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REVIEW: The Panerai PAM00372 Luminor 1950 3 Days>>>>>>>

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Published on 06-02-2011 10:52 AM

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Review of the Panerai PAM00372 Luminor 1950 3 Days

By: John B. Holbrook, II


In my experience, it's rare for a top-tier watch manufacturer to truly listen to and respond to their fan base. Many companies feel that they know their business much better than do their fans, and don't particularly rely on "grass roots" feedback when comes to making changes to existing models or designing new ones. Thankfully such is not the case at Panerai. Granted, the "Paneristi" are among the most rabid and vocal core following enjoyed by any watch manufacturer. The Paneristi aren't the sort of folks you can simply ignore. But Panerai has historically embraced their passionate, exuberant fan base - the input and feedback of the Paneristi definitely has had an impact on many of Panerai's product offerings. A perfect example of this can be found in one of Panerai's newest product offerings from SIHH 2011 - the PAM00372 Luminor 1950 3 Days.

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The PAM372 is part of Panerai's historic collection, and was born from the desire of the Paneristi to see Panerai produce a "Base Fiddy." In Paneristi-speak, "base" refers to any Panerai model which simply has an hour and minute hand display, while the term "Fiddy" is a Paneristi nick name for the PAM127 ( a 2002 Special Edition watch with a 47mm 1950 style case). It should be noted that Panerai is releasing the PAM372 as a regular production watch with 3,000 units in 2011 and ongoing production thereafter.

Starting with the dial of the PAM372, one instantly recognizes this model was designed to be a classic Panerai, paying homage to the brands tremendous history and heritage. The markers and text on dial are engraved (not printed) and done in a coloration very reminiscent of a vintage watch patina - the color and hue which older watch dials can take on as the luminous material in the pencil-shaped hands and markers breaks down. Turn the lights off however and you can see that the PAM372 glows like a torch thanks to the modern luminous coating applied to the hands and markers:

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The dial is protected by a domed Plexiglas® crystal which is 3mm in thickness - another clear tip-of-the-hat to vintage model Panerai watches from decades past. So too is the 47mm entirely polished stainless steel case of the PAM 372 (water resistant to 100m). While the Radiomir-like cushion case is vintage-Panerai inspired, the 47mm diameter is clearly contemporary and will make both Panerai and over-sized watch fans in general very happy.

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Between the case lugs of the PAM372 is one of the nicest OEM leather straps I've had the pleasure of testing. Not only is this strap attractive, but it's also extremely comfortable and feels "broken in" right out of the box instead of stiff and uncomfortable like many lesser straps. The strap is held together via a traditional brushed "tang and buckle" style clasp, signed by Panerai.

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Turning to the back of the case, we find a large sapphire observation window set into the case back which provides an excellent view of the Panerai calibre P.3000. Panerai has long been criticized for manufacturing luxury priced timepieces with relatively inexpensive outsourced movements. But the Panerai caliber P.3000 is designed and manufactured entirely by Panerai. The P.3000 is a hand-wound mechanical movement comprised of 160 components which measures 16½ lignes, and 5.3 mm thick. The P.3000 Glucydur® balance wheel vibrates at a speed of 21,600 vibrations per hour (VPH), and has two winding barrels which provide an impressive three day power reserve. Anti-shock protection comes from a Incabloc® anti-shock device. The P.3000 has an interesting quick set function that allows you to change just the hour hand without stopping the movement or affecting the minute hand - handy if you're travels take you into a different time zone. The P.3000 receives modest decoration and finishing, in keeping with the austere design philosophy of most Panerai watches.

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Panerai fans have a new, modern-day grail in the Panerai PAM00372 Luminor 1950 3 Days (retail price: $9950.00 US). Given the enduring fashion trend toward over-sized watches, as well for a general hunger for all things retro, the PAM372 is also likely to have strong appeal to more casual consumers as well. With its under 10k price point, in-house mechanical movement, and the strength of the Panerai name, the PAM372 is a strong contender in the mechanical sport watch segment. For Panerai, it pays to listen to the fans.

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**Photos & Text Copyright 2011 WATCH TALK FORUMS. No part of this report can be reproduced outside of WATCH TALK FORUMS without the expressed permission of John B. Holbrook, II.

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