Panerai have progressively developed the look of their watches into an image of strength and toughness. The dial is unmistakable, legible by night and day, and with the new moderate 42 mm case size, the watch is practical and wearable for everyday life as well as for use underwater, and suitable for all those Panerai enthusiasts who were previously put off by the usual 47mm size of the Luminor Submersible. The Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic is made in two versions, AISI 316L brushed steel, and red gold; the steel version has the 300 metres water resistance typical of a diving watch, achieved in part by means of the hallmark protector that exerts a degree of pressure on the crown. Most importantly, it looks fantastic, and the combination of brushed steel, black dial and the Panerai cushion-shaped case makes it a winner.
Traditional diving watch features
The unidirectional rotating bezel has a knurled edge for easy handling in whatever situation. The blue continuous seconds hand adds the only note of colour on the dial, but the SuperLuminova provides differentiated hues at low light levels, with the minute hand and the marker on the bezel at 12 o’clock glowing blue, while the other markers on the dial glow green. This has a functional utility while diving, when the minute hand is used with the bezel marker to view dive times. All this is has to be assessed in terms of the watch’s real function, in first place as a prestige product and a status symbol. Divers use dive computers which offer far more functions than a mechanical watch could ever provide, and (as I don’t do scuba diving) I can only guess that the functionality of the minute hand and bezel, in the dark, is relative, on a watch like the Panerai PAM00682.
The watch has a black rubber strap with the characteristic corrugated design that makes it adaptable to wearing over a wet suit. It has a steel buckle. The lugs are drilled and the strap is fixed using screws, and this makes it user-interchangeable. On the Panerai website, two leather straps, one in brown calf, one in pink alligator, are offered as accessories.
The watch is powered by the self-winding P.9010 calibre, designed and built in-house. It provides 72 hours power reserve by means of two mainspring barrels. The calibre can be seen in all its engineering-style beauty through the sapphire caseback, with the balance visible along with the distinctive supports for the balance bridge. It runs at 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hertz). It provides the stop-second function for precision time-setting, and the possibility of adjusting the hour hand in one-hour jumps without altering the position of the minute hand, useful when travelling from one time zone to another or changing from summer to winter time or vice-versa.
Price and availability
The Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic PAM00682 will be available from June/July 2017. Price €8,500, $8,700. Read more on the Panerai website.