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Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days Titanio DLC Watch

Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days Titanio DLC Watch Watch Releases

Panerai has announced a stable of new models this week at Watches & Wonders in Hong Kong. Among a range of new Radiomirs, we find two very cool limited edition dial variations for the Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days Titanio DLC. Panerai’s vintage-inspired 1950’s line offers a time-proven aesthetic that reflects the early days of the Luminor case and the addition of its now iconic lever action crown guard. With the 1950 3 Days Titanio DLC, Panerai is offering a “best of both worlds” solution that provides their classic Italian diver-style in a lightweight but scratch-resistant DLC titanium case.

Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days Titanio DLC Watch Watch Releases

These two limited edition Luminors differ only by dial design. The PAM617 (above, left) employs Panerai’s classic black logo sandwich dial with the distinctive 12, 3, 6, and 9 numerals and a sub seconds display, while the PAM629 (above, right) is given a “cali dial,” which mixes arabic and roman numerals in a nod to the early Radiomirs that bore a similar dial design. The PAM629’s dial is otherwise blank, with no branding, logos, sub seconds or additional text. Both dials are striking in their own way and serve to complete the vintage aesthetic of these special Luminors.

While the shape may be based on a vintage design, few brands can mix the old with the new quite like Panerai. As members of the 1950 family, these Luminors are 47 mm wide and their cases are constructed from titanium and finished with a DLC coating for scratch resistance. Within the context of a watch you or I may wear everyday, titanium is a mixed bag. It’s a beautiful metal and it’s lightweight, which is excellent in a 47 mm wide watch. But, where titanium tends to let us all down is scratch resistance. While the metal is light and strong, it’s very prone to scratching.

Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days Titanio DLC Watch Watch Releases

Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days Titanio DLC Watch Watch Releases

To help toughen up the surface of the titanium, Panerai has treated the metal to a Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) coating finish, granting it additional resistance to general wear and tear. I love this solution, as it serves not only the general looks of the watch, but also its overall practicality as an everyday object. Finished with a solid case back and a domed sapphire crystal and 100m water resistance, the Luminor 1950 3 Days Titanio DLC looks stunning, especially on the deep brown leather strap shown in the photos.

A few years ago, Panerai started taking their movements rather seriously, and the Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days Titanio DLC houses their hand-wound P.3000 calibre. Designed and built by Panerai in Neuchatel, the P.3000 is the same movement found in a lot of their larger watches that feature two hands or a three hands with sub seconds layout. Rocking the titular three days power reserve, the P.3000 uses two barrels, 21 jewels and ticks away at 3 Hz. Despite being a simple-looking three hand system, the P.3000 also offers jumping hour set that can be done without hacking the movement, a very handy feature for changing time zones without interrupting timekeeping.

Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days Titanio DLC Watch Watch Releases

Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days Titanio DLC Watch Watch Releases

All of these elements come together in a limited edition run of 300 units for each model and both variants will retail for a price of $11,700 USD. The combination of a classic style, high quality hand-wound movement, and a light, but practical application of modern materials make for for a rather winning formula. Are they wildly different than the many other Luminors variants we’ve seen in the past? No. But the Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days Titanio DLC is a great-looking and detailed expression of Panerai, both old and new.



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  • Another couple of bargains from Panerai. DLC over Titanium seems like a good choice in general and especially for cases with this bulk. Thanks for the post James.

    • brunnerl75

      DLC on Titanium to me never seems a good choice. And especially for Panerai it seems odd because they have similar cases made of ceramics (zirconium oxide). I guess the reason why they chose (inferior) DLC coating is the limited series of 300 each. They did not want to do the extra step of a ceramic construction for “just” 300 pieces.
      Just guessing… 😉

      • Yeah, ceramic would be better I agree.

        • JimBob

          DLC is a YMMV deal. Some DLC coatings are very good, some are no better than PVD. Probably Panerai uses a good process. I have a Ti ProMaster SST with DLC and the finish is very durable against scratches. So far no gouges or nicks either. I would like to see how the finish holds up on an MR-G.

  • iamcalledryan

    Love the material and treatment. Not a fan of the California dial, but the other one is on point.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    They may have a history of quality pieces, this one is no exception…………….but its sooooooooooooooo boring.

    • iamcalledryan

      I think you need to start a rotten tomatoes-style site for watches, forcing the reviewer to select “boring” or “not boring”!

      • Raymond Wilkie

        Hmmm……wouldn’t quite go that far. One mans meat is another mans poison.

  • radikaz

    Are they running out of creativity? The same design cooked with different treatment and then limit their quantity, bang! Limited edition at USD11K!

  • SuperStrapper

    I would have no problem giving that 617 a very nice home. But cali dials will always look hokey to me.

    • Me too. I neither love nor hate California dials. But mostly, I just don’t get it (why there is such love for them). I’ve hear the old military/visibility explanation, but I don’t buy any of it. Just an odd looking, unbalanced combination of too many fonts and batons. But has become “a look”, so I guess it will endure – I just don’t know why.

    • Skeletor

      A nice home would be up your ass.


    and a new watch from Panerai…. the exact same look as the last one. Now I do like the Cali dial but maybe I am expecting too much and changing the overall look would probably be a bad move for Panerai fans. Anyhow I think they look cool but I will need to drink more Ovaltine to pretend I can deal w a 47mm behemoth

  • J.P. Coqueran

    100% yawn worthy… and can be yours for just under $12,000!! IMO, the company is dead.

  • simon

    As Panerai runs out of creative options they look to past Panerai replica watches for design inspiration.
    seriously though…..Had I seen a Cali dial 1950 with DLC treatment before reading this report, there is no way I would have believed it was real. This is the sort of model mixing that you see on street corners for 100 dollars.

    • funkright

      Ya, as I was perusing the article I thought to myself ‘they really aren’t moving forward in any real way, same stuff different day with varying materials…’ I like the brand and the varying materials used, but something just ain’t clicking the same for me anymore. They reached the top @ the 233 and that was some time ago 🙁

  • IanE

    One of these days Panerai are going to really shock us all – and produce something genuinely new and original. I shall not be holding my breath, however! Until then I can only marvel at the amazing discernment of subtle differences shown by the Paneristi.

    • Maybe Panerai and Rolex are both holding their breaths to see who can hold out the longest (before producing something truly new). Sort of like a suicide pact, but laughing all the way to the bank (while still holding their breath that is).

      • resonator resonator

        I bet Rolex blinks first. Though I really love Rolex, they have become almost boring. If I were to attend Basel, I doubt I’d even give their lot a glance. Any seriously innovative change from them will be a welcome thing. Oh, and it’s gotta’ be more than just using Si parts. What I would flip over is a Rolex with a lunar phase complication, or maybe a pocket watch.

        • But you’d kick youself if you went to BaselWorld and passed on an appointment with Rolex and it turned out to be the once in a decade event where they did release something totally new. OK, maybe not in a decade, but you get the idea.

          • resonator resonator

            Yeah. You’re right. I’d browse their selection just in case.

        • iamcalledryan

          You’re not wrong, but if it ain’t broken…

          I think we are a little desensitized to expect radical reinvention – and some will need to do that to survive, whereas for others like Rolex it can actually cause identity damage. The truth is that small things like a rubber strap on the yachtmaster and colour accents on the oyster perpetual are considered big deals to fans of the brand.

          having said that, when PP came out with that pilots watch, even though as many people hated it as they loved it, arguably it was the talk of the week and Patek have clearly not suffered for it! So forget what I just said – Rolex time for that moonphase foudroyante altimeter!

  • DanW94

    I’m not a big fan of Panerai watches, but I certainly give them credit for their unwavering commitment to their tried and true basic design. I guess the company motto is, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”, or better yet, “Let’s milk this cow for all it’s worth”.

  • Chaz

    More “Special Editions” for Panerai “Passionistis” to fight over, acquire, then flip…

  • TrevorXM

    Over eleven thousand dollars for a hand wound, three hand simple watch without innovation, elaborate finishing, special materials or features — and yet some people will pay that. This is an $1100 watch. Tops. I’ve seen the How It’s Made video on Panerai. Have any of their customers? To put a price tag of over eleven thousand dollars on this watch is mind-boggling. How do they get away with that? When will this fiasco collapse?

    • resonator resonator

      I think $1100 is a little short. I definitely get where you’re coming from though. I’ve always wanted to join the Panerai club, but agree that they are not a great value for the money, and therefore would only buy a used one. I also just realized these cases are not even gold. You are right after all. Nothing more special about his watch than say a FC Manufacture’ series.

      • Ulysses31

        There’s always -*gulp*- Marina Militare.

        • resonator resonator

          You’re talking about those Chinese made Paneria “homages”? I’ve been curious about them, as I’ve seen a few with rate results that are well within the COSC standard. I just have a really hard time justifying the purchase. It’s essentially ripping off another engineers hard work, buy buying a replica that’s so incredibly similar. I put out a few of my dial designs a couple years ago, and really regret it now. Never share my work outside of WOSTEP buddies, or close friends now.

          • Ulysses31

            I think the overall look is more the work of the designer, and yes it is a rip-off of an iconic timepiece but a lot of people seem OK with homages. I’m personally torn about them because I think they’re not quite knock-offs (because the branding is obviously different) but then the style is also part of the identity, which is a direct copy. There’s also the quality issue – even if you bought a Chinese replica you’d still wish you had the immaculate finishing and “perfection” provided by the original. Recently I saw a movement tear-down of one of these things and it was full of dirt and hair and god knows what else, causing the rate performance to be pretty bad. I would rather have the real thing than something that only provides an illusion of quality, even if that illusion is incredibly cheap. If the Chinese ever learn the importance of quality-control, a lot of Western companies would become very uncomfortable real fast.

          • Agree – if the Chinese ever learn that “I give you good quality” is more important than the current mindset of “I give you good price”, they will be a serious force in higher end watchmaking (due to their relatively lower labor rates compared to Switzerland).

          • resonator resonator

            That’s pretty inline with how I feel. Someone here mentioned something to the effect that if China ever figures out how to operate/manufacture within ISO standards, and paid a little more attention to detail, the Swiss industry would really have something to worry about. My desire is to buy one just to take it apart and refinish the movement, clean up what I can, maybe add a little Perlage where it’s needed, and generally try and improve the performance to near COSC. Those Unitas clones are not all that bad, but I’ve seen some people take them and really work em’ up until they are stunning. For around $100 USD, they are great practice for this kind of work when you’re aspiring to get into horology.

  • J.P. Coqueran

    I wonder if they ever thought of different dial colors, seems simple enough on paper right.

  • otaking241

    I wonder if DLC does better on Ti than on steel? All the DLC PAMs I’ve seen look terribly worn, as it seems to rub very easily off the broad curves of these cases. To my knowledge I haven’t seen a DLC’ed Ti watch before, though, so maybe it bonds better?

    Still puzzling why they’d go with this combo than with their tried-and-true ceramic, especially when they’re asking these prices anyway. Hasn’t anyone at Richemont seen the beating PAMs are taking in the second hand market these days?

    • Because Richemont only profits from the initial sale, maybe they just don’t care about wear and resale value.

      • resonator resonator

        Mark, do you know if their DLC coating process is done using silver to sputter the black onto gold?

        • Sorry, but I don’t know. As someone who has little interest in Panerai, I’m the last guy to ask. Perhaps someone on a Panerai forum would know. Cheers.

          • resonator resonator

            Well, now I’m intrigued. What is it about the Panerai that doesn’t make you a fan? I admit, that I’m just now starting to explore their product line, but my interest comes from their historical horological achievements, and not based on any kind of lust over their work. It seems like they have engineered a really solid movement for use in tool watches, and that level of utilitarianism does appeal to me.

          • Ever seen a woman that while not ugly, just doesn’t do it for ya? That’s Panerai for me. I don’t mind that other people like them. But the look doesn’t do much for me and their prices are a joke. But to each their own.

            As mentioned, I don’t care for the huge REG TM crown guard typical of Luminors and I don’t like the dainty wire lugs typical of the Radiomirs. So I’m happiest with the “1940” compromise case. The large cushion shape is fine if you like it, but it’s not my favorite case shape. For “dive” watches (if by history and advertising if nothing else), most of them don’t have rotating bezels, yada, yada.

            Like Rolex and Bell & Ross with their BR01 (and endless variants), some brands become like one trick ponies. Great for making money so long as the demand is there. So it’s a good business model, but that does not me wait with baited breath to see their new references – ’cause most likely it’s more of the same warmed over stuff. I think Panerai is lucky that their look has become iconic and associated with them at a glance. So again, good for them, but that does not in and of itself make me a fan.

            They got popular while still using ETA 6497 manual wind movements. Nothing wrong with that per se, but certainly not exotic and out of line with where their pricing is. They have been making their own movements these past years and some of them I admire for their features but in the same way that some people fail to swoon over a German 3/4 plate movement, most of the in-house Panerai calivers aren’t much to look at. If they are strictly a tool watch, then fine – a 3/4 plate is a sturdy way to make a movement. But when you put an exhibition back on it and charge a bundle, it would be nice to have some eye candy. While they and ALS are both Richemont brands, every notice which one of the two brands is often referred as “watch porn” and which is not? I know they are priced and marketed differently, so maybe that not a fair comparison but you get my drift I’m sure.


  • Ulysses31

    Say what you will about Panerai, they can still come up with some slick and masculine looking watches. Unfortunate that their prices are so unrealistic. I’m sure Marine Militare will have cloned this for a hundredth of the price soon enough (no one in the general public cares about the minutiae of the mechanisms, just that it looks “expensive” – besides which, they all look the same anyway [not racist]).

  • Mike Brown

    My opinion is if they (any watch) keep their value, you can make good use of your savings and get your money back on the back end. You do however need to stick with major brands to keep your money! Panerai is not one of those brands….it will tank! Rolex, AP, Patek, Vacheron and Lange are really the only ones to keep your investment from tanking, you may loose a little but that is the cost to play…

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