Saturday, 24 March 2012

rekindled love for some well designed watches & a review of my PAM372

it's my preeeccciiiiioooouuuussss

now PAMs are not about haute horology to me, its not about fancy complications (leave that to the other manufactures) but about strong, good looking timepieces. and for me the best looking ones are the historic ones, those close to their origins and DNA. the clean dials of the base ("base" dial is pam speak for just the hour and min display, no seconds n other thingamajigs, no frills). just 3, 6, 9, 12 make some of their best dials ever.

Above Picture Copyright © Martin Wilmsen (Used with Permission)

the italian navy may not be the greatest naval unit in the world but they did their fighting in style with PAMs on their wrists as they rode in on submersibles(pigs) and a marina militaire that looks like this...

a “trittico” or mean a$$ watch, compass and depth gauge
Above Picture Copyright © Martin Wilmsen (Used with Permission)


worn by this chap... incursore


and so we come to
my PAM 372 Review... so over one week in and wearing it everyday... what's hot and what's not?

OWNERSHIP FACTOIDS (or totally inane & useless info compiled by yours truly)
~ timekeeping and power reserve on my piece. (Note these are super accurate based on iphone time hitting a 5min mark and timed till when the minute hand is perfectly centred over the baton 5min marker, difference timed with a g-shock quartz stopwatch (i hope the sarcasm is evident:)
~ After 1st day - minus 6 seconds
~ After 2nd day - minus additional 7 seconds
~ After 3rd day minus additional 8 seconds
Power reserve on full wind = 3days 8hours and 20mins (should say 3 & 1/3 day on the marketing literature ;)

+ it looks how it looks :) and with pams, sometimes thats all that matters. look at some of the pre-v pieces going for crazy sums of money for a steel time only, cheap eta movement powered watch
+ the strap it comes with RULEZ! sure there's this whole strap culture thing going on where some buy a lot a lot of straps(aftermarket and OEM) but this one on this watch, i don't feel like i need to get many more... (i mean i need a few of course for some variety once in a while but this one i think is gonna spend a LOT of time on this watch)
+ very smooth and nice manual winding movement. can't overwind so u hit a dead stop. nice that it allows for the 1 hour adjustment where you can just set the hour hand without moving the minute hand, as with some other pam in-house movements. good if you're crossing +hour timezones
+ the plexi is more vintage lookin vs the distortion on the sapphire like in the fiddy and it's easy enough to refinish for light marks and swirlies. if it gets really screwed, just replace it. should be quite cheap and it comes with one spare in the box.
other vintage touches (1) polished case (2) faux patina (3) gold hands (4) 47mm (5) engraved dial text not printed (6) sandwich dial


- pricing... is the price right? don't talk about the cost of making and putting it together (new 47mm case, in-house 3 day movement, but plexi) the most important factor for pricing is still demand and supply and this is a non-special edition so people will figure there will be supply so even folks who want it may be able to wait.
exclusivity matters for lux watches so if the market gets flooded with 3500 pieces of 372 in 1-2 years, is there demand to take up another series of 3500 after that? maybe if spaced out over a lllooooonnnngggg period there will be constant demand but if not, is there the possibility of it sitting around in AD and boutique showcases and trading below list? scary thought for such a nice piece and makes me shift uncomfortably in my seat ;)
[for current owners, i think all would hope that it's a one series run... for those who are biding their time to get one at a discount, of course the more series they issue the merrier]


[to draw an analogy for these reissues: these pieces are like ferrari reissuing a modern version of the 250GTO. it looks great but has all the modern refinements and current car engineering and technology. the 372 then is the 250GTO reissue which is unlimited.

looking at another reissue: the pam249 is like a 250 reissue done in a limited manner but because they realised they had to milk it more, they make more and more variants of it to do so... here's one with a better engine & engine note and slight visual mods, here's another signed by legendary ferrari F1 race car driver and racing stripes, here's one all in a special unique Ferrari red color etc etc etc ]

but end of day for a car that u could never own to a modern hommage at a fraction of the vintage price and is possible to drive, it's a cool proposition, if it looks the part and is issued by the original brand.
so historic or contemporary would depend on if u want to pick up the ferrari 250GTO or the 458. multiples of which range or a bit of both perhaps?]


loved it when i got it and love it more and more every day of ownership. the 372... a great modern 6152/1 interpretation... distilled DNA... storied history & heritage in a steel watch case... they got it right with this one.



anyways... because of my rekindled love interest, i've been looking at PAMs again... lots and lots and lots of PAMs and i've come to certain conclusions for myself. NOTE: This post could offend if you own PAM models with the features I don't like personally, but don't be. everyone has their own likes and dislikes and this is my blog and i express mine here. so you can continue loving whatever u love about the PAM you own and don't feel there is a need to convince me i'm wrong cause there is no wrong or right.

Above Picture Copyright © Martin Wilmsen (Used with Permission)

features that do and don't do it for me
- 47mm is the better size for me. i'm not a small, svelte chap so 47 is the preferred size to rawk
- i think dials with the number of days of power reserve on it are a bit daft EXCEPT perhaps for 8 giorni brevettato done in the 203/egiziano style if you really had to laud it. the pr indicators on the back of the watch are the better or only way of showing it for pams
- date cutout and one showing am/pm in a pam dial is a no. the cyclops bubble is generally a pass cept maybe on submersible models...
- dial text matters... Marina Militaire on the dial is cool(heard they can't be using it no more though. italian navy what not... will see). 1950, ceramica, tourbillon, gmt etc... not so cool
- Pigs on the dial i'm still not sure about... but hmm i think it's a pass {somehow makes me think a bit of the IWC top gun fail where they plaster cheesy top gun stuff all over the watch}
- ecru (faux patina aka fauxtina) lume is cool but depending on the combo done... u can overdo the whole faux vintage look... the 390 is cool & desirable to many but to me feels a bit overdone... [i'm a medium rare kinda guy]
- steel is the best material for panerais for me... if u want a black watch, pvd or dlc steel and there u go... rose gold and ti are some of the only other metals worth considering but steel over ti (noting weight, ability to refinish) for me... bronze is interesting...
- i don't like lume that looks green alot of the time. eg. some white lume watches look white most of the time unless supercharged under bright sun and then u go under shade or into a dark room and the lume pops. the publicity shots by PAM with light green numerals are off for me (that takes out what 80 or 90%? of the catalogue for me)
- the winner of the ugliest historic pam dial is the one with "fu" on it... i mean i know u want to cater for the Chinese market but what the fu!
- the vendome t-dial numerals don't cut it like the pre-v... the pre-vendome t dials are sweet coz of the fat numbers and funky numerals but i ain't paying over S$30k just for looks and the beginnings of a retail watch business... cheapest 'A' dials are at around the S$15k mark

the 368... a mix of things i like and don't... overall it left me flat

noting all of this then... the best 44mms are the 5218/201A (came out in the 90s) and the 360 (2011 ultra limited release only made for blue blooded paneristis) - the dial i like best in this size is the logo at the bottom and the 2 line text on top. the positioning of it all is just great. pre-v and pre-a numerals are nicer but doubt they will ever make a comeback. when they do a logo dial similar to the 5218/201A or 360 in a new release, i will buy that 44mm (steel case and ideally below S$10k list regardless of movement choice... one can hope but it may be a long wait)

the bestowed

the original 44mm (i remember handling and liking it alot 4 years ago...(link) i had forgotten that it had already cost around S$50k then as it does now) smiling as i type this as i recall a paneristi sharing with me about what pre-V was about recently... i like being a noob, other people educate me on watches :)


the best 47mms luminor/6152 case are the 6152/1 (with Marina Militaire or Luminor Panerai on the dial), the 203(like it more than the 127 and 217 as a 6152 hommage) the 372 and the 399 big crown (damn that minerva movement bumps up the price. i woulda been happy if it had a p3000 movement and cost less than 7.5k euro)

Above Picture Copyright © Martin Wilmsen (Used with Permission)

Above Picture Copyright © Martin Wilmsen (Used with Permission)

the best 47mm radiomirs are the 232(waiting for the ecru lume version if or when it drops), 249 or 448 for less than the 249 secondary market prices with some minor changes(noted below)

differences for the
249 vs 448
1. price - As of Mar 2012, US$12.5-14+k on the aftermarket vs euro 6500 if you can get it at list (probably below S$13k)
2. opus facere and panerai case inscription vs vintage (doesn't bother me as i don't stare at that part of the watch much ;)
3. california on the inner chapter ring for the 448 (unnecessary but not a deal breaker)
4. domed and thinner plexi vs top hat and thicker plexi (both are nice)
5. 4.5mm eta movement (some say somewhat similar lookin to rolex 618 used in the 3646 cali... pish posh a unitas/eta is an eta movement) vs 5.3mm p3000... resulting in thinner 7+mm case vs fatter case ~8mm case (thinner is better but not a huge difference so it won't matter... {a little dissonance creeping in right there coz i probably have to pickup the 448 over the 249 :) }
6. black dial vs faded black... the faux tina may also be a shade darker on the 448 (both are great)
7. water resistance: 30m vs 100m (can be dunked in alcohol and cups... i don't swim with my watches so it don't matter)
8. 1936 vs 500 pieces (will they issue more cali dials? gold hand versions in a steel case perhaps?)
9. OP on the crown vs logo (both are fine)
10. L Swiss Made L vs L Swiss L (less is better but minor diff)

- Pam 249 or 448... either works so the 448 may edge it out at list [just a thought... the Chinese may not like the model numbers with the 4s CORRECTION: my wife who knows these things better than me was tellin me that 44 is similar to double happiness. and 8 is of course lucky so the numbers do work... but it varies, some just don't like 4s. i'm indifferent to all this :) ]

the releases i hope to get if and when they are released
- the next reissue of the 232 in steel with ecru lume (or 379 in steel case), that wonderful tobacco dial and gold hands. sapphire case back and probably a p3000 ticker would be the absolute must have PAM (below euro 7.5k retail please :)
- 44mm steel case with a 201A logo style dial (pvd not preferred as it'll make the watch look smaller and i m too comfortable with a 47mm to have a small lookin 44mm :)

sigh i do so miss my 232 but i can be patient... ecru lume version if u please :)

hope u enjoyed the post, oh and go order that 372 now yuh ;) cheers, raph


Brosnan007 said...

In the pic titled "it's my preeeccciiiiioooouuuussss" what had happened to the strap?! This yours, after one week?

Brosnan007 said...

In the pros, u forgot to mention the hands pointed at the center (double pencil) ;)

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this. I'm in love with the 372. Buying a Panerai for men, is as close an experience we'll ever get, to women buying handbags. Form over function, but so sublimely so!

raphael too said...

Brosnan007, the my precious pic is an ammo strap i have. the double pencil hands are nice.
Anonymous, the 372 is a great great PAM. luxury watch buying is an emotional choice and it's definitely similar to purchase of most lux goods.enjoy your collection ;) cheers, raph

Anonymous said...

Hi Raphael, beautiful watch indeed! Unfortunately my wrist is only 6" so a 47mm would look like I'm wearing a clock. I'm currently on a 44mm only. :(


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...