Panerai Luminor PAM372 3 days represents the sole essence of Panerai. It has been released and seen for the first time at SIHH 2011. If we could single out one single Base Panerai that will all Panerai fans select as their favourite model, it would definitely be Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days PAM372. Panerai Base is the term for those most basic, yet the most beautiful Panerai watches. These Panerai watches have only hours and minutes (like PAM000 and other base models). Why is that? Simply put, because this model combines many Panerai DNA and history features, including the iconic case and minimalist military style.
The close second best would be Panerai Luminor PAM127, a 2002 Special Edition watch with a 47mm 1950 style case (nickname Fiddy).
Panerai Luminor PAM372 vs PAM127
On more than several occasions when people were discussing how much they wanted a base Fiddy (PAM127), they were explaining that it should be a regular production watch so that everyone has a chance of obtaining one. And at list price too. Limited to just 1,950 pieces, the price of Base Fiddy (PAM127) doubled, given the fact that it is in high demand. We were told that the Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days PAM372 was a result of this high demand. PAM372 Luminor is made a regular production piece so that everyone can own a two hand 1950 style model. Well, Panerai are releasing the PAM372 as a regular production watch with 3,000 units in 2011 and ongoing production thereafter.
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… In my book, the PAM372 oozes DNA!
Of course, there are some differences between the both. For example, the PAM372 has a polished case instead of a brushed and a cushion-shape profile with slimmer lugs. PAM372 also comes in a domed 3mm thick Plexiglass crystal. Comparatively, PAM127 comes in sapphire crystal. Plexiglass is known to be thicker and non-scratch resistant, but it adds a ‘warmth’ feeling to the watch.
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 (PAM127) 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, hence the name. Entirely developed by Panerai. I love this development so much, I might just be a movement snob myself…
I’ve heard some people complain about the dial hands being too short, about how the PAM372 will devalue the old 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. who knows… 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!
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 John… 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 PAM372!
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.
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).
The table below shows the obvious differences and similarities between the two watches. If there’s more, then please do let me know.
|case type||47mm OP6835||47mm OP6576|
|case finishing||polished stainless steel||brushed stainless steel|
|crystal||3 mm thick Plexiglas||2 mm thick sapphire|
|movement||in-house P.3000||ETA based OPXI|
|case back||sapphire crystal||sapphire crystal|
|power reserve||3 days||56 hours|
|dial color||black sandwich||black sandwich|
|dial text||Luminor Panerai engraved underneath the 12||Luminor Panerai printed underneath the 12 and 1950 printed above the 6|
|crown guard||lever closes upwards||lever closes downwards|
|seconds||no||sub seconds dial at the 9 o’clock poistion|
To give the Panerai Luminor PAM372 a more vintage look, Panerai decided to include two vintage looking straps. Like most Panerai watches, it is also supplied with an additional spare Plexigals and a screwdriver as well. 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.
At the very end, Panerai Luminor PAM372 1950 3 days offers a historic case which marks a transitional phase. While it has the characteristic Luminor features, it also has a new rounded cusp-shaped case-band; similar to the cushion form of the Radiomir case. The price of Panerai PAM372 is around USD$7,000.