From a strictly military perspective, sporting a white dial dive watch on a assignment could possibly cause your fellow commando soldiers to smack you in the back of the mind. But what exactly the Panerai Luminor Base 8 Days Acciaio PAM561 lacks in historical precision and stealth capabilities it constitutes by being one of the cheaper, in-house-movement-equipped and refreshing-looking alternatives at a sea of boring blue and black dial watches.Panerai may be a brand of just a handful of — admittedly quite similar — ranges, yet it is just one among few that have an almost unearthly power in attracting their first-time customer back for one more version… and then yet another, and another, etc. As such, I don’t think that the Panerai Luminor Base 8 Days Acciaio PAM561 is a standard “first Panerai” — for this, have a look at our Cost of Entry article on the cheapest Panerai you can buy.I picked the PAM561 especially because I needed to critique a Panerai that isn’t a clear alternative but something one might in fact wind up contemplating after taking a look at the current manufacturing line-up of the brand. Clad in a 44mm-wide Luminor case, it’s a simple, legible, and one of Panerai watches, competitively priced offering that also packs a unusual hand-wound, in-house-made movement having an 8-day power reserve.Being the very simple watch it’s, there is not much pizzazz to become distracted by. But that just means that the fewer number of more notable elements have to work together with the greater — and, with a single notable gripe notwithstanding, they do.To this day, I remain positively baffled by how ingenious this Luminor case design is, especially in 44mm where proportions together with the dial components I find much more spot on compared to 47mm. The larger case is proportionate but frequently too big to work well with the dialup, in my view.
Panerai has long offered watches with engraved hunter cases known as the Luminor Sealand, initially decorated by the gunmaker Purdey (its sister company in Richemont) and now by anonymous Italian craftsmen. Now it has extended the theme of an engraved case to the Radiomir with the PAM605, the most artisanal timepiece in its SIHH 2015 collection. The Radiomir Firenze has a 47 mm steel case entirely engraved, front and side, with a Florentine motif.
Found on the case front, four sides as well as the crown, the engraved decoration is in the Florentine style, with the Florentine lily (or fleur-de-lis) being the central theme. Engraving is usually done with lines or dots, in this case the motif is engraved with lines which are then filled with black lacquer for contrast.
On the other hand, traditional high-end engraving achieves contrast with varying the fineness of the engraved lines or dots, a technique evident in the early Panerai-Purdey Sealand watches. The same effect can be found on currency, which are printed with hand-engraved copper plates. Nonetheless, the case decoration of the Radiomir Firenze takes a week to complete.
Like most other hand-wound Panerai Watches Us Replica watches with a 47mm case, this is equipped with the P.3000. Panerai’s in-house equivalent of a pocket watch movement, the P.3000 has a three day power reserve.
Though not evident in the photos, the dial is finished with a fine sun ray brushed pattern and is a deep, dark grey. It has a sandwich construction with ivory Super-Luminova.
The Radiomir Firenze is a limited edition of just 99 pieces, evidence of Panerai’s shifting strategy as the brand matures and the overall watch market slows. Smaller runs like this will become more prominent, rather than the 1000 or 1500 piece editions that were standard issue in the past.
Sold only at Panerai’s store in Florence, the Radiomir Firenze PAM00604 costs €17,000 before taxes.