Most of Panerai fans will always consider having one “base” Panerai Luminor model. Base models are the watches are usually considered PAM000 and PAM112. This is one of the most discussed subjects when it comes to Panerai watches and Panerai reviews. Let’s cut to the chase: what is the difference between Panerai Luminor “base” PAM000 vs PAM112?
Panerai Luminor “base” PAM000 vs PAM112
Too many people are still confused over the minor differences in Officine Panerai watches, especially “base” models. For those of you who are still not sure what is the Panerai watches main differences, please feel free to read more. But if you have decided to go for a entry level Panerai Luminor “base” model that has simple dial, then it has to be either the PAM000 or PAM112. Are the only differences between PAM000 and PAM112 in the dial, logo, and the display caseback? Or maybe the differences in mechanism wise with PAM112 Swan’s neck regulator (though both are ETA 6497 based). Let’s find out more about Panerai Luminor “base” PAM000 vs PAM112.
Both PAM000 and PAM112 have base dial which has only the hours and minutes hands without seconds hand and no date. To an untrained eye, both PAM000 and PAM112 will look almost just as good as some higher end model. But Officine Panerai watches are all about the subtle little differences that made them so attractive to Paneristi. Another difference is that one has legendary Panerai logo and other doesn’t.
Panerai Luminor PAM000
The PAM000 is also known as the ‘Zero’ dial, is the cheapest Panerai model. It is loved by many for it’s crown bridge and for all it’s heritage feel. At first glance, the most obvious difference from the PAM112 is the logo on the PAM000 dial. Take a deeper look and you will notice that the indicators are decorated on the surface of the dial and has a humped like luminous material filled (like half of a sausage). This is known as the “Sausage” dial (aka Painted and applied dial, all the same). Though this is more straight forward, and some say less elegant, it is more true to heritage.
PAM000 has a solid caseback which makes it a little heavier and it is run on a Panerai OP I Calibre (without the Swan’s neck regulator). The PAM000 is more historically correct to the pre-v watches.
The PAM112 is similar to PAM000 in many different ways, but in my opinion it seems a little ‘more dressed up’ in some ways. There is no logo on the PAM112 dial, which gives it a cleaner, serene, and uncluttered look. Then you will notice the “Sandwiched dial”, which means the dial has two plates with the lume material ‘sandwiched’ in-between the top and bottom plates. The top layer is black with the indicator emissary to allow the bottom plate to show through. Some feel that the “Sandwiched dial” glows more in the dark too.
PAM112 has a see through display caseback, which makes sense for it’s Panerai OP X calibre (with Swan’s neck regulator). I really enjoy this open caseback, as the Panerai OP X just spruces it up with more decorated platines, blue screws, Côtes de Genève decoration on the bridges. The swan neck probably made it easier for a watchmaker to regulate as well. Otherwise, both OP I & OP X are equally solid.
You can read more on PAM112 in our guide on Buying first Panerai watch.
Conclusion on PAM000 vs PAM112
So, what have we learned? Which is better: Panerai Luminor “base” PAM000 vs PAM112? There is actually not much practical difference between the movements (one is just more decorated). More emphasis are on the design and features with PAM000 solid back and PAM112 for sapphire open display caseback, the Sausage dial / Sandwich dial, and logo and no logo between the both.
It is amazing how much difference the logotype can make the dial as i think PAM000 has a more sporty look because of it; while the PAM112 dial seems a lot simpler and less ‘busy’ overall. But many Paneristi would still prefer to have the zero logo more for historic reasons. As mentioned, the PAM000 will be more historically correct to the pre-v watches (they come in smaller batches though), and the PAM112 has the cleanest dial in the Luminor lineup. The PAM112 cost a little more than PAM000, but you can’t go wrong with either choice.
One thing for sure – your life will never be the same again once you have owned your first Panerai watch.