Panerai Luminor 1950 8 Days Rattrapante split seconds chronograph (Ref. PAM 319) Swiss

First presented at SIHH 2009, the hand-wound Luminor 1950 8 Days Rattrapante split-seconds chronograph (Ref. PAM 319) is, perhaps, the best “affordable” offer in the whole model range of the Italian watchmaker that was refreshed earlier this year. Damn it! I am starting to fall in love with Panerai. 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 Luminor Chrono Daylight that was encased in a light-weight 44 mm titanium body and featured a deep blue dial.

And now this one.

Panerai Luminor 1950 8 Days Rattrapante split seconds chronograph ( PAM 319)

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 319 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 size.

Panerai Luminor 1950 8 Days Rattrapante PAM 319 (dial, detail)

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 keep ticking for eight days or about 192 hours, that’s why Panerai employed a relatively rare 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 look at.

Panerai Luminor 1950 8 Days Rattrapante PAM 319 (back)

Unlike most others “rattrapante” chronographs, the PAM 319 needs only two buttons to operate the complication with both push-pieces moved to the left side 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 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 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

Photos: Panerai

Panerai Luminor 1950 8 Days Rattrapante PAM 319 (transparent case-back)

Panerai Luminor 1950 8 Days Rattrapante (PAM 319) specification

Price range: $46,000 (MSRP)
Movement: Caliber P.2006/3 Manifattura, in-house, three barrels, 356 parts, 9.60 mm thick, Swiss Made
Winding: Hand-wound
Jewels: 34
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: Rose gold
Size: 47.00 mm
Lugs: 26.00 mm
Dial: Black, three layers
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Brown alligator leather, 18-karat rose gold folding clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, 2.00 mm thick, spherical, anti-reflective coating

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