Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Panerai PAM372 Luminor 1950 - and the Fiddy

One of the first things on my mind when I got to see the official pictures of the new Panerai PAM372 was, Wow - are Panerai listening to their fans or what... Here's why.

Panerai PAM372 close up of the dial
PAM372 - close up of the dial showing how the text is engraved, not printed

- If there's one watch that Panerai enthusiasts have been asking for, it must be a "Base Fiddy". In case you're not that well informed about Panerai watches, Base is the term used for watches with only hours and minutes. Fiddy is the nick name of the PAM127, a 2002 Special Edition watch with a 47mm 1950 style case. A grail to many Paneristi. Granted, the PAM372 may not exactly be a base Fiddy. In fact calling it that doesn't do it justice, but still...

Panerai PAM372 next to the Fiddy PAM127
PAM372 on the left, PAM127 on the right

- On many occasions when people were posting on the fora how much they wanted a base Fiddy, they were usually quick to add that it should be a regular production watch so that everyone has a chance of obtaining one. And at list price too. Well, Panerai are releasing the PAM372 as a regular production watch with 3,000 units in 2011 and ongoing production thereafter.

Panerai PAM372 brown dial
PAM372 - the case and model numbers are engraved between the lugs

- If there's one thing for which the fans have a sincere appreciation in a Panerai watch, it's the presence of the Panerai DNA. Sure, the whole DNA reference means different things to different people, and it all depends on what you use as a reference. But to me, it has always meant that such watches follow the design of the vintage Panerai watches. Call it faithfulness to the history of the brand if you will. Just look at that the shape of that case, the pencil hands, the lugs and oh yeah, that plexi... In my book, the PAM372 oozes DNA!

DNA Vintage Panerai 6152/1
Panerai DNA: The vintage 6152/1

- Movement snobs will use every occasion to tell you that Panerai can't justify the price of some of their watches, because they use low cost third party movements. The Fiddy has the OP XI calibre which is essentially a modified ETA movement. The Panerai PAM372 uses the new in-house Panerai P.3000 calibre. A fantastic hand-wound mechanical movement with a power reserve of 3 days. Entirely developed by Panerai. I love this development so much, I might just be a movement snob myself...

The PAM372 has the new P.3000 in-house movement
The PAM372 has the new P.3000 in-house movement

Yes, somebody listened...

So if someone tells me that Panerai haven't been listening to their fan base, well then Panerai fooled me good! Oh sure, I know - no matter how impressed I am with the introduction of this amazing watch, people will find something to nag about always. I've heard people complain about the hands being too short, about how the 372 will devalue the Fiddy, about how the plexi is not suitable for daily wear, that the case back should have been closed, that there is in fact no vintage case that is shaped like that of the PAM372 and so on. They may be right, they may be wrong. I say pfffff... But then again, nagging about details goes with the territory of having such a passionate purists fan base. Be that as it may, I personally think that Panerai could not have done a better job. The magic is there with the PAM372. The instant new grail of many no doubt!

So is the PAM372 a Base Fiddy?

The PAM372 and the 2002 Special Edition PAM127 are indeed similar. And so are the 201/A and the PAM0 - if I ask my uncle Bob... Admittedly, you must be into Panerai to appreciate the perhaps subtle differences. But the two watches are two very unique pieces in their own right, and the PAM372 is not a base Fiddy in my book. The PAM127 has something magical which is hard to describe. It evokes emotion. But if there's one watch in the new line up that has that same magical effect, it's got to be the 372!

A side view of the 372 and 127, the 372 on top
A side view of the 372 and 127, the 372 on top

About the new case

An excerpt from the press release with regards to the new Luminor case: The new Luminor 1950 3 Days – 47mm offers for the first time a historic case which marks a transitional phase: while having the characteristic Luminor features, the new case has a rounded, cusp-shaped caseband, which was evidently derived from the cushion form of the Radiomir case. Other small details mark the faithful relationship of the new model to a few extremely rare historic examples: the slimmer lugs, the engraving of the reference details between the lugs, the Plexiglas® crystal instead of a sapphire one and the wide, flat back with the words “Officine Panerai” engraved upon it.

A side view of the 372 and 127, the 372 on top
Another side view, click the photos for a larger view

The photo below clearly shows the thinner lugs and the shape of the new case (OP 6835). The case is polished but the crown guard (with Reg. TM. engraving) is still brushed. Also note that the crown guard is not upside down like it is on the Fiddy (i.e. the lever closes at the top, not the bottom).

A side view of the case of the PAM372
A sideview of the PAM372 showing the thinner lugs and brushed crown guard

Similarities and differences

The table below shows the obvious differences and similarities between the two watches. If there's more, then please do let me know.

case type47mm OP683547mm OP6576
case finishingpolished stainless steelbrushed stainless steel
crystal3 mm thick Plexiglas2 mm thick sapphire
movementin-house P.3000ETA based OPXI
case backsapphire crystalsapphire crystal
power reserve3 days56 hours
dial colorblack sandwichblack sandwich
dial textLuminor Panerai engraved underneath the 12Luminor Panerai printed underneath the 12 and 1950 printed above the 6
water resistance100m100m
crown guardlever closes upwardslever closes downwards
secondsnosub seconds dial at the 9 o'clock poistion

A side view of the 372 and 127, the 372 on top
PAM372 on the left, Fiddy on the right

The PAM372 comes with one of the nicest looking OEM straps and it really makes a great combination with the watch. There's obviously no reason to immediately change this strap, but I can't wait to see how the watch looks on a French ammo.

Panerai PAM372 brown dial
PAM372 has a black dial and its plexi is slightly rounded

All the photos of the 372 and 127 in this post were taken at the SIHH in Geneva. Note that the dial of the 372 appears to be slightly brown in the above photo. The dial is however black. I've noticed this with other Panerai watches too. To wrap it up, here's one more picture of the case back of the PAM372.

Panerai PAM372 display back
The case back of the PAM372

Here's a link to my post on paneristi.com about these two watches:

This is a link with must-read information by Volker Wiegmann re the different types/styles hands used on the vintage Panerai models:

Related posts

PAM372 in detail
The PAM127 and the PAM233 compared
The Panerai 1950's style case
Panerai SIHH 2011 Photo report

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

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Panerai SIHH 2011 photo report

Panerai managed to come up with an exciting line up again at this year's SIHH in Geneva. With the help of their fantastic staff I was able to take a lot of "live" pictures of the new watches. I will post about each of the watches separately, but here's an overview of what's new in 2011.

The Panerai boot at the 2011 SIHH
Panerai at the 2011 SIHH in Geneva (click photos for a larger version)

The watch that impressed me the most is the new bronze PAM382. I didn't expect this watch to be so nice in person. Bronze is a material that is not often used in watch making. Each watch will develop a unique patina and this is probably one of the few watches in which you will enjoy getting a few scratches. The weight of the 47mm is substantial which is great imo. The PAM382 has Panerai's in house P.9000 calibre. The case back is made of titanium so that the bronze material doesn't touch the skin.

Panerai PAM283 Luminor Submersible 1950 Bronzo
PAM382 Luminor Submersible 1950 Bronzo 47mm

If there's one watch that Paneristi have been asking for it must be the PAM372. This 47mm base is inspired on the vintage Panerai watches. The watch has a plexi as opposed to a sapphire crystal and its dial is brown. The 372 is a regular production watch of which Panerai will produce 3,000 units in 2011.

Panerai PAM272 Luminor 1950
PAM372 Luminor 1950 47mm

The PAM371 is a special edition 47mm watch. The case is titanium and it has a very nice blue dial. The use of Panerai's P.9001 calibre makes it possible to have a date and a GMT function on this automatic watch.

PAM371 Luminor Submersible 1950 Regatta 3 Days GMT
PAM371 Luminor Submersible 1950 Regatta 3 Days GMT 47mm

The PAM373 Radiomir 3 Days Platino is a 47mm watch with a platinum case as its name suggests. It's one of the 2011 special editions. The P.3000 calibre offers a power reserve of 3 days after a full wind.

PAM373 Radiomir 3 Days Platino 47mm
PAM373 Radiomir 3 Days Platino 47mm

The PAM376 Radiomir 3 Days Oro Bianco 47mm is another special edition. Its case is white gold. In my opinion this is the most beautiful watch that Panerai are making this year. The combination of the brown California dial, the beige luminova and the gold pencil hands is just stunning. Sadly, the use of white gold makes this a very expensive watch.

PAM376 Radiomir 3 Days Oro Bianco 47mm
PAM376 Radiomir 3 Days Oro Bianco 47mm

As expected Panerai introduced two new watches with composite cases this year, of which the PAM375 Luminor Composite 1950 3 Days is one. This is another special edition watch, only available in 2011. The 375 is akin to the Fiddy (PAM127) in terms of design.

PAM375 Luminor Composite 1950 3 Days 47mm
PAM375 Luminor Composite 1950 3 Days 47mm

A new 42mm watch was also added to the regular production line up. The pink gold PAM378 is a very stylish dress watch. Its dial is black. The 378 has the P.999 in house movement. Panerai have named this watch "Radiomir Oro Rosa".

PAM378 Radiomir Oro Rosa 42mm
PAM378 Radiomir Oro Rosa 42mm

The stainless steel PAM268 is discontinued starting this year. The new ceramic PAM384 has the same design as the 268 but it does not have a cyclops over the date. Panerai has clearly not abandoned the use of the horizontal power reserve indicator (aka Fang) on the dial. The horizontal indicator is a complication that is unique to Panerai.

PAM384 Radiomir 8 Days Ceramica 45mm
PAM384 Radiomir 8 Days Ceramica 45mm

Another 2011 special edition is the 47mm pink gold Radiomir Oro Rosa (PAM379). The watch has a large brown sandwich dial. One could call this a gold version of the Panerai PAM232, but there are quite a few differences. It uses the hand-wound mechanical (in house) P.3000 movement and offers a power reserve of 3 days. The movement also has a quick set function which allows you to change the hour hand only by pulling out the crown to the first position. The inscription/text on the dial is done using the same style as that of the new PAM372.

PAM379 Radiomir 3 Days Oro Rosa 47mm
PAM379 Radiomir 3 Days Oro Rosa 47mm

The PAM369 is a 42mm Radiomir Chronograph which uses the Panerai OP XXIII calibre. It's a very nice looking sports watch.

PAM369 Radiomir Chronograph 42mm
PAM369 Radiomir Chronograph 42mm

The special edition line up for 2011 also offers a 47mm destro, the PAM368 Luminor 1950 8 Days Titanio. As its name suggests, this watch has a brushed titanium case. The sub seconds dial is positioned on the right side at the three o'clock position. It has a large sandwich dial. This watch is similar to the PAM217 but it doesn't have Marina Militare on its brown dial.

PAM368 Luminor 1950 left-handed 8 Days Titanio 47mm
PAM368 Luminor 1950 left-handed 8 Days Titanio 47mm

Besides the 42mm Chrono, Panerai also introduced a 44mm Luminor Chronograph - the PAM356. The dial has beige colored luminova as opposed to the green luminova used on most earlier Panerai watches. The watch has Panerai's OP XXII calibre.

PAM356 Luminor Chrono Daylight 44mm
PAM368 Luminor Chrono Daylight 44mm

The last watch in this post is another special edition watch, the PAM345 Luminor 1950 Chrono Monopulsante Destro Titanio. A chronograph for left handed people in a 44mm 1950's style titanium case.

PAM345 Luminor 1950 Chrono Monopulsante Destro Titanio 44mm
PAM345 Luminor 1950 Chrono Monopulsante Destro Titanio 44mm

Sadly two new pieces are missing in the pictures. I forgot to ask for the the PAM380 Black Seal Logo (Radiomir 45mm) and the PAM386 Luminor Composite Marina 1950 - which really is a shame because these are two interesting watches too. Perhaps there will be a photo opportunity some other time.

Related posts

SIHH 2010 Panerai Novelties

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