The Italian watch maker Officine Panerai has just made yet another significant step towards becoming a full-blown Manufacture which is capable of making both cases and movements in-house. Its new Panerai Luminor 1950 Chrono Monopulsante 8 Days Oro Rosa PAM 344 wristwatch is going to extend the range of models powered by their own Calibre P.2004 hand-wound mechanism that the brand has introduced back in 2006 to power its future “complication” timekeepers.
While the last year’s Panerai Luminor 1950 8 Days Rattrapante split seconds chronograph (Ref. PAM 319) model featured the exclusive Calibre P.2006/3 hand-wound movement, this one has the Calibre P.2004 ticking inside its generous (to say the least) 44 millimeter case. Although the movement is capable of also displaying a second time zone to make life easier for frequent travelers, this particular version of the mechanism is limited to just a 30-minute chronograph with central seconds hand and a circular power reserve indicator.
Made of 18-carat brushed rose gold, the oversized case of the watch sports the signature “cushion” shape with a nicely polished round bezel and the inevitable patented (or is it still patent-pending?) locking crown guard.
The Italian brand says nothing about the case’s height, but, judging by the thickness of the movement (it is no less than 8.2 mm thick,) one must imply that the PAM344’s height will be well above 15 millimeters. Still, while not caring too much about how thick this ultra-luxury gadget is, I must admit that the Italians clearly know what they are doing: the wristwatch looks very proportional and, um, very organic with all elements of the case, dial and even the deployant buckle on the leather strap carefully calculated and adjusted to each other.
Like other Luminor models, the watch features Panerai’s trademark sandwich dial with the luminous layer placed between lower and upper parts of the dial. The latter is colored in chocolate brown and looks just gorgeous together with the pink gold case and hands made of the same noble metal.
Unlike the 1950 8 Days Rattrapante model, the PAM 344 features different “interface” for its power reserve indicator, instead of the original-looking linear display, this one uses a more traditional round sub-dial at 6 o’clock.
The only push-piece that operates the chronograph function is located at 8 o’clock, making it easier to start and stop the chronograph with a thumb of your right hand. Well, even if you are a leftie, there will be no problem with starting and stopping the chrono with your left index finger!
According to the company, the PAM 344 will be available soon in a limited run of only 150 copies: a number, which seems to be quite justified, since the watch is going to be offered at a base price of around $40,000. Presented at SIHH 2010, the PAM344 will go on sale around the world later this year.
Photos: Officine Panerai
Panerai Luminor 1950 Chrono Monopulsante 8 Days Oro Rosa (Rose Gold) PAM344 watch specification
Price range: $40,000 (MSRP)
Movement: Calibre P.2004, in-house, 28,800 vph, three spring barrels, 333 parts, column wheel chronograph, Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds
Complications: Chronograph, power reserve indicator
Power reserve: 8 days (192 hours)
Case material: Rose gold
Bezel material: Rose gold
Case shape: Cushion
Transparent case back: Yes, sapphire glass
Case size: 44.00 mm
Case height: No data
Dial: Chocolate brown
Hands: Rose gold
Strap: Brown leather strap with rose gold pin buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective