The 2012 Panerai Radiomir Composite Black Seal 3 Days (PAM 505) is based on the ceramic Luminor Composite 3 Days (PAM 386) that was presented in October 2010. This version features the same manufacture-made caliber but is presented in a slightly larger body of the same classic “cushion” shape.
The movement in question is, of course, the self-winding Panerai caliber P.9000. Composed of 197 parts, this movement features a double-barrel design and, thus, an increased power reserve of whole 72 hours (when fully wound, it will tick for no less than three days, even if left carelessly inside your desk drawer for a whole weekend.)
Many military-styled watches are sold with their movement decorated with Geneva Stripes, circular-graining and this sort of “fine” decorating techniques.
Panerai, on the other hand, uses a completely different approach. As you can see in the picture below, the visible parts of the movement are deliberately rough, but still, leave an impression of being executed with extreme care. Like, say, a barrel of a handgun.
As usual, the dial of the Radiomir Composite Black Seal offers the signature “layer-cake” design with a dark chocolate brown upper layer staying atop of a bottom layer, which is treated with brownish Superluminova that matches in color the same luminous substance that covers all three hands.
The Arabic numerals on the rotating calendar wheel, which is partly visible through a small aperture at 3 hours, are, too, color-keyed to the luminous substance: another classy touch that gives you an idea about the pedigree of this watch.
At 45 millimeters in width, the case doesn’t look terribly large and, thanks to the flowing, elegantly curved surfaces with smoothed edges, the case doesn’t look as brutal as one might have expected from a “tactical” watch.
Crafted from so-called “Panerai Composite”, a lightweight and highly scratch-resistant synthetic material, which is made from aluminum oxide, the body looks like it was cast from a piece of an especially delicious Swiss chocolate.
Well, perhaps I should go and have my lunch already. Bon appetite.
UPDATE ON PRICE: At the time of launch, the Black Seal was offered at manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $9200. Even now, the PAM 505 is difficult to find with more than ten percent of a discount, which is actually not that surprising after all: given the expensive material that was used to craft its oversized case and the level of refinement of Panerai’s own self-winding movement, I am actually surprised that the Swiss-based Italian brand didn’t decide to charge even for a piece of this chocolate-colored beauty.
Photos: Officine Panerai
Panerai Radiomir Composite Black Seal 3 Days (PAM 505) specification
Price: $9200 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, caliber Panerai P.9000, in-house, double-barrel, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 28
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 72 hours
Movement decoration: Brushed, beveled edges, grayed-out screw heads
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date
Size: 45.00 mm
Dial: Dark chocolate brown
Numerals: Arabic, luminous
Hour markers: Luminous
Hands: Steel, luminous
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Personalized brown leather strap and large-size brown Panerai Composite buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, 1.9 mm thick, antireflective
Back: Tinted sapphire