Yesterday I read a post on Facebook, from a lady that had just bought her first Panerai. She had debated the purchase with her watch friends and she was hearing that the watch was not Panerai enough. It apparently did not have enough DNA as the purists say.
Good for her, she still treated herself with the 40 mm Panerai.
Do not throw the first stone
Then I remembered that I was going to pick up my newest purchase today. And you simply won’t find a modern Panerai with more DNA than that one. And I must reflect a little bit on why.
First and foremost, I am a collector. I buy watches for several reasons, most importantly that I like them. Then there needs to be an x-factor. The collectability factor. A limitation, a historical piece, a detail on that model that doesn’t come around too often or simply that the watch speaks to me (I’ve done another piece on the subject – read it).
Now this Panerai that I am getting today ticks all the boxes. For some time now I have been looking for a Radiomir with a dial that I actually like. I am not very keen on the California dials and such.
At SIHH last year Panerai released two controversial Radiomir watches. Well, at the start they weren’t controversial, but they soon became the most discussed watches of last year. I don’t believe that Panerai really wanted the focus that came in the aftermath of the thoughts on the watches by, the eminent guru of all things Panerai, Jose Perez.
I decided I wanted one or the other. And today I got the PAM720.
This watch was on its release kind of a disappointment. It was supposed to be a replica of the 3646C, one of the earliest Panerai watches. Developed for and worn by Decima Flottiglia MAS, who was an Italian commando frogman unit during the second world war.
But the watch had the wrong hands upon its release. They were not blued like on the original 3646C. They appeared gold on all the pictures from Geneva.
The watch was then forgotten by everyone. Even the Paneristis kind of forgot this one.
Then when the watch recently hit the stores Panerai had changed the hands to the correct blued version, like on 3646C.
The backdrop of these watches involves the history of both Italian and German WW2 divers. And the controversy was actually about this war history of the manufacture.
I will not go into it in detail as Perezcope did a superb article on it.
In my opinion people should read up on their war history and their Swiss watch history before they criticise Panerai for this release. So if you don’t like these watches over some distant war history, you can suck my balls too.
I must say that I love this reedition of the 3646C. Limited to 500 pieces it is hard to come by. I also like the fact that the design is so true to its origin. The domed crystal, the beige fauxtina and the blued hands. In the Radiomir case with the onion crown it is just beautiful and pure Panerai.
And here I am, dissing purists.
I like purist watches. But I do not like the message that purists push about what is correct and what is not. No matter if we are talking watches or tits.
I love the PAM 684, a 42 mm gold Submersible. Any Panerai purist would frown. Right?
DISCLAIMER: Note that I am using “Panerai purist”, not “Paneristi” as I find most of them to be liberal, thoughtful and cool.