ammo pouch from Septimus straps
The pouch that was used for the strap (picture courtesy Septimus straps)

Fran - one of the two French ristis involved in Septimus Straps - sent me the above picture of the pouch that was used to build this strap. He gave me permissions to use it in this post so that you can see what these vintage pouches look like. Like I already wrote in my post about their Swiss ammo strap, I have all the more respect for the work all strap makers put into their straps, now that I know what these pouches look like. And it makes the prices they charge far more acceptable too. It's all hand work and fine craftsmanship.

French ammo strap by Septimus straps
The strap comes with a sewn in GPF style steel buckle

French ammo strap by Septimus straps
The vintage leather is amazing

The leather of all pouches is not always of the same quality. There are definitely differences from one pouch to the next. It probably depends on the conditions under which the pouches have been stored. The leather of the pouch used for this particular strap is from the sixties and it is absolutely amazing. The leather seems to change color depending on the light. Although this is a thick strap, it is supple and absolutely comfortable to wear.

French ammo strap by Septimus straps on PAM2
Click the photos for a larger version

Septimus Straps have a website with further information and photos of other straps: septimusstraps.blogspot.com.

You can find some more photos of this strap on paneristipix.com.

© 2010 M.Wilmsen - Don't use these photos without permission

Related posts

Swiss ammo strap by Septimus Straps
An overview of entries about straps on wristwatchphoto.com
Yugoslavian ammo strap by David Lane Design
Swedish "Gustav" ammo strap by Kevin Rogers

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What's nicer than a gold Panerai watch?

Three gold Panerai watches perhaps? I've always considered any opportunity to take pictures of the more expensive and rare Panerai models as very unique. As a privilege really. But an opportunity to take pictures of these three models together won't come along often.

Three gold Panerai watches: PAM277, PAM319 and PAM330
Left to right, PAM277, PAM319 and PAM330

You can find entries about each of these models on this blog:
PAM277 Luminor Chrono Monopulsante GMT 44mm
PAM319 Luminor 1950 8 Days Rattrapante 47mm
PAM330 Radiomir Tourbillon GMT 48mm

Three gold Panerai watches: PAM277, PAM319 and PAM330
Click for a larger version

It was quite challenging to take a photo of the three models together. First of all, it's a lot harder to try to prevent reflections in three watches at the same time - as opposed to just one. And it's not easy to find a light set up that brings out the different colors of the dials. Especially the brown of the dials of the 319 and 330 is hard to capture with flash photography. I wish there was another opportunity to get better results, but the odds of an opportunity like this coming along again are rather slim...

Three gold Panerai watches: PAM277, PAM319 and PAM330
Left to right, PAM319, PAM277 and PAM330

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

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Swiss ammo strap by Septimus straps

Sometimes a first look at a strap that is sent to me to take photos, can really make me sigh. When I received this Swiss ammo strap by Septimus Straps I even had to sigh more than once. And that's because I just knew that this was going to cost me money... I just have to add one of these amazing straps to my collection!

Swiss ammo strap for Panerai by Septimus straps
Swiss ammo strap made by Septimus Straps

The strap is made from a vintage Swiss ammunition pouch. The kind of pouch that is showing in the background in the above photo. In my experience, the Swiss ammo straps are quite stiff and not very comfortable to wear. This particular strap however is very pliable and soft - as you can see in the below photo. It is quite unlike other Swiss ammo straps that I've bought before. I love how the leather is cut so that the original stamps are visible on the straps.

Swiss ammo strap for Panerai by Septimus straps
The leather is soft and pliable

The strap has no holes punched yet, but I mounted it on my 243 to see how it looks. It's a perfect match in my opinion.

Swiss ammo strap for Panerai by Septimus straps
Panerai PAM243 submersible

Fran - from Septimus straps - was so kind as to let me have one of his ammo pouches. I had been looking to buy one to use as a photo prop for a while. Now that I've seen these pouches I have all the more appreciation for all the strap makers that turn these things into the excellent straps that they sell. I'm convinced that it takes many hours, a lot of passion and fine craftsmanship to be able to build such straps. These vintage ammunition pouches are getting harder and harder to find. I don't know how many straps you can make out of one pouch, but it can't be many.

Swiss ammo strap for Panerai by Septimus straps
The pouch shows a stamp like most Swiss ammo straps have

The Septimus strap has an amazing texture and it is really soft to the touch. The leather has a semi gloss finish. The strap came with a sewn in GPF style buckle, the same one that I have on my Yugoslavian ammo strap from David Lane Design. Funny how I was looking to find one of those buckles and to then receive straps with the same buckle from two different makers shortly after each other. The nicest buckle, no doubt.

Swiss ammo strap for Panerai by Septimus straps
The strap comes with a sewn in GPF style buckle

The inside of the strap (photo above) is the same leather as the outside. It would be a shame to use some other kind of leather on the inside, simply because that would hide how nice the original leather really is. Of course every real ammo strap is a one of kind so other straps will look different, but as you can see in the photo, the inside shows the stitch holes of the original pouch.

Swiss ammo strap for Panerai by Septimus straps
Swiss ammo strap made by Septimus Straps

Septimus straps are two friends and Paneristi from France. They make straps out of passion for Panerai and the community - and it shows. Their straps are exceptionally well made. It takes them 4 to 7 hours (depending on the strap) to make a strap and it is all done by hand from start to finish. Now that I know a little bit about the costs of original ammo pouches and about how much time it takes to make an ammo strap like this - I can only say that these guys are not in it for the money. Their prices are certainly more than reasonable for what you get and definitely in comparison to what other strap makers are charging for similar straps. But that comparison is unfair because making straps is not their business but rather a hobby.

Swiss ammo strap for Panerai by Septimus straps
Click the photos for a larger version

The Septimus straps website has lots of very nice photos by their fans. It's definitely worth it to have a look. You can contact Fran by e-mail too.

You can find more photos of this strap in this gallery on paneristipix.com.

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

Related posts

An overview of entries about straps on wristwatchphoto.com
Yugoslavian ammo strap by David Lane Design
Swedish "Gustav" ammo strap by Kevin Rogers