SIHH 2010: Panerai Radiomir 8 Days 45mm P2002 in Titanium (PAM346) Swiss Watches

Just like the PAM 338 model that, too, was presented during this year’s SIHH 2010 event, the new Panerai Radiomir 8 Days (PAM 346) hand-wound wristwatch combines titanium alloy of its mildly oversized case with 18-carat rose gold of its three hands in something that some may feel like an ugly mix of difficult to match metals.




As usual, Panerai tried to make the watch as ‘true to its roots’ as possible offering the same cushion-shaped case with the same sandwich-style dial and the same indicators: visually, I can not detect any significant differences between the two models, besides the fact that the PAM 346 is shipped in a larger case 45 millimeters in width. The signature wire lugs, the characteristic winding crown and the signature luminous insert in the dial is still here. Making the watch an easily recognizable “Panerai,” the company however makes the watch absolutely featureless, it doesn’t offer anything new even if you only compare it to other members of the Radiomir product range.

Panerai Radiomir 8 Days 45mm watch in Titanium (PAM346)

Well, at least there is something different inside. Look through the synthetic sapphire crystal that covers the timekeeper’s back tells us that the watch is powered by a completely different movement. While the PAM 338 features a hand-wound Caliber P.999 in-house movement –Panerai’s first step towards becoming a real Manufacture– the Radiomir 8 Days PAM 346 comes equipped with much less exciting, but still deserving at least a second glance, P.2002/9 caliber. Too, featuring manual winding, this fairly simple mechanism demonstrates so called ‘extensive’ approach to the problem of increasing a timekeeper’s maximum power reserve featuring not one, not two, but whole THREE spring barrels thus increasing the power reserve to 192 hours or whole eight days.

As usual, this might be not considered practical for a watch equipped with a self-winding movement (after all, you can always place a timepiece that you don’t wear too often into a winding machine and forget about it,) but for an expensive piece that features a hand-wound caliber and maybe only gets to see the light on weekends, this sort of power reserve is priceless.

Well, that’s basically the reason behind the choice of the huge Caliber P.2002.9 engine that, at 6.60 mm high, is almost two times thicker than the elegant, but a lot less capable in terms of power storage Caliber P.999.




Well, if you think that my brief review of the PAM 346 emits too many negative vibes, you are probably right. Upon re-reading it, I think that the watch isn’t that bad after all in fulfilling its main goal: like a recent bunch of American muscle-cars that offer you a mix of ‘vintage’ styling combined with modern, huge V8 engines that offer you spade loads of power, this watch gives you a nice blend of ‘that classic Panerai’ styling with a contemporary, if not a bit primitive, in-house movement that makes it tick. The only thing that really disappoints me here is the price, but that’s something that, too, must be expected from the Italian brand: after all, this is how they roll.

See also: Panerai Luminor Chrono Daylight 44 mm Titanium Blue Dial (ref. PAM00326)

Photos: Officine Panerai

Panerai Radiomir 8 Days 45mm P2002 PAM 346 watch specification

Price range: $13,000
Movement: Panerai P.2002/9 Calibre, hand-wound, 246 parts, 31.0 mm in diameter, 6.6 mm thick, 21 jewels, 28,800 vph, in-house, Swiss Made
Complications: Date
Power reserve: 192 hours (8 days)
Case material: Brushed titanium
Bezel material: Polished titanium
Case shape: Cushion
Transparent case back: Yes, sapphire crystal caseback
Case size: 45.0 mm
Case height: No data
Dial: Dark brown
Hands: Gold
Strap: Brown alligator leather strap
Crystal: Sapphire, corundum, 1.9 mm thick, antireflective coating
Water resistance: 100 meters


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SIHH 2010: Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days GMT (PAM347)

Comments

  1. Brad Trent Says: February 10, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Hey…everybody is entitled to an opinion, but dont’cha think “…an ugly mix of titanium and gold…” is a little much? I dunno, but what exactly is ‘ugly’ about it?!! I personally think the brushed/polished Ti case, the brown dial and the gold hands is a perfect contemporary design!

  2. It may be contemporary, alright, but it doesn’t make it any less ugly.

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