As an eminent manufacturer of custom rubber watch straps, the team at Rubber B often likes to know a great deal of detail about the watches for which these rubber watch bands are made. And whenever the opportunity arises to do so, we will often pass this information along to our clients in the form of an in-depth review, which is exactly what this article will set out to accomplish.
Many of the Rubber B blogs have focused on European watchmakers, though the area of focus has primarily been on watches made in either Switzerland or the United Kingdom. As a result of this, we have decided to focus on another highly respected European watchmaker that we haven’t previously spent a lot of time with – Panerai.
This article will specifically focus on the Panerai Luminor 1950 44 Chrono, or the PAM 328. This is the newest entry in Panerai’s long-established Luminor line of products, which is, arguably speaking, their flagship line of watches. Therefore, we thought it would be appropriate to not only review the watch itself but to explain a little bit about the history of Panerai as a whole, to place the watch review in a more fully established context.
Having initially been founded in Florence, Italy in 1860, Panerai is one of the oldest watchmaking companies in the world. It was initially founded by Giovanni Panerai, a well-respected local craftsman who specialized in making watches. However, the company would truly begin to expand under the direction of his grandson, Guido Panerai. Guido took over the “Orologeria Svizzera” that his grandfather had begun and also became involved in his wife’s family business, which was a mechanical workshop, as well.
In 1915, Guido would go on to invent gun sights that were made luminescent by using a radium/zinc sulfide combination, which was then enclosed in small, hermetically sealed vessels. Radiomir, which is the proprietary substance that Panerai uses to make its watch dials luminescent, takes its name from “radio mire,” which is translated into English as “radium sights.”
After this invention was successfully introduced to the market, Panerai would become the official instrument supplier to the Royal Italian Navy, for whom they would develop a wide variety of watches and other precision instruments. It should be noted that they helped introduce waterproof watches to the Italian Navy.
However, they did not undertake this task on their own. During their early years, all of Panerai’s watches were designed and manufactured by Hans Wilsdorf and his team over at Rolex.
Because the two countries share a land border and have maintained excellent diplomatic relations for hundreds of years, it stands to reason that the Swiss and the Italians would work together in this fashion. Nonetheless, it is interesting to note that these two titans of the watchmaking world have a collaborative history, as they manufacturer two very different styles of timepieces as of now.
Initially released in 2012, the Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 3 Days is the newest entry in Panerai’s Luminor line of watches. Because this product line is arguably the one they are most well-known for, it was important to them to make sure that this watch maintained the long-held quality and style that Panerai aficionados around the world have come to know and love.
To begin with, it is worth noting that like a lot of Panerai’s other timepieces, the Panerai Luminor 1950 44 Chrono is a very masculine watch. The case measures 44 mm and comes on a stainless steel bracelet, and it is a very hefty timepiece with a lot of weight to it. Because of the heft of the timepiece, it is unlikely that this is a watch that you would want, or need, to wear every day. It is more likely that, if you were to purchase this timepiece, you would find yourself using it on more formal occasions.
This is not to say that the watch is not elegant or not sporty – in fact, those are two words that we certainly would use to describe this timepiece. However, in our opinion, it does not fall under the category of what we would call “activewear” in terms of timepieces.
The bracelet uses a series of simple, angular Y shaped links in terms of its design, which allows it to be elegant while still supporting the heft of the stainless steel. One could almost describe the look of the bracelet as “industrial,” though this is not intended to be pejorative – in this case, we are referring to simplicity. The bracelet has an excellent amount of articulation and fits comfortably on an appropriately sized wrist.
It is worth mentioning that for a watch of this size, it is very important to make sure that it fits comfortably on your wrist, which means the timepiece is snug without causing discomfort to your wrist. While this rule realistically applies to all watches, we are taking the time to point it out here because of the heft of this particular timepiece.
Simply put, the last thing you would want is for this watch to be sliding up and down your wrist at random. That would more than likely result in you not wanting to wear the watch as often, which essentially defeats the entire point of purchasing the timepiece in the first place. If you have the opportunity to try the watch on at all before outright buying it, it is highly advisable to do so.
One of the great things about the Panerai Luminor 1950 44 Chrono, along with several other Panerai watches, is how easy it is to change the watch from a bracelet to a strap. This can be done with a simple screwdriver set, which can be easily purchased at most major retailers. We will take a moment here to note that the bracelets for these watches can be somewhat difficult to purchase, so be sure to take excellent care of them. For maximum versatility, it is much easier to diversify the style of your Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 by using custom made watch straps instead.
Thankfully, the Panerai Luminor 1950 44 Chrono maintains the high standard of technical quality that consumers have long come to expect from the highly respected brand. This timepiece uses a P9000 automatic movement, which is a proprietary movement that has been developed in-house by Panerai themselves.
The dial for the 1950 3 Days Automatic Pam 328 is presented in the sandwich style, which means there is a top layer of the dial over a second layer, which is comprised of Luminol. This means that the watch is visible in areas with little to no light, which is handy if you should suddenly find yourself in a low visibility type of situation. The dial also prominently displays the date as well.
As with most other Panerai watches, the only numerals visible on the watch are located at 3,6,9, and 12, with the other hours simply being indicated by hash marks. If you need to adjust the watch hands for any reason, you can do so by simply using the crown dial, which is located on the side of the watch and is easily popped out of the timepiece.
Panerai watches are known for being very easy to substitute with custom straps, which can often give you the feeling that you are wearing an entirely new watch for the first time. If you are looking for custom rubber watch bands for your Panerai timepiece, visit the Rubber B website today to see a complete overview of all of our products.