First presented at SIHH 2009, the new Panerai Luminor 1950 8 Days Rattrapante split seconds chronograph (Ref. PAM 319) manual wind watch is the best “affordable” offering in the whole greatly overpriced model range of the Italian watchmaker that was refreshed earlier this year. Damn it! I am starting to fall in love with Panerai watches. Although the brand’s timepieces always seemed too visually unsophisticated and almost boring to me, now I see a certain rugged beauty in them.
The transformation started last week when I stumbled upon the gorgeous PAM 326 Panerai Luminor Chrono Daylight automatic watch that was encased in a light-weight 44 mm titanium body and featured a deep blue dial.
And now this one.
Priced at around $46,000, I am not ashamed to say that it is completely out of my budget (at least, for this terrible year that I hope will soon end) and this is the very first time I deeply regret the fact. Yes, the timekeeper doesn’t bring anything new in terms of exterior styling and mechanical guts, and I don’t usually care much about deliberately oversized timekeepers, but the way it looks simply leaves me breathless.
With its 47mm wide case, the new PAM 319 is huge, but, unlike many recent cases of horological gigantomania, there was a good reason behind the choice of the body’s size.
The in-house manufactured Calibre P.2006/3 hand-wound movement that beats inside the case measures generous 13.75 lignes in diameter, which roughly translates into not very impressive, but still generous 31 millimeters of case fitting size.
The movement is supposed to store enough energy to power the watch for 8 days or about 192 hours, that’s why Panerai employed a relatively rare among other watchmakers design featuring not even two, but three mainspring barrels.
Like earlier 8-Days models, this one also features a linear power reserve indicator at 6 o’clock and features a three-dimensional dial with a SuperLuminova-coated layer sandwiched between the inner and outer layers. The dial itself sports high-contrast and highly-legible, clean layout making it a real pleasure to watch.
Unlike most others rattrapante chronographs, the PAM00319 needs only two buttons to operate the complication with both push-pieces moved to the left side of the case in order to balance the heavy-looking winding crown guard on the right.
Although its official water resistance rating of 100 meters doesn’t look especially impressive given the brand’s heritage, it doesn’t seem to reduce the timekeeper’s value: after all, using such an expensive toy (Panerai plans to sell it at $20,000 MSRP) as a diving companion is clearly not the best idea. Otherwise, it is certainly one of the best offerings on the market for a person who seeks a luxury wristwatch with tons of masculine presence. Panerai says that only 300 individually numbered pieces of PAM 319 will ever be manufactured.
See also: A. Lange & Sohne 31 Days in rose gold
Panerai Luminor 1950 8 Days Rattrapante split seconds chronograph (Ref. PAM 319) watch’s specification:
Price range: $46,000 (MSRP)
Movement: Caliber P.2006/3 Manifattura, in-house, three barrels, 356 parts, 9.60 mm thick, Swiss Made
Cadence of balance: 28,800 vph
Base functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds
Complications: Split-seconds chronograph, power reserve indicator
Power reserve: 8 days (192 hours)
Case material: Rose gold
Case size: 47.00 mm
Case height: No data
Lugs: 26.00 mm
Dial: Black, three layers
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Brown alligator leather, 18-carat rose gold folding clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, 2.00 mm thick, spherical, antireflective coating