What to say about Panerai if it’s not to talk about its eternal, timeless design that has been the hallmark of the manufacture since its proper commercial introduction in 1997 (the Vendôme-era). A Panerai is a Panerai and will always be recognized as such. Of course there are several collections, the most famous ones being the Radiomir and the Luminor. In-between these two sits the Panerai Radiomir 1940, that mixes vintage feelings with more modern clues. And if you’re looking for a bit of originality, the SIHH 2016 will have something that tastes a bit different, a watch featuring a white dial and a smaller case (not the most usual features on Panerais). Here is the Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days Automatic Acciaio PAM00655.
The new PAM00655 is in fact a watch that we already know in different iterations, with a typically Panerai black Sandwich dial and a smaller, slimmer case: the Panerai Radiomir 1940 3-Days Automatic with Panerai’s First Micro-Rotor Movement. These PAM00572 (stainless steel) and PAM00573 (red gold – Oro Rosso) were quite different in their tastes compare to the classical watches made by the Officine, and for several reasons. It has to be said, but the usual diameter for a Panerai is around 45mm to 47mm or 48mm, depending on the edition. A typical Panerai Radiomir 1940 measures 48mm, like this one. A typical Panerai Radiomir with the classical wire to attach the strap is 47mm, like this PAM00504. Finally, a classical Luminor Base like we’ve seen here is 44mm (and this is a rather small one). Well, all of this lead to a simple conclusion: or you need to have a robust wrist to wear a Panerai or you really have to like big timepieces. This is not everybody’s case. The answer of Panerai is this 42mm Radiomir 1940 3 Days Automatic.
The Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days Automatic PAM00655, like its predecessors, uses a smaller but also slimmer case, making this watch easier on the wrist. The typical cushion-shaped case without crown-protection but with proper attached lugs (2 features to differentiate the Radiomir 1940 from the normal Luminor and Radiomir) has a reasonable 10.9mm thickness. The rest of the design remains in the vein of the other watches of the collection. The dial of this PAM00655 is however rather unusual, as first being painted in white. There aren’t so many Panerai watches without a black dial (a few with dark brown dials and a few with dark blue dial…). Look at the website of the brand and you’ll see that only 6 watches feature a white dial. Mixing a smaller / slimmer case with this white dial makes this Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days Automatic PAM00655 rather unusual. The dial is a, like all the other white dial editions, only having a single layer with numerals painted (not cut into the dial like in the typical sandwich ones). Indexes are simple dots painted with faux-patina luminous material, matching with the hands.
The (relative) thinness of the Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days Automatic PAM00655 is due to the use of the brand’s latest in-house movement, the P4000. As indicated by the name of the watch, this movement boasts 3 days of power reserve and features a micro-rotor. The movement measures 31mm in diameter and is 3.95mm thick. The latter is mainly due to the use of a micro-rotor, because that’s mounted off centre, within the movement, and thus does not require more space for a large centrally mounted rotor that logically adds thickness. The P4000 has bridges with a horizontally brushed finish, blue engravings and a micro-rotor in tungsten with a bas-relief decoration with the brand’s name and logo on a matte surface.
The new Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days Automatic PAM00655 is water-resistant to 10 bar (approximately 100 metres) and it come on a natural, untreated leather strap with contrasting cream stitching. It will be officially unveiled during the 2016 edition of the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (starting on Monday 18th January 2016). It will be priced at 9,700 Euros. www.panerai.com.