Dubail Paris, the network of luxury boutiques, and Officine Panerai, the famous Italian-based watchmaking brand, have teamed to introduce the limited-edition Luminor 1950 Rattrapante Dubail Paris (PAM 357) fly-back chronograph. Equipped with an ETA Valjoux 7750-based caliber and sporting an oversized body in DLC-coated steel, the chronograph brings you everything you expect from a Panerai timekeeper. The design is recognizable to the point that, looking at it, you constantly suffer from the severest case of déjà vu.
Like it is often the case with “limited editions” presented by major brands like Panerai (and I am also looking at you, Breitling,) the “limited” part is more or less true if your definition of the term assumes that the piece is issued in dozens of examples, there is not much particularly “special” or “collectible” about this new timepiece. It seems to be just your normal run-off-the-mill Luminor model, but in a differently finished body that now its high-grade steel further protected by a hard to scratch coating.
The case is, as you might have expected, the standard for the model range cushion-shaped piece that features Panerai’s signature “patent pending” crown guard and features a dial layout, which is similar to that of the still-fresh Luminor 1950 8 Days Rattrapante split-seconds chronograph (Ref. PAM 319) model that was presented last year at SIHH 2009.
Unlike the aforementioned ref. PAM319, this limited edition is powered not by the manufacture-made Caliber P.2006/3 Manifattura hand-wound movement, but by a lot less interesting OP XVIII automatic caliber, which is based on the ubiquitous ETA 7750 ebauche.
We have already seen this movement in several Panerais, including the 2009 model year limited-edition Luminor 1950 Regatta Rattrapante PAM 332. For some, the choice of caliber may be sort of disappointing, but for many, the idea of getting a “poor man’s” (using the expression is bad taste, so please forgive me) version of the luxury timekeeper at just 1/4th of the price of the “original” may be very tempting. After all, not so many people care about what kind of caliber animates a watch as long as it looks cool and bears a well-advertised logo on its dial.
Although, buying a €11,300 watch, one would rightfully expect the Italian brand to present the chronograph in one of their gorgeous matte-black ceramic cases, the timekeeper is still delivered in a black DLC-coated stainless steel body.
Well, I guess some people still live in the year 2007. All 77 of them.
As far as “value for money” ratio is concerned, I would say that at the minimum recommended street price of €11,300, the Rattrapante Dubail Paris looks a little bit overpriced especially if you take into account the fact that it is powered by a version of a mass-produced movement with nothing more than some more elaborate finish and an add-on module that expanded its functionality from a mere chronograph to a more advanced flyback one, but also stripped it of the usual date and day of the week displays.
See also: Breitling Chronomat B01 Limited Edition
Photos: Panerai, Dubail Paris
Panerai Luminor 1950 Rattrapante Dubail Paris (PAM 357) specification
Price: €11,300 (MSRP)
Movement: Caliber OP XVIII, automatic, based on Valjoux 7750, COSC-certified chronometer, Swiss Made
Functions & Complications: Hours, minutes, small seconds, flyback chronograph
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case: DLC-coated Stainless steel
Bezel shape: Cushion
Size: 44.0 mm
Case height: 15.50 mm
Numerals: Arabic, luminous
Hands: Steel, luminous
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Black buffalo suede leather
Crystal: Sapphire, anti-reflective, 3.20 mm
Back: Solid, black DLC-treated steel, engraved