PAM 320 1950 3-Days Automatic GMT Review: How to Buy A Panerai

Panerai Pam 321: 3 Days GMT

              As a purveyor of purple-coloured jeans and hip gyrating exercises onboard crowded trains, I appreciate the importance of making a statement, where and when it counts. So if you’re the type of collector who craves attention and recognition after shelling out thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars for a luxury timepiece, there can only be one watch for you… a Panerai.

The Panerai Luminor ranks high on the pantheon of horological sluttery: its crass commercial ways and big-ass models are like bringing your Nicki Minaj-wannabe girlfriend home to meet mom. Yet, it is still desired by many, instantly recognisable, and secretly lusted after even by so-called ‘afficionadoes’, who go around getting ‘high’ on horology and fascinating over minute technical details that would promise to cure insomnia. Indeed, few can resist the siren call of a Panerai: the silky smooth case; the creamy off-white lume just peeping out under the dark, luscious dial, and the huge, curvaceous sapphire crystal…  hmmm where was I.

The fact that Panerai’s been tinkering and come up with their own in-house automatic movements (such as the P.9000 series) can’t hurt. What you get after mating these to the superbly-milled 1950s case introduced several years back, is some actual substance to back up the horological cheese, though I wouldn’t go so far as to say they’d rival the Langes and the Vacherons just yet. At any rate, a Panerai is now, more than ever, the right watch to validate your existence in this world.

But wait! Don’t go about buying just any old Panerai yet! Like searching for an orange in a pile of lemons, one must always remember the golden rules of buying a Panerai:

1) Always buy a Panerai with a display caseback, no matter how delightful you may think the engraving on the caseback may be. Otherwise you might get a surprise if and when you ever open up the box of chocolates. If you have no idea what I’m talking about get more info here (warning: dream-shattering stuff)

Regret: confirmed. Depression level: intense

2) If you’re considering between a Radiomir or a Luminor and can’t have both, go for the latter. Most people will regret buying a Radiomir over the latter, so stick with Luminors. Same advice goes out to people who’re considering to buy one with a white dial. Just get one with a black dial; it’s simply more versatile.


3) Get a Pam for the aspects which made it famous (or infamous). The sandwich dial and the crown protector of the Luminors are distinctively Panerai. To be doubly safe, get one which says ‘Panerai’ on the dial because there’re plenty of knock-offs out there pretending to be homage watches saying ‘Marina’ or ‘Carbonara’ or “Militare’ or some insensible combination of the words.

4) Do I even have to warn you against getting a 42mm Panerai? Unless you’re a girl under 5 feet tall or a contortionist from China.

5) Don’t bother with the ridiculous special editions that have the Chinese word for ‘fortune’ on the dial or those models that claim to be 20 times tougher than steel because it’s made from the by-product of smoking bauxite over lizard compost.

An essential operation for every Panerai

6) Unless you have a preference for a particular model or the old-styled Luminor cases, go for one of the newer 1950 models. Despite being larger, the 1950 case looks cleaner and the lugs more integrated. More importantly, the new case design supports the quick strap-change function, which spares owners the misery of scratching their own watches. And nobody, and I do mean NOBODY, ever sticks with the original straps that came with their Pams, right?

And the model that ticks all the boxes? There are several, but featured here is the Pam 320 (in reality a PAM 329  with the bracelet changed to an OEM leather strap) Panerai Luminor 1950 GMT 3 Days Automatic. This Pam features quite possibly the horlorgical world’s smallest power reserve, visible through the caseback as a tiny speck. Look what you’ve done Panerai, you’ve gone all subtle! Must we be forced to get our bling from Hublot now?




















Panerai Luminor 1950 GMT 3-Days Automatic, Reference: PAM00329; In house Panerai automatic movement P.9001. 44mm Stainless Steel, 72 hours power reserve, 300m water resistance. Recommended retail price, S$11,800.00.  


One Response to “PAM 320 1950 3-Days Automatic GMT Review: How to Buy A Panerai”

  1. Teji Puri Says:

    Read your article and I bought myself the Lumior Panerai GMT 3 day power reserve, like your style of writing and the fact you clear up the clutter and focus on the actual stuff. Many thanks.

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