Thursday, December 29, 2011

An opportunity to own a unique Panerai print by Eng Tay and to win a PAM390

If you love Panerai, then here's your chance to own a very unique piece of art, created by well known Paneristi and New York based artist Eng Tay. Eng created a special edition print of the sought after Panerai PAM360. All the funds raised will benefit the Mulliganeers, who help the families of children in sickness and in need.

B&W photo of the 360 print, posted with permission - courtesy of Mike Mellia

If you are not a regular on - which you should be of course ;) - then you may have missed this. But if you are quick, you still have a chance to own a very unique signed and numbered piece of art, to help Mulliganeers and... you also have a unique chance at winning a beautiful Panerai PAM390 which was donated by Officine Panerai!

If you are a Panerai enthusiast and you have a heart, then don't let this opportunity pass you by!

Follow this link for further information on how to donate/buy your unique print:

You will automatically have a shot at winning the PAM390 if you donate for the print. More info here:

New York based artist and Paneristi Eng Tay

Mind you, the PAM390 is not just any old Panerai ;) This watch was released this year (unknown at the SIHH 2011), it is a limited watch with a beautiful brown base dial, beige indices and gold hands. This is already a very sought after watch that sells well over list price because there are many who want one, while only 2,000 units are and will be made. Sadly I haven't had the opportunity to take any photos of the watch myself, but if you follow the above links you'll see a very nice photo of it. Congratulations in advance with your print and good luck with your chance at winning the PAM390!

Monday, December 12, 2011

PAM194 Luminor Submersible 2500m 47mm

Panerai are known for building watches that have "presence on the wrist". The PAM194 fits in that category without a doubt. Not only is its case 47mm, it's quite thick too. A big and very cool wristwatch for sure. But as it's made from titanium, it is in fact much more wearable than one would think.

Panerai PAM194 Luminor Submersible 2500m 47mm titanium
Panerai PAM194 Luminor Submersible 2500m

The PAM194 is a Special Edition G series watch (G = 2004). Only 1,000 units were made and the watch was instantly sold out at its introduction. It has a depth rating of 2,500 meters. Most submersibles have a depth rating of at most 300 meters. There are exceptions, for instance the PAM243 has a depth rating of 1,000 meters. And also a helium valve like the PAM194. To withstand high pressures when diving, the PAM194 has a sapphire crystal that is a whopping 5.9mm thick.

Panerai PAM194 Luminor Submersible 2500m 47mm titanium
Side view of the case, note the helium valve on the right

The PAM194 has a 1950's style case as you can see in the above photo (the case is rounded near the lugs). The indices on the dial are Tritium - a luminous substance that is no longer used - and on this particular watch you can see that it's already showing a nice patina (a yellowish discoloration which is unique to Tritium).

Panerai PAM194 Luminor Submersible 2500m 47mm titanium
Panerai PAM194 Luminor Submersible 2500m

The watch comes with a 26mm rubber accordion strap. The OP logo is embossed on both parts of the strap as shown in the corners of the above photo. The strap is fitted with a large Pre Vendome style titanium buckle.

Panerai PAM194 Luminor Submersible 2500m 47mm titanium
Panerai PAM194 Luminor Submersible 2500m

The PAM194 has the OPIII calibre movement which offers the additional functions date and small seconds. The watch has a solid case back that is also made out of titanium.

Panerai PAM194 Luminor Submersible 2500m 47mm titanium
Click the photos for a larger version

All photos © 2011 M.Wilmsen - do not use my photos without permission

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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Special Edition Watch Case by Zeugma Straps

This week I received my new wrist watch case from Zeugma Straps. This is definitely an exceptional piece of craftsmanship, most likely rivaled by none. Nuri (Zeugma Straps) tells me that his company made 120 of these cases and that they worked 10 months to complete the task.

Special Edition wrist watch case by Zeugma Straps

The finest thick and sturdy leather was used to create a unique product of the highest quality. Every case is completely hand crafted and uniquely numbered on the bottom side of the case (see photo below). No more than the current 120 cases will be produced.

The case is closed by two large strap loops as shown below.

The embossed Zeugma logo on the backside of the case:

The case safely holds up to eight large wristwatches. The inside of the lid is made from suede and is heavily padded. The board that holds the watch cushions can be taken out of the case eg to store the board in your safe or you could even use the case as a regular briefcase. If you're interested in the watches shown - from left to right Panerai PAM233, PAM360, PAM2A, PAM243.

A few more photos to show the excellent quality and fine craftsmanship. You can click the photos for a larger version.

Panerai PAM360 on top of the Zeugma case

If you are looking for a high quality hand made watch case then stop looking. You won't find anything better than this. If you want to buy one of these cases you can contact Nuri by sending an e-mail to Mind you, quality comes at a price - the cases sell for 590 USD (paypal) or 540 USD if you pay with Western Union. Considering that these cases are hand made, limited and that the finest quality leather has been used - it's a bargain. The prices include worldwide shipping with DHL.

All photos © 2011 M.Wilmsen - do not use my photos without permission.

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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ten more new straps from Simona di Stefano

I've posted several times before about Simona di Stefano's Panerai straps. The last post in February this year was about her new and amazing Saddle straps. These have absolutely been my favorites ever since, I own a black 24mm version for my 243 and a 26mm one for my Fiddy. I've been wearing the one on my 243 a lot and I'm happy to say that the quality absolutely lives up to my expectations as it still looks great and it shows only minimal signs of wear. I think it's worth mentioning that the Saddle straps are now also available with screw-in buckles so that you can easily order the straps with a buckle finish of your choice - including black and brown PVD!

New Di Stefano Straps

This time Simona sent me a number of her other new creations. I'm starting with the Gamekeeper straps. The below photo shows the standard (brown) version on the left and the mustard version on the right.

Simona di Stefano Gamekeeper straps

The Gamekeeper strap has great looking and unique texture. The leather is exceptionally comfortable. As always, the quality of these straps is just great. The straps are clearly made with great eye for detail. The photo below shows the Mustard Gamekeeper strap on a Panerai PAM360. I like how the color matches with the color of the indices on the dial of this watch. I received this strap with a black PVD buckle but it can of course be ordered with other buckles as well.

The Mustard Gamekeeper strap on a Panerai PAM360

The standard version of the Gamekeeper is brown with beige stitches. If you own a Simona strap yourself, you'll probably notice that the strap in these pictures has a new style screw-in buckle.

Shown here on a Panerai PAM00002 (2A)

Simona di Stefano Gamekeeper

Next up are two alligator straps, a burgundy strap in 24mm and a light gray gator strap in 26mm for 47mm Panerai watches.

Burgundy and light gray alligator straps

The inside of the straps have the Simona di Stefano Firenze logo embossed. I own several alligator straps that I bought from Simona over the years and I still believe that no one makes better alligator straps. In my opinion, her gators have the perfect balance between formal and casual looking straps, especially the cut edge versions.

The company logo on the inside of the straps

Below are a few photos of the light gray gator strap mounted on a Panerai PAM127 aka Fiddy. The sample in these pictures came with a bent brushed steel buckle.

Light gray gator on a Panerai PAM127

The edges are so-called "cut edges" as opposed to rolled edges. Gator straps with rolled edges are generally a bit more expensive because it requires more work and more hide, but I personally prefer the cut edges.

This version came with a bent brushed steel buckle

Gator straps come in many varieties and with different finishes. The light gray gator has a semi gloss finish.

The strap has a great semi gloss finish

The next strap is called Mosaic. The leather of these straps is truly amazing, very supple and comfortable on the wrist with a great texture. The picture below shows two different Mosaic straps, the one on the left is called Mosaic Gold and the one next to it is called Mosaic Stone. If you scroll down you'll see that there's also a version called Mosaic Plum and another one which is called Mosaic Blue.

The Mosaic Gold (L) and the Mosaic Stone

The Mosaic Gold is my favorite of the straps in this post. I just love how it looks on the PAM360. Perfect. Like the other straps, you can order these with any buckle in any finish - screw in or sewn in.

Mosaic Gold on a Panerai PAM360

Mosaic Gold with a PVD buckle

Here's a last picture of the Mosaic Gold on the PAM360.

Mosaic Gold - my personal favorite

The strap on the PAM233 below is yet another version of the Mosaic strap, it's called Mosaic Plum.

Mosaic Plum on a Panerai PAM233

Mosaic Plum with a brushed steel buckle

The Mosaic Stone has a very nice light color, one that you don't see often. Great for Summer.

The Mosaic Stone shown here on the PAM360

Mosaic Stone - click the photos for a larger version

The last Mosaic strap in this post in the blue version shown below. If I still had my PAM252 North Pole - with its blue dial, I would have definitely wanted to buy this strap. I can imagine that it will also make a great combination with a PAM87.

The Mosaic strap in blue

Hand stitched straps

The last two top quality straps in this post are hand stitched straps. The one showing in the first picture is called Rooster Cogburn - True Grit and the second one is called Polar Expedition.

Note that these (True Grit and Polar Expedition) are limited and available while stock lasts only. The reason for this is that Steve Bell - who has worked together with Simona - has taken on a full time job. As a result, it is not possible for him to be involved in the complicated production process of these hand stitched straps anymore. I'm going to take the opportunity to thank Steve for all he has done for Di Stefano Straps, Simona and us strap buyers. Thank you Steve, it was always a pleasure dealing with you.

I haven't taken any pictures of these straps mounted on a watch, but I think that the photos clearly show the amazing quality of the leather. The one below is actually the softest strap of all the straps in this post.

Rooster Cogburn - True Grit

The final photo shows the new Polar Expedition strap. The one shown below is 26mm - for 47mm Panerai watches. Like the strap above, this is a hand stitched strap made from the best quality leather.

Polar Expedition strap

There are a few more photos available on

You can order Simona's straps from her new website Most straps are ready made and available immediately. The hand stitched straps are limited.

All photos © 2011 M.Wilmsen - do not use without permission

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

PAM386 Luminor Composite Marina 1950 3 Days Automatic

Based on the attention that the 2011 Panerai models have received on the different watch fora, the composite PAM386 may be one of the most overlooked new Panerai watches this year. Which is strange, because it's not only a very good looking watch - it's also a very interesting watch because it is made using the new Panerai composite. This material was also used in the Radiomir PAM339 and that watch was a big hit - perhaps the most popular Panerai watch introduced in 2010.

Panerai PAM386
PAM386 Luminor Composite Marina 1950 3 Days Automatic 44mm

There were two watches that I didn't get to photograph at the SIHH in January this year and the PAM386 was one of them. I guess I forgot to ask for those watches as I was a bit overwhelmed by the PAM372 and another composite watch, the 47mm special edition PAM375. The PAM380 Radiomir blackseal is another watch that I was able to shoot later and this week I got the opportunity to take pictures of the PAM386 - thanks to the kind people of Richemont in Amsterdam.

Panerai PAM386
The composite case is brown

The PAM386 has a brown 44mm case and its dial is brown too. Its actual color doesn't show very well in many photos (as you can see in the first one where the dial appears to be black), but the above photo is pretty close to its actual color. The Luminova is beige which combines nicely with the brown of the dial.

Panerai PAM386
The Panerai "Assolutamente" strap

The watch comes with the Panerai Assolutamente strap. One of the nicest OEM straps no doubt. It can be ordered from Panerai separately too. Its product code is MX006GJF in case you're interested. The strap tapers from 24mm to 22mm and it's 115x75 - which is a bit short for my taste, but I think it's also available in other lengths.

Panerai PAM386
Case back

The Panerai PAM386 has the automatic mechanical P.9000 calibre, executed entirely by Panerai. This movement has a 3 day power reserve (it uses 2 barrels). The watch has a crystal case back so you can see some of its movement details and the rotor. The dial has a date at 3 o'clock, a small seconds dial at 9 o'clock and it offers 300 meter water resistance.

Panerai PAM386
Click the photos for a larger version

If you want a composite Luminor and you're not on the list for a PAM375, then this 386 is certainly worth considering. It's a very functional watch, its case size (44mm) is probably a bit better suited for people that don't have wrists like tree trunks and it's simply stunning in person with its amazing brown dial and beige numbers.

Panerai PAM386
PAM386 Luminor Composite Marina 1950 3 Days Automatic

All photos © 2011 M.Wilmsen - do not use without permission.

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

PAM356 Luminor Chrono Daylight 44mm

Although perhaps not a model that makes the hard core Panerai enthusiast's heart beat faster at first, the new Panerai PAM356 is a very nice looking and functional wristwatch. The 356 was introduced in Geneva in January this year and I think that this is one of the few models that's already available. It is a regular production watch. The Luminova has the same beige color as the Luminova that is used on for instance the PAM360, called "faux patina" by some (but hopefully not by you, because it sounds pretty stupid to me). Anyway, if you are looking for a watch that offers the functions, the quality and the image of a luxury watch, but without the pretense - this might be the one you've been looking for.

PAM356 Luminor Chrono Daylight 44mm
PAM356 Luminor Chrono Daylight 44mm

The watch has the ETA based Panerai OP XIX calibre which offers hours, minutes, seconds, a date and a chronograph. The case is 44mm brushed steel and the watch has a solid steel caseback. The PAM356 does have a quick date change function, but it is not operated in the usual way (i.e. pulling out the crown one click). There's a so called "date corrector" at the 10 o'clock position which you can see in the below photo. A special tool is supplied with the watch to operate this function ie to change the date.

PAM356 Luminor Chrono Daylight 44mm
The "date corrector" at the 10 o'clock position

The 356 sets forth on a tradition of Panerai watches with the text Daylight on the dial. It's a reference to Sylvester Stallone's movie Daylight. He spotted and bought a Luminor in Rome in 1995 to wear during the shooting of the movie and he then ordered a number of watches with his signature on the case back, as gifts to friends. Those watches are sought after collectibles and very valuable now.

PAM356 Luminor Chrono Daylight 44mm
The typical Luminor crown guard with the integrated chrono pushers

All photos © 2011 M.Wilmsen - do not use without permission

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Sunday, June 5, 2011

PAM371 Luminor Submersible 1950 Regatta

The Panerai PAM371 is one of the 8 special edition models that were presented at the SIHH earlier this year. If I'm correct, this is also the first - and currently only - of the 2011 special edition watches that already made its way to the few lucky new owners. And as always, several were of course purchased to be flipped immediately as these are already being offered above list price on a number of watch websites.

Panerai PAM371 Luminor Submersible 1950 Regatta
Panerai PAM371 Luminor Submersible 1950 Regatta

The PAM371 is essentially a PAM305 with a blue dial and a GMT function. As said, the PAM371 is of course a special edition whereas the PAM305 is a regular production model. Both models have a 47mm 1950's style case and are made out of titanium.

Panerai PAM371 Luminor Submersible 1950 Regatta
The case back shows the rotor that winds the automatic movement

The new PAM371 uses the P.9001 caliber, the PAM305 has the P.9000 caliber. The difference between the two is that the P.9001 movement has the GMT function and the P.9001 movement has a small power reserve indicator on the back. Other than that, the two automatic mechanical movements are technically very similar, with date and sub seconds functions.

Panerai PAM371 Luminor Submersible 1950 Regatta
The black hand at 5 o'clock shows the time in the 2nd zone

The PAM371 comes with the rubber accordion strap, similar to the one that comes with the PAM243. But it's a 26mm of course (the PAM243 has a 44mm brushed steel case and its lug width is 24mm.

Panerai PAM371 Luminor Submersible 1950 Regatta
The shape of the 1950's style case

Although the 47mm case is large, it doesn't look too big on the wrist at all and it's quite comfortable to wear. The above photo shows the shape of the case and the slightly rounded lugs. As you can see in the second photo, the watch still has the quick strap change system (note the push buttons at the underside of the lugs). Most of the new models seem to have screws again as opposed to the push button system that was introduced a couple of years ago.

Panerai PAM371 Luminor Submersible 1950 Regatta
Click the photos for a larger version

Photos taken at the SIHH 2011 in Geneva. © 2011 M.Wilmsen, do not use without permission.

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