Panerai watches are great. They look super-cool, they have that unique aura of a robust and vintage dive watch mixed with that Italian je-ne-sais-quoi. They are icons of watchmaking. Still, there might be one issue with these watches. Most are sized for lumberjacks’ wrists. If the 45mm or 47mm diameters participate to the look (and they are actually easier to wear than what you can expect), a smaller size could be welcome. That’s what happened with the Panerai Luminor Due, the smaller, slimmer and dressier versions of the icon. But what if you want the sporty look? Well, for the SIHH 2017, the answer came in the name of the Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic Oro Rosso 42mm PAM00684, the small & gold Luminor Submersible that rocks.
To some, this watch will be an almost no-sense. Admittedly, it is full of contradictions. It is supposed to be a Luminor Submersible but it’s small (relatively speaking, because it is 42mm). It is supposed to be a tool watch but it is made in 18K red gold. It is supposed to be a diver, with its extensible rubber strap and its ceramic diving bezel, but it’s only 100m water resistant… See, nothing is really easy with this PAM00684. And if you want to know we, at Monochrome, don’t really care. All we see is a very cool watch, a tool-inspired dive watch that is wearable, luxurious and just good looking. And in all honesty, that’s more than enough.
What exactly is this Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic Oro Rosso 42mm (or let’s call it the PAM00684, to make it simple)? Well, it is the first Luminor Submersible 1950 to come with a 42mm case. It means that you’ll enjoy all the personality of the Subs – the strong case, the robust lugs, the crown protection device, the extensible rubber strap, the diving bezel, the readable dial – in a case that that is just than 5mm smaller. Yes, half of a centimeter less… On a wrist, it’s two different galaxies we’re talking about. Still, for the rest, no surprise. The look of this PAM00684 is the same as others Subs, which is obviously a very good point, as the Luminor Submersible have always been a great part of the collection.
In terms of no-sense and contradictions, we can also spot the 100m water resistance, which obviously will make some aficionado scream. Let us answer this way: who actually use such watches these days to dive under 200m or 300m of water? Furthermore, who actually performs professional diving with a gold watch? When you chose a gold Panerai, it is clearly for the look and not for the specification sheet. This PAM00684 is all about the cool attitude of its case, with a nice contrasting bezel in black ceramic and a masculine look, which could withstands a bit of water but mainly will be used as a recreational watch – and that for both men and women.
The 42mm diameter of the PAM00684 changes entirely the perception of the Submersible. While previously hyper-robust, not too say bulky and fed with testosterone, this version becomes more versatile, more friendly on the wrist, without loosing its character. This watch might be the right option for slim men or women that want to share the love for a good dive watch from Panerai (and there are many of them). The contrast offered by the red gold (an alloy with a slightly higher percentage of copper than usual, giving this warm color) and the black dial and bezel both gives a bit more elegance and some extra-compactness to the case (note: a steel version, PAM00682, also exist however with a brushed steel bezel without ceramic insert).
The matte black dial of the PAM00684 presents the traditional Submersible layout, meaning large skeletonized hands with luminous tips, a combination of dots and batons for the indexes, a date at 3 and a small second (again with bold markers) at 9. This Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 is equipped with the calibre P.9010, an in-house, automatic engine with 3-day power reserve (72 hours) thanks to a twin-barrel. Compared to the previous P.9000, it is now slimmer to better adapt to smaller cases (6mm vs 7.9mm). It also feature a new balance bridge, secured on both sides. Finally, it keeps the practical adjustment of the hour hand by one-hour increments, practical in case of time-zone change. The movement is finished in the vein of Panerai’s production: straight brushing of the bridges and polished edges.
Overall, this Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic Oro Rosso 42mm PAM00684 is rather strange watch, which sits in-between the tool and the luxurious piece. This internal contradiction is what makes it cool. It looks good, wears good and feels like a dandy in a wet suit. It is surprising and difficult to categorize but in the end, the cocktail is just pleasant. In addition to that, the smaller and slimmer case is properly enjoyable and for once, you don’t need to have Sly’s wrist to wear a Submersible Panerai. The PAM00684 is limited to 250 pieces, will be available in July 2017 and will be priced at €25,900 (note: the steel version of this 42mm Submersible PAM00682 will be launched in June 2017, limited to 1,000 pieces and priced at €8,500). panerai.com.
Specifications of the Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic Oro Rosso 42mm PAM00684
- Case: 42mm diameter – 18k red gold – black ceramic insert – sapphire crystal on both sides – 100m water resistance
- Dial: matte black – applied luminous indexes in red gold
- Movement: Calibre P.9010 – entirely executed by Panerai – Automatic – 4Hz frequency – 72 hours / 3-day power reserve – hours, minutes, small second, date – 60-minute rotating bezel
- Strap: black rubber strap on red gold pin-buckle
- Ref: PAM00684
- Availability: July 2017 – 250 pieces limited edition
- Price: €25,900