Panerai has four main collections: Luminor, Luminor Due, Submersible, and Radiomir. But if you ask me, I think there should be five. You see, there are actually two very distinct types of Radiomir watches. The classic Radiomir with wire lugs and the Radiomir 1940 with fixed lugs. Lately, the brand’s focus seems to be on the Radiomir 1940 so it’s good to see Panerai giving love to the classic Radiomir. Say hi to the new Radiomir 8 Days PAM992 and the Radiomir California PAM931.
Panerai Radiomir 8 Days PAM992
The two watches have special aged treatments to give them a strong vintage look. Let’s begin with the smaller Radiomir 8 Days PAM992. As I mentioned earlier, this comes in a Radiomir case with wire lugs. The case measures 45mm-wide, and it features what Panerai calls “316L aged steel.” It isn’t obvious from press photos, so I’m eager to see what this treatment is like in the flesh. Complementing the vintage look of the case is a domed sapphire crystal.
The black dial features a sandwich construction. There’s an upper disc with cutouts for the hour markers and subseconds. This then sits on top of a lower disc that’s filled with luminous material. This technique of dial construction was first seen in the Thirties and has become a signature of the brand.
The dial configuration is pleasingly symmetrical. There’s a sub-seconds at 9 o’clock and at 3 o’clock is an inscription that says “8 Giorni Brevattato.” This means “8 Days Patented” in Italian and it’s a reference to the movement within the watch and also vintage Panerai watches with Angelus movements. The PAM992 has blued hours, minutes, and seconds hand. To give it an even strong vintage look, it uses beige lume that approximates the look of aged radium.
The movement inside the PAM992 is in-house calibre P.5000. This is Panerai’s entry-level hand-wound long power reserve movement. It beats at 3Hz and features a long power reserve of 8 days. Paneristis will also note from the caseback shot that the PAM992 features a revised version of the P.5000 that has a full-bridge that covers all of the gear train. The earlier version has an open-worked bridge that revealed the intermediate wheel.
Panerai Radiomir California 47mm PAM931
The Radiomir Califonia 47mm PAM931 will be familiar to most Paneristis. Panerai has done a number of Radiomir watches with California dials in the past, but the PAM931 makes a strong case for being the most distinctive yet. This comes in a larger 47mm wide Radiomir case with wire lugs. Similar to the PAM992, the PAM931’s case is also what Panerai calls “316L aged steel.”
The distinctive thing about the dial is its color. It features a graduated brown dial that’s lighter in the center and darker at the edges. It’s supposed to mimic the look of vintage tropical dials. It has blued hour and minute hands. To complete the vintage look, it has beige lume and a Plexiglass crystal.
Inside the watch is Panerai’s in-house calibre P.3000. This is a tried-and-tested handwound Panerai movement that is used in many other 47mm Panerai watches. It has a power reserve of three days and it beats at 3Hz. The P.3000 movement in the PAM931 is a newer version that has more elaborate bridges.
These two new watches are nice additions to the Radiomir family. Unfortunately, their designs aren’t exactly original. There have been numerous Radiomirs with California dials. And, the dial layout of the Radiomir 8 Days is actually borrowed from the Luminor Marina 8 Days Acciaio PAM590. If you remember, the PAM590 also features the “8 Giorni Brevattato” inscription and it also uses the calibre P.5000. Despite this, it’s still good to see Panerai giving some love to the classic Radiomir. After all, the Radiomir was the watch that started it all. The Radiomir 8 Days PAM992 is $8,500 and the Radiomir California 47mm PAM931 is $8,700. For more information, visit panerai.com.