The new Panerai PAM796 Panerai Luminor Marina 8-Days Power Reserve Left-Hand is a bit of an amalgamation of traits that Panerai already has pursued — being that it’s a left-handed (crown on the left side of the case) Luminor with an 8-day power reserve. This watch also features Panerai’s recognizable and often sought-after sandwich dial with long, faux vintage patina lumed baton hands and a sub-seconds dial at 3 o’clock. The brand is no stranger to either lefty watches or 8-day power reserves, but the PAM796 features their new in-house caliber P.5001 with an 8-day power reserve indicator prominently displayed under the rear sapphire caseback. The PAM796 also sports 300m of water resistance and a 44mm polished steel case along with a black leather strap to match the dial.
While this is not the first time that Panerai has offered left-handed watches with extra long power reserves (see the PAM579 hands-on here or the PAM368, for example), they don’t currently offer a model in this exact configuration. I think what the ultimate selling point of this particular piece will be is the movement. Panerai states that the P.5001 is, “executed entirely by Panerai,” and functions as a direct descendant of the P.200x series of movements from Neuchâtel; those wanting to buy into that technology will find the PAM796 to be a good candidate. Speaking personally, I also think that the left-handed crown would be extremely comfortable when worn on the left wrist. The signature Luminor crown guard assembly, while being unique and a big draw to the line itself, could potentially pose some comfort issues for potential wearers. Flipping the crown to the left side of the case should alleviate that entirely.
Ultimately I find that the PAM796 represents an appropriate, if not expected step in Panerai’s development. One nice thing is that they have brought the cost of entry to their (specifically) left-handed, 8-day movements down to just under $7,000, whereas previously they were over $10,000. This might appeal to those looking to buy into the Italian Frogmen heritage for the first time, or just the combination of features, style, and price that they were waiting for. On the other hand, I see this as an expected move because, in the end, it is another vintage-inspired Luminor featuring a complication that we know they can already accomplish. I would love to see Panerai introduce a new case style altogether and begin designing some “new” heritage for future owners. The Panerai Luminor Marina 8-Days Power Reserve Left-Hand PAM796
I’ll start off with saying that the Panerai PAM569 is probably my favorite Panerai watch that I’ve worn for an extended period of time. Panerai is a brand that most watch lovers admire because of their historic designs that are both beautiful and timeless. It is also hard to find too many other “tool watches” that are so good looking and versatile. Panerai watches are known to look good on a wide range of straps, and their larger sizes were a major driving force of the tendency for watch makers to produce larger timepieces due to the modern demand for big sport watches. So let’s check out what it was like to thoroughly review the Panerai Luminor Submersible Left-Handed Titanio PAM569.
Perhaps the easiest thing to complain about when it comes to Panerai watches is that there is very little difference between many of the models. Panerai has a few basic case styles and dial elements, which are tossed around with various materials and small tweaks to form new models. It is true that one could suggest Panerai isn’t huge in the innovation department, but it is a tactic that works well for the brand because their existing designs and assets are relatively evergreen in their popularity potential.
The Panerai Luminor Submersible Left-Handed Titanio PAM569 does not escape being yet another unique assortment of existing design elements and parts, arranged in an “original” manner for this model. Let me quickly mention what makes this Panerai Luminor Submersible Left-Handed Titanio PAM569 different than the rest. Oh, and I need to again remind you that Luminor Submersible is Panerai’s “true” dive watch collection with 300 meters of water resistance and a rotating diver’s bezel. Even though the entire Panerai brand is arguably based around diving watches, most of their watches today aren’t “true divers,” given their lack of a rotating bezel and water resistance. So if you want a “professional dive” watch with the Panerai name on it, then a Luminor Submersible is the way to go.
So what makes this particular reference PAM00569 Panerai Luminor Submersible unique? The first thing is that the case is produced from titanium. This isn’t the only titanium Submersible out there, but it is one of the factors which you should know about. That means the case is relatively light and strong, but also that it has a more gray color compared to steel, and that it will show signs of wear faster due to titanium’s propensity to scratch.
Another distinguishing factor is the left-handed orientation of the crown. In fact, to achieve this, the entire movement has been flipped around so that the crown extends to the left versus right side of the case. This is not just important from a stylistic perspective, but because Panerai’s Luminor case crown locking system adds considerable size to the case. In a normal “righty” orientation when the crown is on the right of the case, then it can jab into people’s wrist (some people – depending on their anatomy and how they wear the watch). With the crown on the left, this issue is dramatically lessened because the protruding crown structure is on the left, not on the right. Of course if you prefer to wear watches on your right arm versus left arm, then the watch would appear “normal,” given the switch in choice of wrist.
Finaly, there is the “vintage style” element of the Panerai Luminor Submersible Left-Handed Titanio PAM569. Not all Panerai Luminor Submersible watches are meant to look as retro as this model with its “aged style” luminant color and distressed brown leather strap. The face of the watch also has a “clos du Paris” pattern which makes it a bit different than a cleaner matte dial available on other Panerai Luminor Submersible models.
Much of this is just due to the fashion, but the particular assortment of colors and styles is very appealing. You still get that “clean” look of a Panerai face, but full of functionality and legibility. Still, the hands appear to be slightly too short, but it doesn’t really effect the dial. I also continue to like the design of the hour markers as well as the minimalist “dot style” markers on the rotating bezel. It just overall makes for a handsome look, but clearly a look that has been refined by Panerai after playing around with it for so many generations of similar timepieces.
At 47mm wide, the Panerai Luminor Submersible Left-Handed Titanio PAM569 is not a small watch, but it is more than wearable. If you need just one “big watch” in your life, choosing a Panerai would not be a bad idea. The lack of too many complicated lines and the appeal of the Panerai Luminor’s cushion-shaped case make for a classic look that, while large, does not appear to be brash in any way. This can happen with overly detailed watches that also have a large case. The restrained design aesthetic of Panerai tends to work to their advantage in this regard.
Inside the Panerai Luminor Submersible Left-Handed Titanio PAM569 is the in-house made Panerai caliber P.9000 automatic movement. This 4Hz (28,800 bph) frequency movement has a power reserve of three days and includes the time with subsidiary seconds and the date. It isn’t an overly complicated movement but it doesn’t give me anything to complain about. Panerai’s movements mirror the utilitarian theme of their watches, which in my opinion is a good thing.
Handsome and sporty, the Panerai Luminor Submersible Left-Handed Titanio PAM569 proved versatile and comfortable in a range of situations. It was a watch that never felt out of place, but also offered some distinctive features so that it didn’t look like “just another Panerai.” My suggestion for those who are curious about getting a Panerai is that they select one that has at least one distinctive element to it. There is a lot of merit in getting the most iconic Panerai styles for your collection, but since there are so many Panerai timepieces which look similar, there is something rewarding about enjoying the brand’s core design concept, but with a bit of uniqueness. Also, when it was first released, Panerai mentioned that the PAM569 would be limited to just 1000 pieces – even though this limited edition number is not indicated on the case. Price, of course, comes with the typical Panerai premium, and for this Panerai Luminor Submersible Left-Handed Titanio PAM569 watch