The Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days Automatic 42mm Acciaio PAM 655 watch hands-on
If you are a savvy Internet user, you will immediately realize after reading the first 3 comments of any article, that the majority of the readers of watch mags and watch-fans alike consider a 40mm-diameter-case the maximum tolerance limit. Many of these people would love to buy a Panerai but they can't do so because their wrist is so tiny that if they were to wear a Luminor 1950 or a Radiomir California under their shirt cuff they would look a bit ridiculous.
Initially, I thought that the Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days Automatic 42mm Acciaio PAM 655 with its white dial had been exclusively crafted to attract more women to a brand that is considered “masculine” by definition, but then I realized that if the manufacturer has released its 6th 40mm-timepiece in a single collection already, it might be that it is actually aiming at something else.
The Radiomir 1940 collection is today's only collection that can provide us with a 42mm-Radiomir-timepiece which is less than 11mm thick and that has been released, in this specific version, with a new white dial sporting vintage-style SuperLuminova-made glowing dots. Considering that we are dealing with a Panerai here, the secret of this very compact timepiece lies in the P4000 in-house-built caliber, the first automatic caliber developed by Panerai that features an off-centered winding rotor (also called “a microrotor”.)
The small winding rotor is made of tungsten (most likely due to the mechanical inertia moment) and it has been inserted inside the movement, so that it reduces the thickness of the whole timepiece by almost 4mm, that is to say that it is only 0.6mm thicker than the P999 manual caliber. It is a breaking record if you compare it to the P3000 caliber, its real inner benchmark (if we're dealing with a Radiomir), and it guarantees up to three days of power reserve; a characteristic that usually affects quite dramatically the thickness of a movement.
The balance wheel of the P4000 caliber features a variable inertia that can be adjusted through small screws, it thus allows the user to adjust the inertia with extreme precision without altering the delicate connection between the spring and the double bridge (a very sophisticated solution.) The P4000 is basically a very fine caliber that is among the top end in-house ones developed by Panerai.
When you get to wear the Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days Automatic 42mm Acciaio PAM 655, you will notice that it doesn't exude the same “power” as the other Panerai watches, this is actually a three-hands timepiece that tends to get a bit overlooked. It looks and feel more gentle than a PAM 424 and it is as if it had almost been crafted to “invade” the classic three-hands world while still maintaining the typical sporty style of the Italian-Swiss brand. This watch is extremely thin, comfortable to wear and even elegant if I compare it to any of my three not-at-all-slim Panerai watches. When I wear it around my not-exactly-delicate wrist, however, this Radiomir seems a bit like “an outcast”.
This timepiece's “standing” is inversely proportional to the beauty of the P4000 caliber; it is thin and understated and it is equipped with a technically impeccable caliber. If you are bored with classic watches or find many of the classic 40mm-sports watches trivial, then you should probably consider purchasing a Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days Automatic 42mm Acciaio PAM 655 at about 10,000 euro (the price is driven by the exclusiveness of the P4000 caliber.)
(Photo credit: Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®