SIHH 2017 Preview: Officine Panerai introduces PAM685 and PAM687
Watches tell the story of time, interpreting it in deliberate ways and delivering it in innumerable styles. While the 12 chapters on the dial (typically) stay the same, everything else depends on the name and logo on said dial. Of the various authors, if we can call them that, Officine Panerai offers among the most […]
Watches tell the story of time, interpreting it in deliberate ways and delivering it in innumerable styles. While the 12 chapters on the dial (typically) stay the same, everything else depends on the name and logo on said dial. Of the various authors, if we can call them that, Officine Panerai offers among the most compelling narratives. In 2017, the most resolutely Swiss of Italian brands draws attention to its most primal story, which in the case of PAM685 is writ large on the bezel.
Properly called the Panerai Radiomir 3 Days Acciaio PAM685 and PAM687, these Special Editions are modeled on 1930s prototypes for the Italian navy. According to Panerai, those prototypes featured 12-side bezels with the words Officine Panerai – Brevettato (Panerai Workshop – Patented) engraved. Both PAM685 and PAM687 recall this early chapter in the story of Panerai with admirable clarity, as you can see in the pictures here.
Briefly, this is the mythical tale of the Panerai reference 3646, a sort of proving ground watch for what Panerai eventually supplied to the Italian Navy. In recreating this look, Panerai has put together two elements in a way never before seen in the contemporary Panerai watch: engraving and the 12-sided bezel. To our knowledge, this is the only time Panerai has introduced engraved wording on a 12-sided bezel. This same bezel is also used on the caseback, which features a sapphire crystal window to admire the manual-winding calibre P.3000.
Panerai says reference 3646 (in something very much like this form) was probably used by naval authorities during the test period for the watches, which means anything from 1935 to 1938.
It is thus important to note that Panerai has merely recreated the look of the prototypes; PAM685 and PAM687 are perfectly water resistant (though only to 30 meters), have solidly dependable in-house P.3000 movements and do not feature radioactive materials (SuperLuminova is used instead). Yes, Panerai did not select the name Radiomir by accident as the originals did indeed feature radium, a toxic radioactive element.
As you may have guessed, these time-only Special Editions are in fact limited propositions and both feature 47mm Radiomir cases in stainless steel, complete with wire lugs. The only difference between the two versions is the dial color. PAM685 sports a black dial while PAM687 features a faded brown dial that Panerai calls “tropical”. Of course, both dials are in the typical sandwich construction favored by Panerai.
- Dimensions: 47mm
- Functions: Hours, minutes
- Power reserve: 72 hours
- Movement: Manual winding calibre P.3000
- Case: 316L steel
- Water resistance: 30 meters
- Strap: Untreated leather with large prong buckle