The iconic time piece we have in front of us today – Panerai Luminor 1950 3 days GMT is nothing less than remarkable. Inspired by the vintage watch used by the Royal Italian Navy in the 1930’s (read more about Panerai History), Panerai PAM320 features some of the higher model functionalities that will occupy even the hard core Paneristi. Let’s read Panerai PAM320 review and find out what is so special about this model.
Panerai PAM320 Review
Being 1950 case, this Panerai PAM320 has standard high quality finish with satin finish and not so small case. 44mm in diameter and 19mm in height is not going to remain unseen by anyone. However, it sits just nice on the wrist although you should wear it on your stronger hand.
Panerai PAM320 is very real interpretation of the original Panerai Luminor model, which has been used in the 50s by the Royal Italian Navy. We have been mentioning this over and over, but you can read more in our Panerai during World War Two article if you don’t know all the details. Panerai won’t give you all at once. Each model is little bit different, but those differences are really subtle and not visible to the untrained eye. That’s why some not hard core Paneristi will say that this model is the same like any other Panerai Luminor, but the beauty is in the details, isn’t it? Having said that, you have to agree with me that these little differences are both the strength and the weakness of this brand. Some folks are just going to adore each of the models for it, while some will say that all the models are the same and wouldn’t get the gist. On the other hand, every Panerai model is immediately recognised by all watch beginners.
Let’s cut straight to the point: Panerai PAM320 is powered by in-house movement P.9001 created by the Panerai engineers. P.9000 debuted in 2009 (way post Vendôme acquire) in the second line of in-house movements developed by Panerai. Although power reserve of this movement is much shorter (three rather than eight days), this is automatic movement and significantly less expense than its predecessor in the P.2000 family. Movement P.2003 has wapping 10 days of power reserve, but the similar Panerai watch that it powers, Panerai PAM335 Luminor 1950 10 Days GMT is almost twice in price.
Despite being simnifically cheaper, Panerai PAM320 doesn’t lack too many things compared to it’s 10 days bigger brother. You will still have the famous GMT function for displaying second time zone, but luminous display is not present on the 12 hour hand. You also get power reserve display, but it’s on the back and it’s nonlinear. However, there are few variations at your disposal: you can get version with P.9000 movement which doesn’t have second time zone (GMT) or power reserve display (known as Panerai PAM312) OR version with P.9002 with power display on the front (know as Panerai PAM321).
Panerai movement P.9001 is displayed through back sapphire glass. Although the rotor is skeletonized, much of the movement’s inner workings are hidden because of a large plate that covers the entire mechanism except for the balance and its cock.
Panerai PAM320 dial
Although this watch has many functions, you will notice that the dial is not cluttered. Instead, it is very clear and simple, yet very functional. That being said, you will appreciate the power reserve being positioned on the back, as opposed to the Panerai PAM321. That being said, note that the power reserve disk on the back changes colour from black to red shortly before power reserve is exhausted. The colour of the date disk lettering isn’t white, but slightly beige. Also, there isn’t magnifying glass on top of it (which I hate tbh).
The already famous sandwich dial is not something where I’m going to waste lots of words – it has been proven over and over again and that’s not something that should be changed – ever. Reading this watch is very easy, day or night thanks to Super-LumiNova coating on the numerals.
Having said all of that, this is one excellent watch. You can have your personal preferences toward Panerai PAM312 (P.9000, no GMT, no power reserve), or Panerai PAM321 (P.9002, with GMT and power reserve on the front) or you can go with this Panerai PAM320 (P.9000, with GMT and power reserve on the back). You won’t be wrong with either of those as they are all great time pieces.
The case is excellently crafted, the dial is bespoke, movement thing of a beauty, and on top of all of that you get Panerai 1950 case which is timeless. And I almost forgot to mention the rigid crown protector and two easily exchanged straps that come in the box. You also get special tool so you can change them in a quickie any time you want…
For a watch that has fully in-house developed movement, the price is more than reasonable – just a bit more expensive than older models that featured modified ETA movements. Few watches with in-house movements in this price range offer a comparable range of functions. That being said, official price for this model is $8.700 (excluding tax), although you could negotiate with your Authorised Dealer (AD). This means that this model is still on sale and you can find it on official Panerai website
I’m not the designer myself, but I know when I see something beautiful. This watch is simply beautiful!