Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Panerai SIHH 2012 Photo Report

Last January I attended SIHH for the third time. And I was offered an opportunity to take photos of the new Panerai line up again - thank you OP for your time, the warm welcome and your cooperation! This was also a first time for me to meet with CEO Mr Angelo Bonati - who is a very friendly and down to earth person. And funny too, he had some great stories to share. The good folks from Richemont Amsterdam were great as always - thanks again!


SIHH Geneva

OP officially introduced 12 new watches this year. In addition to these 12 watches there were a few other new models that were being showed, but those could not be photographed yet. More information will be released later this year. This post doesn't include photos of one of the 12 watches, because the prototype that was being showed is different than the watch that will be actually produced. The watch I'm referring to is the regular production PAM425 Radiomir SLC 3 days. A new development is that the Special Editions will be available through boutiques only. Although this caused a bit of a stir here and there, it's a step that makes perfect sense to me. Another logical development is that all of the new models have an in-house Panerai movement, no more ETA based movements this year.

For further detailed information and many more live photos from SIHH, I highly recommend a visit to the archives on the best Panerai resource paneristi.com. The page has links to the official SIHH release documentation for all the models, the offical OP press photos, live photos and reports by different posters and even a video for an impression of what the Panerai booth looked like. A must see!

One last thing before I move on to the watches, is that there was a Panerai on the cover of quite a few watch magazines that were available at SIHH this year - and I think almost every single magazine had a piece about the brand in it.


Magazine covers

Panerai PAM448 Radiomir California 3 Days - 47 mm

The official documentation mentioned that the PAM448 would be a special edition of 500 units. At the time of this writing Panerai have increased the production number to 750 units. The PAM448 could be referred to as a "remake of a remake". The 2006 Special Edition PAM249 Radiomir 1936 was of course a reproduction of the vintage Panerai 3646 California dial (type E,F and G). The new 448 is - at least visually - very similar to the 249 with its plexi and blue hands. The 448 however has the in-house hand wound P.3000 movement with a power reserve of 3 days, as opposed to the ETA based movement of the 249. You can find an interesting comparison between the 249 and the 448 here on paneristi.com.


Panerai PAM448 Radiomir California 3 Days - 47 mm

Panerai PAM449 Radiomir SLC 3 Days - 47 mm

Just like the PAM448, the Radiomir SLC 3 Days is a Special Edition of again 750 units, although initially introduced as a 500 units edition. Another watch with a historic dial and a plexi instead of a sapphire crystal (an element descended from the models created at the end of the 1930s by Panerai for the Royal Italian Navy with the crystal made of polymethyl methacrylate). Panerai introduced a watch with this unique dial last year (the PAM373) and it was received very well. However, because the PAM373 has a platinum case, it was priced out of the range of most collectors and followers of the brand.

Although the PAM449 will not be easy to come by either (only 750 units and available through boutiques only), at least theoretically and in terms of pricing, it is within the reach of a larger group of collectors. Everybody happy? You would think so, but I've read about collectors who bought the 373 and are now disappointed that another watch with this dial type came out already, that production numbers are too low, that the hands shouldn't have been blue, that the inside of the case should have no engraving (the word VINTAGE is engraved between the strap attachments at 6 o'clock) and the watch will be hard to get if you don't have good relationship with a boutique... That's the world of watch collecting for you, not an easy crowd - but that keeps things interesting too I suppose ;)
Be that as it may, this is a unique and stunning watch - and if you can get your hands on one, you certainly should.


Panerai PAM449 Radiomir SLC 3 Days - 47 mm

Panerai PAM496 Luminor 1950 Tourbillon GMT Ceramica - 48 mm

While on the subject of watches within the reach of a larger group of collectors, the new PAM496 doesn't fit into that category. This watch will have a price tag in the 100K US range. The PAM496 is the second Panerai with a tourbillon regulator mechanism and a ceramic case, and the first in a ceramic Luminor case. A ceramic Radiomir was introduced in 2010; the PAM348 Lo Scienziato Radiomir Tourbillon GMT. The PAM496 is a undeniably showing what OP are now capable of, true high end watch making. The large 48mm ceramic case is matt black and the movement has also been blackened to match this. The watch a crystal case back that allows you to see the tourbillon in action. The dial has an indicator that consists of a number of dots that will rotate as the tourbillon does its work.


Panerai PAM496 Luminor 1950 Tourbillon GMT Ceramica - 48 mm

Panerai PAM422 Luminor Marina 1950 3 Days - 47 mm

Information and photos about the new PAM422 were available a bit before SIHH already. The PAM422 is essentially a PAM372 with a sub seconds dial at the nine o'clock position (hence the name Marina). The 422 has a plexi, a 47mm polished steel case, a brushed crown guard and the in-house P3001 movement. The 372 has the P3000 movement which doesn't offer the seconds hand function (although apparently it does a offer a date function - see the PAM424). One nice feature that you can't see in these photos, is that the 422 has a power reserve indicator on the back. I would have loved to have that function on the 372. The lugs and case shape of the new 1950's case is also different in comparison to the regular 50's case. You can find more information and photos in this post comparing the 372 and the 127.


Panerai PAM422 Luminor Marina 1950 3 Days - 47 mm

Panerai PAM423 Luminor 1950 3 Days Power Reserve - 47 mm

Another surprise (to me) is to see yet another variation of the 372, but this time with both small seconds and a power reserve indicator on the dial at the 7 o'clock position. I have to admit that at first I wasn't sure what to think, but I'm warming up to it. It's actually quite nice. The 423 has the in-house P3002 calibre.


Panerai PAM423 Luminor 1950 3 Days Power Reserve - 47 mm

Panerai PAM424 Radiomir California 3 Days - 47 mm

Judging by the reactions I've seen on the watch boards, I'd say that the PAM424 is probably the most controversial new Panerai watch this year. Admittedly, those watch boards are generally read by the most passionate followers of the brand. To them historical correctness is important and a date function in combination with a California dial was quite unexpected. But as always, one man's blasphemy is another man's dream come true ;) If you love the California dial but you've never considered one for daily use because of lacking functions or lesser wear-ability, the PAM424 is a great watch. It has a thick crystal that looks like a plexi, it has a date function and well, those gold hands do look stunning in combination with the ecru markers. The PAM424 has the P3000 movement which surprisingly does support a date function. Surprising in the sense that this movement is also used in the base PAM372. Personally I'd like to see this watch without the date function, but I can imagine that this watch will be a much bigger success than most collectors seem to think.


Panerai PAM424 Radiomir California 3 Days - 47 mm

Panerai PAM438 Luminor 1950 3 Days GMT Automatic Ceramica TUTTONERO - 44 mm

The PAM348 has been nick-named TUTTONERO. This means "all black". It can be considered an innovation as this is a first Panerai watch with a ceramic bracelet. The folding clasp (or deployant) is the only part that is not ceramic but PVD steel. OP have also found new ways of darkening the movement without the production problems that existed with e.g. the PAM317. You can find more information about that in this post about the ceramic 317 and 335. The sandwich dial has ecru luminova which looks great in combination with the matt black case and the movement (or actually the rotor of the automatic movement) has gold lettering. This is a very functional wrist watch that I'd love to own for daily wear. It offers the functions hours, minute, small seconds and a second time zone (P9001/B), and it has a crystal and a display back. The crystal isn't flat but it's not domed either.


Panerai PAM438 Luminor 1950 3 Days GMT Automatic Ceramica TUTTONERO - 44 mm

Panerai PAM441 Luminor 1950 3 Days GMT Automatic Ceramica - 44 mm

The PAM441 is similar - in terms of looks and functions - to the 424, but it comes with a strap. Its movement is not darkened, the case back crystal is darkened instead. Although I'd generally prefer a Panerai watch with a strap, between those two the Tuttonero with its ceramic bracelet would certainly be my choice. The photo in the lower right corner shows the 441 next to a 360 to show how similar the color of both watches appears to be.


Panerai PAM441 Luminor 1950 3 Days GMT Automatic Ceramica - 44 mm

Panerai PAM395 Radiomir 8 Days GMT Oro Rosso - 45 mm

The PAM395 is a stunning Special Edition Radiomir with a (new to Panerai) red gold 45mm case. Excerpt from the OP documentation: "The red gold used by Officine Panerai is 5NPt, a special alloy with an unusually high percentage of copper (24.1%), which gives great depth to the colour, together with a quantity of platinum of 0.4%, which helps to prevent any oxidation of the metal". The 395 has a stunning brown dial with satin-finished sunray treatment. The movement is the P2002 - also used in the now discontinued Radiomir PAM268. As you can see in the photos, the movement has a completely different and great looking finish. The 395 offers a second time zone, a eight day power reserve and a horizontal indicator on the dial, a date (without a cyclops) and small seconds.


Panerai PAM395 Radiomir 8 Days GMT Oro Rosso - 45 mm

Panerai PAM399 and PAM398 Radiomir 1949 - 47 mm

In my opinion the PAM399 was the real star of the show - it has a new design that is based on the vintage Ref 6154 - Small Egiziano. Something I've been hoping to see in production after seeing the vintage watch in person for the first time a few years ago. You can see a photo of it in this post about vintage Panerai. The Ref 6154 doesn't have a seconds dial but the design of the 398/399 is clearly inspired on the watch. The PAM399 has lugs as we are used to from the Luminor models, but it doesn't have a crown guard. The case is shaped like that of the 2011 Luminor PAM372 and the new PAM422 and PAM423. The dial reads "Radiomir". Sadly, there will be only 100 units of both watches. But 50 will be in a set together with the Red Gold PAM398. This means that only 50 pieces of both the 398 and the 399 will be available separetely. The watches have the new OP XXVII movement, which is based on the Minerva 16-17. The price of the steel version (399) is roughly 20,000 Euro, which puts it out of reach of most enthusiasts of the brand. But there's always next year. Perhaps there will be another more affordable version with a P3000 movement. And if it would be a base, my dream would come true :)


Panerai PAM399 Radiomir 1949 - 47 mm


Panerai PAM398 Radiomir 1949 Oro Rosso - 47 mm

Finally, here's a picture I took of Panerai CEO Mr. Angelo Bonati who was kind enough to allow me to shoot his portrait.



All photos © 2012 M.Wilmsen - do not use my photos without permission.

Related posts

SIHH 2010
SIHH 2011

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Panerai PAM384 Radiomir 8 Days Ceramic

The PAM384 Radiomir 8 Days Ceramic was introduced in Geneva in 2011. I did include it in my SIHH 2011 photo report, but I never posted separately about the watch. The reason being that I wasn't happy with the photos I took - I didn't see how dirty the watches were until I viewed my photos at home.

Luckily there was a - very brief - opportunity to take these two photos this January when I was in Geneva for the 2012 line up. The watch deserves more attention than it has been getting. In terms of looks and functions the watch is similar to the - now discontinued - Panerai PAM268. Both watches have the in-house hand wound P.2002/3 movement which offers small seconds, a horizontal power reserve indicator on the sandwich dial (above the six), a date and 8 days power reserve. The differences are of course the case material (ceramic vs stainless steel), the color of the Luminova (ecru vs green) and the date window. The ceramic 384 does not have a so-called cyclops.


Radiomir 8 Days Ceramic

I'm not sure if the watch is already available - even though it was introduced in 2011. I haven't seen any posts on the watch boards about it yet. Contrary to what a few websites show, the PAM384 is a regular production watch. The first production run is 500 units. You can find further details on the panerai.com website (historic collection).


Radiomir 8 Days Ceramic

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

Related posts

Panerai PAM268