Taste is one of the more important factors when buying a mechanical watch. Would you agree, that no matter how crazy complicated, beautifully crafted or famously branded the watch is, you will not pick it up – no matter what – if it simply does not fit your personal taste? As many various ballots show constantly, people tend to buy specific timepiece because of the way it looks, the way it matches what they consider to be a perfect design and functionality, for them. Keeping this in mind I have to admit with the utmost honesty – I’m not a Panerai fan – not even a bit. Since I do not like any of the futures Panerai watches provide, imagine how both challenging and interesting it was to spend a full week-on-the-wrist with the PAM00270 – the 1950 Luminor is a serious watch with PAM’s in-house made movement with GMT and a full 10 days of power reserve. So… Read on to find out what does the die-hard non-Panerai guy thinks about a serious piece of a watch, that the PAM00270 turned out to be.
The first and most obvious thing about Panerai is its iconic design. Both Radiomir and Luminor watches are hard to be mistaken with any other pieces out there (although there are some look-alikes). The Panerai Luminor 1950 10 Days GMT has a cushion shaped, 44mm wide stainless steel case, with polished bezel, satin-brushed body and brushed, Panerai-patented crown guard with brushed protecting lever. With an impressive 18.5mm in thickness (due to the movement size and domed sapphire) it is a BIG(!) watch by all means, but with short lugs and overall profile sits very nice and tight on the wrist. Both the top and bottom of the case are secured with a sapphire glass, the top one – nicely domed – being also treated with an anti-reflective coating. Let’s put what is under the bottom one for later, and look through the front. If the Panerai’s case is an iconic thing, at least the same can be said about its dial.
Called popularly “sandwich-dial” it consists of two discs. The bottom one is covered with a green, bright SuperLumiNova. The top one is a matt black, cut-out in place of all the indices (including Arabic 12 and 6), the small-seconds dial, the linear power-reserve and the date window (which has a black disk with white numbers, in between the two dials). Whether you like it or not, it is one of the most readable dials out there (even though the minute indices are missing), not to mention it has a lot of military character, style and overall good looks. Time is measured by set of two big, brushed hands with luminous material, a small seconds hand at 9 o’clock and a date window at 3. There is also a second central-mounted hand for the GMT (24h type) with a day-night hand integrated into the seconds sub-dial and – last but not least – the power reserve indication. Which finally brings us to the movement…
Panerai Luminor 1950 10 Days GMT – Movement Cal. P.2003
From good 9 years now Panerai can call itself again a true, full-fledged manufacture. What it means is that the Italian-Swiss brand designs and produces its own, in-house made mechanical calibers. One of them is the series P.2003 mechanism with an automatic, bi-directional winding and an elongated energy storage. When fully wound, the three main-spring barrels accumulate mighty 240h of power, which – if your just a bit better in math than me – is a full 10 days!. And that is not the only impressive future of the movement.
Besides all the functional things listed already, the P.2003 also presents the quick hour-hand correction, that allows you to switch the hour in a 1h jumps, forward and backwards. And while it sure comes in handy when travelling often, it is not the most impressive future of the caliber. That on is the stop-reset mechanism for the seconds hand – a brilliant and useful little complication, that is as rare in mechanical watches as a coffee machine. What it does is incorporate a clever mechanism of levers, blades and heart-shaped cam to stop the seconds small hand and then reset it to 0 right away. Time setting has never been so easy before, and even though some say mechanical watch is not bought to tell time anymore, it’s nice to have yours precisely set – isn’t it? I wish more brands would follow Panerai’s watchmakers on that idea.
To follow the overall technical style of the watch, the P.2003, just as about every other PANERAI-made caliber – is quite modestly finished with some brushing on the bridges and open-worked oscillating rotor. Nothing fancy here – not that one should expect it in a very industrial timepiece like that.
Panerai Luminor 1950 10 Days GMT – Price & Conclusion
So, since now you already know the details of both the design and the mechanics of the Luminor 1950 10 Days GMT, the question is – does it all work, especially for a non-PANERAI fellow like myself. While I honestly admit I didn’t turn miraculously to be a Paneristi (nick-name of the most die-hard fans of the brand) I give full credit to the quality and the details of the timepiece. The case, domed crystal, the dial, movement finish and the strap (alligator, brown, white stitching) with hefty buckle all work together well, constituting for a balanced and compact package. Same can be said about the P.2003 caliber – it has all the functions needed, more than sufficient amount of power reserve and simply brilliant stop-reset complication, that I truly love. Stainless steel PAM00270 will set your wallet back just short of $18,000 USD.