Panerai first became renowned for its distinctively masculine divers’ watches. Now the Swiss watch brand with Florentine roots has released a watch suited for world travelers: the Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days GMT 24H, the first Panerai watch to contain the new manufacture Caliber.
The Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days GMT 24H displays the local time as well as the time in a second time zone, which can be read simultaneously by means of an independent central hand that makes one revolution around the dial in 24 hours. It is the first of the Panerai watches to be equipped with Caliber, an automatic movement based on Panerai’s existing Caliber, which adds to that movement’s features an innovative GMT function, which is indicated over 24 rather than 12 hours; it also includes a newly designed, circular power reserve indicator on the rear side, which is readable through the sapphire viewing window in the watch’s caseback.
Caliber boasts a power reserve of three days, stored in two series-connected spring barrels, and a very efficient automatic winding system with a bi-directional winding rotor. In terms of regulation, the hour hand, which is connected to the date, can be moved independently and in jumps of one hour, without interfering with the minutes and seconds hands. When setting the time, a mechanism stops the balance and zeroes the seconds hand so that the time can be synchronized precisely with a reference signal.
The black dial — assembled in Panerai’s classic “sandwich” design, with a luminous layer between two disks — has Arabic numerals at 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock and, on the outermost edge, the numerals and indices for reading the second time zone, which are indicated by the arrow-tipped central GMT hand. The date window is at 3 o’clock and the small seconds counter at 9 o’clock.
Like other Panerai Luminor watches, the PAM00531 has the trademarked crown-protection device with a locking lever, here made of brushed steel to contrast with the polished steel of the case. The classic Panerai Luminor 1950 case measures 44 mm in diameter and made of AISI 316L stainless steel, which has a low carbon content and is highly resistant to corrosion. The Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days GMT 24H is water-resistant to 300 meters, and is fitted with a black leather strap with ecru stitching.
Panerai is pretty regular about their watch release schedule. We tend to get a few new ones each year. With the pre Basel announcements coming up, I expect to see a lot from Panerai this year. One new announcement is the Panerai Luminor Chrono Daylight Titanium, which is the ref. PAM 327. This Panerai is distinctly modern in its approach with a broad demographic appeal. I am no Panerai historian, but it is easy to tell that there is mostly “new direction” design accents in this high quality Panerai replica watch. Ignoring the watch itself for a moment, looking at the titanium bracelet indicates a new, more angular look to the masculine watches. Older Panerai metal bracelets featured some really unique curved links. The PAM 327 has what are arguably something simple, plainer Y-shaped links. The look in nice, but not exciting – and the small size of the links adds to wearing comfort, but gone is a lot of the character.
The dial itself shows the metallic blue that people go crazy over. It is a great color, and when done right makes for a beautiful watch. The Sinn 203 Arktis was one of the first to use such a blue dial, and since then a few have displayed it. I am not sure why the watch is known as the “Daylight.” I am guessing that since blue faced models are often arctic themed, the name refers to the fact that such polar locations of the Earth experience far more daylight, especially in the summer. The little touches are also nice, like the matching colored date window disc, and the easy to read chronograph seconds hand.
Inside is a Panerai caliber OPXII automatic chronograph movement. It isn’t in-house made though. Gladly the movement is a certified Chronometer, but Panerai has neglected to mention this on the face. This is a positive or negative trait depending on whom you ask (some people do or don’t like lots of text on the face). From a design standpoint, the tri-compax chronograph layout and overall face design is no nonsense. So practical and utilitarian, you might forget it is a Panerai. That isn’t to say it isn’t nice, but this is of the most function oriented Panerai watches I have ever seen. The 44mm wide case is standard Panerai size, and the titanium used to make the case and bracelet ensures light weight even though the hefty package. The Panerai Luminor Chrono Daylight Titanium is an excellent watch for the conservative watch lover who values function and is drawn by the Panerai name.