The ultimate vintage re-make of Panerai Ref. 6152-1
In 2002 the PAM00127 Limited Edition AKA "Fiddy" was introduced and considered one of the holy grail models that resembles the original Panerai Luminor models of the 1950's, it has a Luminor 1950 brushed case and is a Marina version (hour, minute and second hand on the dial). The watch was not easy to get and increased fast in price as only 1950 pieces were made.
Paneristi were asking Officine Panerai for a very long time to come with a base model (only hour and minutes hand on the dial) that is close to the original Panerai Luminor, Ref 6152-1 made in the 1950's specially and only for the Italian Navy.
In 2011 at the SIHH Officine Panerai showed for the first time the Panerai PAM00372 and the other best news was that this was going to be a regular production watch, 3,000 units per year. As this watch has a few characteristics that not everybody appreciates like the plexiglass crystal and hand-wound movement, Officine Panerai has limited the production from the R-series onwards to 400 units per year. Next the later S-series will have a sapphire crystal instead of the plexiglass crystal, although till date Officine Panerai still mentions that the watch has a plexiglass crystal.
Below you see a picture taken by Ben Jones, on the left side you see the original Panerai Reference 6152-1 from 1953 and on the right side the Panerai PAM00372. A pretty close match. Even if you see the further comparison of the PAM00372 with the 6152-1 you notice that Officine Panerai did a fantastic job to create a remake of the 6152-1 and enhanced it to daily use in the 21st century. If you like to read more about the comparison, please go to Jake's Panerai Review
Fast fowards - Confirming my PAM00372After shortlisting 3 different Panerai models (PAM00372, PAM00389 & PAM00424) I finally went for the PAM00372 Luminor 1950. The reason why is that the design is so incredibly clean, if you talk about less is more, well this is it!
The PAM00372 has in my opinion still more design characteristic of the Radiomir than the original 6512-1 as the case is a bit flatter and the lugs are thinner and shorter. The advantage of these characteristics is translated in wearing comfort. Despite that this watch has a 47mm watch case, it doesn't feel big or heavy on your wrist.
The PAM00372 has a plexiglass crystal, this first scared me off and after talking to other Paneristi who have their PAM00372 for a long time, I was assured, plexiglass is not a scary thing, it rather complements the vintage heritage of the watch. Another thing I checked before I booked my PAM00372 was the difference between the P-series and R-series.
At that time there were speculation that the crystal would be changed into sapphire. As that was not the case I had to choose now between two options, either getting an R-series which is production year 2015 or go for the P-series a production year 2013-2014.
The difference is the type of straps the watch comes with. The P-series has two leather 26-26mm straps and a Pre-V 26mm buckle, the R-series comes with two 26-22mm straps, one leather and one caoutchouc strap plus a 22mm buckle. As I prefer the straight straps with the 26mm more, I went for a P-series and was lucky I found one ready for delivery at a Panerai Authorized dealer in New Delhi.
The picture below shows on the left the PAM00372 with the 26-26mm Ranger vintage strap up to and including the P-series, on the right with the 26-22mm strap from the R-series onwards.
The significance of the PAM00372To better understand the importance of the release of the PAM00372, below you find 4 Special Editions are based on the same watch with only a few design differences.
Special Editions, PAM00605 & PAM00665Left is the PAM00605 Special Edition Firenze Boutique Edition (limited 100 pieces per year for only the Officine Panerai Boutique in Florence, Italy), only difference is the dial that is a grey sunburst dial and the grey Assolutamente leather strap, the right one is a very limited of only 30 pieces, the PAM00665 Ferreti Edition, with a brown sunburst dial and a closed back case instead of the crystal sapphire crystal back case.
Special Editions, PAM00663 & PAM00673On the left a Special Edition the PAM00663 (limited 1,000 pieces), the same watch as the PAM00372 only with a tobacco-brown sausage dial that resembles the discoloring and tropicalization effect caused by the radium luminous material on the dials like on the original Panerai reference 6154 and instead of the sandwich dial of the PAM00372 the indexes are sitting on the dial rather than being cut-outs of the upper-layer of the dial. On the right another Special Edition, the PAM00673 (limited 1,000 pieces), also here again the same watch and the only difference is the dial inscription to Marina Militare, like some of the original Panerai reference 6152-1 watches have plus the so-called pencil hands, that are longer than the hands on the PAM00372.
Getting my first strap madeAfter I booked the PAM00372 I wanted to have a strap with it that would give the watch an even more vintage look, an Adeeos mustard color French painted leather ammo strap, for more information about that strap, click here
To make sure the strap is made to perfection I had to know the exact strap measurements that would fit me. So when booking the watch the first thing I did was measuring the strap including the case to get the right measurements, obviously the salesman at the dealer must have thought I was nuts.
Collecting my PAM00372Collecting a watch is always a joy! We waited for the weekend to do that followed by a nice lunch. The watch dealer is located in the most luxurious shopping mall in New Delhi if not India, a perfect location! A nice detail is that as the plexi crystal is easier to scratch than sapphire, Officine Panerai is including a spare-plexi crystal in the box. Till date I have not heard people break the plexi crystal. When at all the plexi crystal is scratched, you can easily give it a rub with either a Cape Cod cloth, Polywatch polishing paste or even toothpaste does the trick. Most Paneristi appreciate the scratches and wear signs on a PAM00372, it gets closer to the old original Panerai reference 6152-1.
The diverse look of the PAM00372All modern Panerai watches are very easy to change in look thanks to the different straps change systems, the easiest system is the quick strap change system that is my favorite where just with a push on a button the pin releases, these models come standard with a special 0.6mm screwdriver to change the buckle and a special tool to push the button and the pins out the the watch case. Officine Panerai has recently started with bringing out models with spring-bars, the cases of these watches have holes in the case where you are able to push the spring-bar and release the strap, strangely these models are not coming with any tool, not even the screwdriver to change the buckle. The PAM00372 comes with an old strap change system, the pins are screw-in pins that makes it possible to change your strap by screwing the pin out of the case, an easy thing to do but at the same time you need to be careful not to scratch the watchcase while doing that. If you want to know more about the straps I use, go to my strap reviews on this website.
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