Pre-SIHH 2017 - Panerai Radiomir 3 Days PAM 685 and PAM 687
A real fan of Panerai knows that the dodecagonal bezel belongs to the history of this brand but this particular shape is quite unusual for those who are just starting to familiarize themselves with the brand. Today, the same bezel appears on two timepieces that the manufacturer unveiled before the SIHH 2017 that will take place in Geneva between 16-19 January next year. As far as the new features of the product go, this type of bezel reappeared in 2013 on the PAM 521 and 522 references also; two limited editions released in 100 pieces only and crafted for the real fans that sold out in no time.
I am a big fan of Panerai and, among all the new timepieces that are either released at the Geneva exhibition or presented to the public beforehand, it is Panerai’s watches that I am always expecting with the greatest anticipation. I own three Panerai watches and a fourth one, possibly a Radiomir, is on my 2017 wish list. Let’s now take a more detailed look at the PAM 685 and 687 references that are laconically indicated as “Panerai Radiomir 3 days Acciaio 47mm”, two special editions that, for the first time, have brought along a more simplified name also.
These two timepieces are inspired to a watch from the 30s that used to be worn by the troops of the Military Navy of the Italian Kingdom. The difference between these models and those that used to be given to the soldiers is that this type of watch hadn’t been originally designed to be worn while on an assignment or mission but rather on official occasions.
The original model featured an extremely particular characteristic, namely its bezel was dodecagonal and sported the writing “Officine Panerai – Brevettato” on the inner circumference. It was almost as if it were a “double face” geometrical shape or a purposely-made symmetrical image of the same engraving that was present on the case-back. On both the PAM 685 and 687 references, the bezel has been screwed in and it is perfectly symmetric to the one screwed in on the back; an original manner to apply a double bezel on the classic cushion-shaped case of the Radiomir that hasn’t changed a bit.
The circular side with the satin finish and the engraving descends into the dodecagonal profile through polished bevels; a way to create an aesthetic solution of continuity with the case while also leaving the new aesthetic choice in full view. For the sandwich dial, Panerai has chosen two different options; the first option includes a more classic black dial while the second option includes a brown-shaded dial that reminds us of the “aging process” of the first Radiomir dials and the dials of the original model, whose colour (its value and flair too) was the direct result of the use of Radiomir (a patented radioactive substance) on the dial.
The caliber is the famous P3000 that is entirely in-house built (it was a modified Minerva on the 521 and on the 522) with some new features. During the SIHH 2016, Panerai introduced us to what I would call an aesthetic evolution rather than a technical one; a new design of the bridges and thus a superior feeling of perceived quality if compared to that of my Radiomir PAM 424. The technical features haven’t changed; 3 days of power reserve achieved through two barrels, manual winding, separated adjustment of the hours hand just to name a few.
The two Panerai Radiomir 3 Days Acciaio 47mm PAM 685 and 687 timepieces are equipped with a Plexiglas glass whose profile goes slightly above the bezel and they don’t sport any window for the date; two characteristics that make them more similar to the historic model. The brand will decide how many of these two special editions will craft and the suggested retail price is slightly below the psychological 10,000-euro-threshold. Both watches are a very nice way to bring forward the year 2017 and, at first sight, the proof that Panerai is successfully working towards the creation of a stronger and more direct bond with its history.
(Photo credit: courtesy of Panerai)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®