Panta rhei, that is, I swam to Panerai
The old saying goes there is sowing time and harvest time. It was the same with my collection.
The recent outbreak of the war in Ukraine caused me to change my attitude on many levels, including my watch world. I decided to part with most of my favorite models in order to limit the collection to a maximum of three watches. Luckily, they sold out very quickly, and getting rid of the watch winder only confirmed my conviction that it was the right decision.
In my collection there is only the Orient World Time, the review of which you can find here, and the Rolex Datejust 41, which I may describe in some time. And there was a considerable amount of cash left, which I wanted to spend on a third watch to complete my modest collection.
Almost two weeks of sitting in front of the monitor, during which I watched the models of well-known brands that interest me, made this situation bother me. Watch collectors probably know this state, and other readers may remember their last car purchase to know what I am writing about. After all, two completely different watches remained in the ring – the Omega Aqua Terra and the Panerai Luminor PAM 1086. Both watches were used and were basically available for purchase for the same amount. The final choice was helped by reliable colleagues from the KMZiZ forum, who almost unanimously stated that the Omega would double with the Rolex in terms of the construction of the case, while the PAM would perfectly complement the modest collection.
Due to the considerable value of the watch, I decided to go to Krakow personally to get it …
A few weeks have passed since then, so I can honestly describe the PAM001086 model, which is considered a failed model by many experts and fans of the Panerai brand. Is this actually a failed watch as brand purists claim, or are they just exaggerating? I will try to answer this question in my short review.
The watch is delivered in a large cardboard box with virtually the same size natural wood box inside. Its surface is matte, and the opening part has PANERAI inscription. The inside is lined with black material with a rather soft structure.
Inside the box there are documents, an additional strap, a small screwdriver to unscrew the pins securing the strap, and of course the watch with the case cover.
The box and all the accessories it contains are of very high quality; the quality that is to be expected in this segment.
Panerai Luminor is a watch that even a layman will not mistake for any other watch. The hallmark of this model is its large, unusual case and the famous, patented in 1955 by the Officine Panerai company, crown guard. The unusual design of the crown cover became so popular that in the 2000s a lot of watches were created – manufacturers of unknown origin – resembling Panerai Luminor watches. The huge popularity of this type of case means that most of my friends – completely unrelated to the watchmaking industry – associate this model.
The patent with a lever is very convenient and in my opinion works much better than screwed crowns. The lever offers a slight resistance, so we can be sure that it will never unlock itself. The rounded shape of the cover means that even when you stick your hand in with a strongly bent wrist, you practically do not feel it, unlike the standard crown. Using the crown is comfortable, but you have to get used to the unusual solution with a cover. Therefore, to increase the comfort, to set the current time or wind the movement, I take the watch off my wrist.
The width of the case without the crown guard is 44 millimeters, which makes the PAM001086 model a large watch, not to say big. The size with the crown and its cover is equal to 50 millimeters, which means it is intended for larger wrists and I cannot imagine this watch on a 16 cm wrist, unless the owner is a masochistic person. The cushion shape of the case optically enlarges the size of the case. The width of the case to some extent compensates for the relatively small size of the lug to lug, which is 49.5 mm.
Despite its size, the Panerai Luminor Base Logo PAM1086 watch is quite comfortable to wear. This is due to the well-profiled, fairly short lugs, as well as the small thickness of the case, only 13 millimeters – including the slightly doomed glass.
The case of the PAM001086 model was almost completely polished, which in my opinion is a plus, because I can easily polish the micro scratches myself using Cape Cod cloths. The only elements that are not polished are: the crown cover and the screwed-on case back invisible when worn. Speaking of the caseback, I like its flatness, which is not without significance when it comes to the comfort of wearing the watch. The caseback contains information about the waterproofness, type of material from which the case and logotype were made, the brand name and the serial number.
The water resistance of the PAM1086 model is 100M, which is a questionable value for a watch with a diving pedigree. Earlier Panerai models had a water resistance of 300M and are therefore considered by the Paneristi community to be the only ones worth attention.
I think it was easy to increase this value even to 200M. On the other hand, if the thickness of the case were to go hand in hand with greater water resistance, I prefer the 100M and a relatively flat case.
I must also mention the attachment of the strap, which in this case is attached to the case with screw-in pins. Honestly, I like this solution much more than traditional pins. First of all, the strength of such pins is much higher than that of standard ones, which can be damaged if the wrist is bent sharply. Second – all you need is a small screwdriver to change the strap in no time.
What sets Panerai watches apart from the rest is the dial. We will not find rich decorations or even sunbursts here. The Panerai watch face is simple, not to say ascetic. For over 70 years, it has practically not undergone major modifications. According to fans of the brand, the dials of the new Panerai Luminor models have been kicked, to put it mildly. They put forward two arguments that are of little importance to me, but I will quote them. The face of the Panerai Base Logo PAM001086 model is flat and lacks the three-dimensionality known from the models with the “sandwich dial” which is one of the hallmarks of Officine Panerai watches. In fact, when you first look at the dial, the lume looks like it is being applied, but when you zoom in, you can see that the numbers and indices in the form of dashes are slightly below the surface of the matte black dial.
Below the axis of the hands is the Officine Panerai logo. For me, these are insignificant trivialities, but I respect the opinion of brand experts and their commitment to uphold the “righteousness” of the watches of this noble brand.
Returning to my model, I am impressed by the glow of the luminescent mass. The hands and indexes are filled with the excellent quality SuperLuminova C3, which is considered the most powerful of the entire range. The indices shine with a strong, green light that maintains the luminescence for quite a long time.
On the dial, in addition to the manufacturer’s name, logotype, model name and indexes, there are two simple pencil-style tips. Until a few years ago, the most eye-catching Panerai models equipped with a second hand, date display and a power reserve indicator. Meanwhile, the PAM 1086 model is an indicator of how tastes change over the years. The two hands, without the complications of the second hand, seem to best reflect the spirit of the vintage style to which the Luminor undoubtedly belongs.
The dial and the elements on it were made perfectly and I basically have nothing to attach to. Do I miss the famous “Sandwich dial” design? A bit like that, although I do not pay so much attention to this detail. It is important that the original military style for which Panerai watches are famous has been preserved.
Panerai’s straps are a river subject. The Luminor model is so “strap beast” that we can wear it practically anything that catches our eye. The PAM 1086 comes with two straps. One is made of natural leather, dyed beige, and a strap made of high-quality real rubber. Both straps are quite comfortable, but the arrangement of the holes in the leather strap made it either too tight or the case moving uncontrollably over the wrist.
That’s why I decided to go crazy and order a personalized strap from my friend from the KMZiZ forum and Facebook groups. After exchanging ideas and figuring out the dimensions, I decided that I wanted to give my Pam even more military flair and I would treat him with a khaki-colored canvas strap. A series of positive events meant that I received the strap two days after ordering it. Beautifully packaged, together with a gift from Santino in the form of a keychain, it made a very good impression on me. Precisely placed holes meant that the watch fits perfectly on my wrist, and the previous problem with watch moving on my hand is practically non-existent. In addition to being comfortable, the strap is also brilliantly finished. I also have to mention the company’s Santino buckle, the size of which I was a little afraid of, because its width is -37 millimeters!
Fortunately, it is flat and designed not to stick to the bottom of the wrist. The stitching was also done in a perfect way, so I don’t regret a single PLN spent on this strap. By the way, I want to try other colors as well. Perhaps in time my PAM will change its face thanks to the orange rubber. There are many ideas for straps, and each of them really changes the face of this model, and this is probably what turns everyone on these watches.
As you well know, I have so far avoided straps and focused my attention solely on the watches on the bracelet. This is further evidence that preferences and tastes change.
The Panerai Luminor Base Logo PAM1086 is equipped with an in-house movement
Caliber P.6000. This movement has a 72-hour power reserve and is mounted on 19 jewels. The balance works with a frequency of 21,600 beats per hour, which we can only tell by putting the watch to the ear, because this model does not have a second hand.
The movement winds up with a nice, gentle resistance. I also noticed an interesting thing, namely winding the watch from zero to full spring tension requires about 70 movements with the index finger and thumb. So that one winding movement generates a power reserve of 1 hour.
The winding of the watch is slightly limited by the crown cover, so the movements of the fingers are shorter than in the case of watches with an open crown. When winding, your fingertips often come into contact with the polished bezel, so after some time, tarnishing will certainly appear in this place, which, however, can be easily removed with polishing cloths.
From myself I can add that the watch easily maintains the power reserve indicated by the manufacturer. Despite the lack of a second hand, I haven’t corrected the time display for several weeks, so I can say with a clear conscience that the time deviation is minimal. The excellent accuracy is confirmed by the company certificate that you receive with the watch. Each movement is checked, regulated and described, which you can see in the picture below.
The Panerai Luminor Base Logo PAM1086 is, in a way, a breakthrough watch for me. It has completely changed the nature of my collection, which has now become modest in number of watches, but when paired with a Rolex the DJ 41 is a strong duo. Panerai also changed my perception of watches worn on a strap. It turns out that the strap can be as comfortable as a bracelet, and the possibility of replacing the straps changes – despite the size of the case – the nature of the watch. Critical voices of the brand’s fans regarding the new models echoed quietly and traveled somewhere in the distance, and I am glad that such a unique watch as the Panerai Luminor has appeared on my wrist.
The price of 5,100 euros that we will have to pay for the PAM1086 model may seem high, but in return we get not only a beautifully packaged watch with an in-house movement, but we also become the owner of a model whose case shape and dial layout are unique, and at the same time recognizable. by people not even connected with the world of watchmaking.
In my review, I deliberately did not develop the historical thread, because a few years ago Magdalena Piekarska from a friendly CH24 portal collected information and accurately described the history of the Panerai Luminor model. And it is extremely interesting. Here is the link to her article: https://ch24.pl/kultowe-zegarki-officine-panerai-luminor/