Panerai Luminor 1950 Rattrapante Dubail PAM 357

By Florian Matrion - October 27, 2010
Luminor 1950 Rattrapante Dubail PAM 357 Diaporama
Here are exclusive Test and images of the Luminor 1950 Rattrapante PAM 357, a limited edition of 75 pieces for Dubail. An attractive watch with all the bases covered to seduce Paneristis ! And others...
Exclusive! review of the Luminor 1950 Rattrapante Dubail PAM 357. Manufacturer data, photos, editor's opinion and watch retail price on thewatchobserver.co.uk
Editor's opinion
76/100
Users' rating
78/100

Slideshow = 22 exclusive photos available to see this watch from every angle.

 

A very limited edition

There are several categories of Panerai watches:

  • "current" production, marked with the year: a few hundred to a few thousand pieces produced over several years;
  • the "classic" special editions, launched each year at the SIHH: a limited number of pieces in one series, usually under 2,000 units produced;
  • and then there are the "ghost" special editions (nickname given by Paneristis) from which this PAM 357 comes from.

 

Luminor 1950 Rattrapante Dubail PAM 357: an attractive watch with all the bases covered to seduce Paneristis ! And others...

 

The "ghost" references are usually not announced at the beginning of the year and they do not appear in the Panerai catalogue.

Produced in a very limited number (75 for the PAM 357 and, recently, 100 pieces for the
PAM 358 Chronopassion), they really are extremely sought-after by enthusiasts...

And they generally sell-out before the general public even hear about them.

This will probably happen again with the Luminor PAM 357 Dubail...

 

 

 

For the aficionado of  "furtive" watches

The PAM 357 is similar to the PAM 213 - Luminor Rattrapante which was a limited edition of
2,500 pieces over four years and ex-catalogue since last year - with a DLC surface (Diamond Like Carbon).

 

While a PVD surface indisputably plays a major role in the look of a watch, unlike a ceramic case, it can be irreparably marked by shocks or scratches. Hence the choice by Panerai of the tougher DLC PVD for this PAM 357.

 

Inspired by military equipments (blackened to minimise reflection from bare steel), Panerai watches with PVD coating - for Physical Vapor Deposition, a special method used to apply the DLC surface treatment – have a special place in the heart of Panerai collectors and are often among the most sought-after pieces.

While a PVD surface indisputably plays a major role in the look of a watch, unlike a ceramic case, it can be irreparably marked by shocks or scratches.

Hence the choice by Panerai of the tougher DLC PVD which provides a surface that is, theoretically at least, extremely resistant.

 

 

Nevertheless, even if Panerai produces mainly sport watches, you should probably take your
PAM 357 off your wrist before rolling in the mud!

 

A very high level finishing

The PAM 357 uses the 1950-styled case already seen on the Luminor 1950 8 Days GMT PAM 233.
But here it is fully brushed and the effect is superb.
The dark-grey reflections of the black DLC are beautiful and offer more shades than the "simple" dark matt ceramic case.

The highlighted tachometer scale goes perfectly with the ultra-rounded sapphire glass and gives great three-dimensional depth to the dial.

The level of the dial finishing and decoration is also very high, especially the Super-LumiNova painted numbers and indexes, which are great samples of precision and consistency.

 

While the actual practicality of a fly-back chronograph might be debated, it is a real pleasure to see the second hand stop suddenly after the second timed-event and fly to its correct position timing the first event!

A functional and play timepiece

As far as the movement is concerned, the OP XVIII (ETA 7750 base), C.O.S.C certified, is known for its reliability and should be trouble-free.
Nevertheless, unlike the dial and case, the finishing of the movement is fairly basic.

While the actual practicality of a fly-back chronograph might be debated - who really needs to measure two distinct times simultaneously on a mechanical wristwatch? -  it is a real pleasure to see the second hand stop suddenly after the second timed-event and fly to its correct position timing the first event!

The push buttons are firm but not excessively so the user could happily play for hours for the pleasure of watching the ballet of those hands!

On the wrist, you will feel the 44 mm case but the watch is comfortable to wear.

Legibility is excellent - even if the shape of the domed sapphire sometimes causes a slightly distorting effect when viewed from a low angle.

The only disappointment comes from the "buffalo" strap: while pleasant to look at, it seems to mark quite easily, and does not look as if it has been designed to last.
Not so bad to be embarrassing. But a let-down on a €11,000 watch...
Good new anyway: this Luminor comes with a second strap - a rubber one.

 

Conclusion

All things considered, the Panerai Luminor 1950 Rattrapante Dubail PAM 357 is a very well made wristwatch.
While the fact that the DLC surface treatment is quite expensive for Panerai enthusiasts (an additional €2,000 more than the plain steel PAM 213), it adds to the enjoyment.
And the fact that it's a limited edition of only 75 units should hold its value on the second hand market...
This Panerai might be bought for passion, but will be kept with reason!

 

Pros:

  • finishing of the case and the dial
  • legibility
  • versatility
  • very limited "collector's" edition /should hold its value on the second-hand market

 

Cons:

  • fragile strap
  • in this price range, an in-house movement would have been appreciated
  • unknown resistance of DLC over many years

 

Further information:

  • journalist's wrist size = 17 cm
Slideshow
22 pictures to see this watch in all its angles
Click on one photo to enlarge the watch gallery
  • Luminor 1950 Rattrapante Dubail PAM 357
  • Luminor 1950 Rattrapante Dubail PAM 357
  • Luminor 1950 Rattrapante Dubail PAM 357
  • Luminor 1950 Rattrapante Dubail PAM 357
  • Luminor 1950 Rattrapante Dubail PAM 357
  • Luminor 1950 Rattrapante Dubail PAM 357
  • Luminor 1950 Rattrapante Dubail PAM 357
  • Luminor 1950 Rattrapante Dubail PAM 357
  • Luminor 1950 Rattrapante Dubail PAM 357
  • Luminor 1950 Rattrapante Dubail PAM 357
  • Luminor 1950 Rattrapante Dubail PAM 357
  • Luminor 1950 Rattrapante Dubail PAM 357
  • Luminor 1950 Rattrapante Dubail PAM 357
  • Luminor 1950 Rattrapante Dubail PAM 357
  • Luminor 1950 Rattrapante Dubail PAM 357
  • Luminor 1950 Rattrapante Dubail PAM 357
  • Luminor 1950 Rattrapante Dubail PAM 357
  • Luminor 1950 Rattrapante Dubail PAM 357
  • Luminor 1950 Rattrapante Dubail PAM 357
  • Luminor 1950 Rattrapante Dubail PAM 357
  • Luminor 1950 Rattrapante Dubail PAM 357
  • Luminor 1950 Rattrapante Dubail PAM 357

Manufacturer data

Brand Panerai
Model name Luminor 1950 Rattrapante Dubail PAM 357
Reference number PAM 357
Case material Steel with DLC coating
Case diameter (without crown) 44 mm
Case diameter (crown included) 50,78 mm
Movement type Automatic
Calibre OP XVIII
Calibre base ETA 7750
Functions Second
Minute
Hour
Flyback
Chronograph
Crystal Camberred sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
Power reserve ability 42h
Transparent back No
Lug width 23,92 mm
Length from lug to lug 53,65 mm
Case thickness 18,04 mm
Water resistant 100 m
Strap material Buffalo leather
Clasp type Pin buckle
Clasp type Steel with DLC coating
Total weight 145 grammes
Retail price France at 2010/10/27 11,300.00 € calc

Editor's opinion 76/100

Confort (/15) 12
more Movement (/20) 13
Movement Optimisation / Garnishment (/5) 3
Ease of handling and adjustment (/5) 4
Movement control proceeded by the Manufacture / horlogical awards (/3) 2
Power reserve ability (/2) 1
Complications (/5) 3
more Finishing (/20) 16
Dial finishing (/6) 5
Case finishing (/6) 5
Quality of garnishment / caseback engraving quality (/2) 1
Crystal quality (/4) 4
Clasp finishing (inner and extern) (/2) 1
more Practicality (/20) 16
Diurnal legibility (/5) 4
Night legibility (/4) 4
Water resistant (/3) 1
Strap : ease of size adjustment + ease of substitution (/4) 3
Clasp : quality and safety (/4) 4
more Bonus (/10) 8
Limited edition (/3) 3
Watch delivered with several straps (/2) 1
Quality of the watch box (/1) 1
Portability with shirtsleeves buttoned (/2) 1
Goodies included (/1) 1
Understandability of the brochure (/1) 1
Value for money (/15) 11
When to wear it ?
For a rescue mission at night!

Users' rating 78/100

Confort (/15) 11.5
Movement (/20) 15.5
Finishing (/20) 16
Practicality (/20) 16
Bonus (/10) 8
Value for money (/15) 12.5
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    Comments 2

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    By :
    Alainraad

    hello Watch Observer, I was going through some of your reviews and particularly of some of the watches i own and saw your rating of the Panerai Luminor 1950. How could you rate such a watch on par with the VC Patrimony Contemporaine Jour/Date retrogradantes or the Breguet Tradition 7027 or even (almost) the Patek Nautilus 5715G? You can't possibly be fair when giving 13/20 for such a movement when you give the Breguet a mere 14.5 Panerai is just a case maker and the rest is just an ETA movement. Thanks Alan