Earlier this year, Panerai -an Italian brand, which is wholly owned by the Swiss-based Richemont S.A. financial group (the one that also happens to control such well-established trademarks as IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Vacheron Constantin), has revealed its Luminor Chrono Daylight Titanium Blue Dial (PAM 326) collection. What a stunner it was! Combining a well-proportioned satin-brushed body with blue sunburst dial, which is perfectly matched by a brutal yet refined blue leather strap, it will appeal to the kind of enthusiasts who are looking for a timepiece that is different from the rest of the pack but still wears the name of the famous watchmaker.
While I am definitely far from being PAM’s greatest fan, their relatively new Luminor Chrono Daylight Titanium Blue Dial somehow touched my heart. Although large at 44 millimeters in diameter and also thick at whole 16 mm from top to bottom, the gadget will nevertheless look great on a muscular hand, which is attached to a muscular body.
Living in jeans, it is easy for me to visualize the PAM 326 model curled tightly over my left wrist.
My main problem with PAMs is that they, to my taste, a little bit overdo it exploiting the military theme. I mean, for watches with MSRP hovering around $8000, they are too damn “professional”-looking. Still, if the price is not a problem, I must admit that this is one of the most attractive “tool watches” currently available on the market. As you can see, every single part of the device is well thought over making an almost perfect timekeeper.
The fact that the watchmaker prefers to use mass-produced ETA calibers –although they are adjusted to meet strict COSC standards– doesn’t add them too much value in my eyes, but at least makes it easier to service or repair the movement if anything goes wrong: it is indeed difficult to find a serviceman that either doesn’t know how to fix an ETA-based movement or doesn’t have spare parts for it.
However, despite the fact that it is, too, powered by a run-off-the-mill caliber that was only slightly decorated to better suit the gorgeous body, this particular model makes a very, very good impression.
Maybe, it is because its blue dial and alligator leather strap of matching color looks especially great when combined with the grayish color of brushed high-grade titanium.
Even the Italian brand’s trademark lever bridge that protects the winding crown doesn’t look too bulky on this model. And surrounding it inevitable chronograph push-pieces don’t smart the eye thanks to their relatively small size.
Powered by the same Valjoux 7753-based COSC-certified Panerai OP XII Calibre that also makes tick the 2009 Ferrari Chronograph DLC (FER 038), the Luminor Chrono Daylight Titanium Blue Dial sports an ordinary tri-compax dial layout with a small date window located between 4 and 5 o’clock.
Although the hour and minute hand look a trifle too short for me, they provide enough contrast for daylight legibility and there is just enough SuperLuminova coating on just about everything to make sure that you will always be able to tell the right time at night.
Well, hour markers could have been a bit larger, though.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4.5/5
Value for Money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Panerai Luminor Chrono Daylight Titanium Blue Dial (PAM 326) specification
Price range: $10,100 (MSRP)
Movement: Panerai OP XII Calibre, automatic, Valjoux 7753-based, COSC-certified chronometer, Swiss Made
Complications: Chronograph, date
Power reserve: 46 hours
Case: Brushed titanium
Size: 44.00 mm
Case height: 14.00 mm
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Alligator leather
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Back cover: Solid, engraved