The Panerai are inherently huge diving watches with a skillfully maintained rarity.
But some models are more rare than others.
Waterproof to 2500 m, limited to 100 pieces, only available at Chronopassion in Paris and costing around € 10.000, the latest PAM 358 reaches the Panerai concept to its paroxysm.
A declination of the PAM 194
This Luminor 1950 Submersible Destro (for its crown on the left) is not purely a new model.
It is a declination, with a Chronopassion's touch, of the PAM 194, a special edition of 1000 pieces produced in 2004.
Shaped in one single titanium bloc, the 1950 classic casing has more rounded and worked flanks than the classic Luminor casings.
It visually seems less massive.
An excellent finishing
The entirely brushed finishing is excellent.
The bezel and the crown-protection are made of steel in order to avoid any sensitivity to scratches of the titanium: a judicious choice for these watches that are exposed to any kinds of blows !
The other advantage is that the contrast between the matt grey of the titanium and the satiny grey of the steel is very pleasant to be seen !
In order to resist to extreme pressures (the watch is tested at 3200 m, so 320 kg per cm2), the rounded sapphire is 5,9 mm thick and the titanium back is around 5 mm.
With such a debauchery of testosterone in the matter of manufacture, people can expect an anvil around the wrist.... but not at all !
A softly watch
Once worn, the 358 is paradoxically a soft watch : the 47 mm of diameter allows a good distribution of the 170 grams of weight (which is reasonable regarding the size of the watch, thanks to the titanium).
The comfort is excellent, especially if it is worn on the left hand because the crown protection does not press on the wrist.
Only the thickness can startle but people get used to it quickly.
The readability is perfect in every situation thanks to the sobriety of the dial and to the hands that are generously coated with Super Luminova.
The turning bezel is easy to manipulate. The clicks are straight and tight.
It exudes solidity.
A second strap, perfect for the diving
As some brave owner will maybe go dabbling some octopuses or rays with this nice toy, Panerai delivers a second special diving nylon strap on a buckle that takes up the lever principle of the crown protection.
Well thought, it seems of an unfailing solidity and allows adjusting the length of the strap to each millimeter, which is useful when wearing wetsuit.
To draw a conclusion, this piece does not lack of arguments.
It will please both the brand enthusiasts who are seeking for an exclusive piece, as well as for the amateurs of extreme diving watches who will be seduced by its impeccable manufacture.
As for all the Panerai special editions, its quotation on the second-hand market should remain very close to the initial price – even rising !
Its hence a nearly reasonable purchase, if it can be found !
- design and uncompromised manufacture
- basic movement for the price
- leather strap with a fragile appearance
Further information :
- journalist's wrist = 17 cm