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Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days PAM514 Watch Review

Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days PAM514 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

47mm wide and pretty? This must be a Panerai. Today I review the Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days, aka PAM514 (PAM00514). I’ve been spending a lot more time with Panerai over the last few months. It is a brand that hasn’t gotten a lot of my attention in a few years. Why? Well let’s face it, even Panerai lovers will agree that in many instances, if you are familiar with a few Panerai watches, you are familiar with most of them. Panerai has a few set case styles and a few set dial styles with a lot of mixing and matching and slight tweaks. To the “un-initiated” those tweaks are just that, to the initiated, however, those tweaks can be game changers.

A good example is the case used by Panerai for the PAM514. Known as the Radiomir 1940, the case is really a combination of design elements from the Radiomir and the Luminor. Some might call it a historically-influenced transitional case from Panerai’s history – and that would be true, but in many ways it is a good way to combine a bit of love for the Radiomir and Luminor cases in a distinct design. So yes, these are design tweaks, but in many instances I like to think that Panerai is working hard to design the perfect Panerai for each distinct flavor of consumer taste out there.

Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days PAM514 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

When Panerai released the PAM514 in 2013, they also released a sister model, known as the PAM512. What is the difference between the two? Both are Radiomir 1940 watches but the PAM512 comes in a 42mm wide case with a different movement (and no date). The PAM514 is 47mm wide with Panerai’s in-house made P.3000 manually wound movement – a mechanism that is quite attractive visually through the expansive sapphire crystal caseback window.

The P.3000 is a simple yet elegant movement. The bridge design is attractive and the mixture of industrial design and grace is apparent when you look at it and difficult to master in the way Panerai was able to achieve. Operating at a frequency of 21,600 bph (3Hz), the P.3000 has a power reserve of 72 hours. Functionally, the movement offers the time with subsidiary seconds dial and the date. When you pull the crown out one spot it moves the hour hand around in one hour stops which is useful for traveling, and also how you set the date. Though it does make adjusting the date a bit of a nuisance compared to a traditional quick-set date.

Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days PAM514 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days PAM514 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Oh yes, the date. What an odd item to be the source of controversy. Panerai integrates a date disc that matches the tones of the rest of the dial and I think overall makes the dial feel more useful. Though people do argue that the addition of the date window takes away from the overall elegance of the dial. I suppose everyone is right. The PAM512 doesn’t have the date, as well as many other Panerai models. Like I said, each of these is a slight tweak meant to satisfy at least one super picky Panerai fan.

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While there is nothing new about the dial design of this Radiomir 1940 3 Days watch, it is very attractive and legible. You have the typical Panerai “sandwich dial,” as well as lume with a slightly aged-style color. Unlike the Panerai Luminor, only the top part of the dial has text – which I happen to enjoy. Overall, Radiomir dials are probably my favorite of what Panerai has to offer… across a range of what are admittedly a lot of nice dials. It is a Panerai, so the lume is pretty great – no complaints there.

Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days PAM514 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days PAM514 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The funny thing about many of the different Panerai case styles is that they wear differently and cannot be judged by the size alone. For instance, a 44mm wide Luminor 1950 case will wear larger than this 47mm wide Radiomir 1940 case. Why? Well a major reason has to do with the relatively flat caseback. The exhibition caseback window on the PAM514 is thin and allows for the watch to sit with a much lower profile than some of Panerai’s taller fare.

So while this Panerai watch is wide, it is also thinner than you might expect, making for a very comfortable fit. I think that this style case in a 44mm size would be perfect for my wrist, and Panerai is probably planning one or has probably already produced something very similar. I also like the very well-polished steel case which goes with the look well. Panerai also produced an 18k rose gold version of the Radiomir 1940 3 Days, known as the PAM515.

Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days PAM514 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days PAM514 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

I usually don’t discuss watch crowns, but in this case I am going to mention it because Panerai made a particularly nice one. Unscrew the crown, and you’ll see that the stem is very thick and feels very secure. It is difficult to explain it in words, but I just wanted to mention that I was pleasantly surprised by the crown. The case is water resistant to 100 meters and over the dial is a sapphire crystal.

Note that photographing most Panerai watches is exceedingly difficult given the large domed sapphire crystal. Even though Panerai applies an anti-reflective coating, there is going to be a lot of glare. Given the simple dial and prominent hands and hour markers it doesn’t seriously effect legibility, but it is a part of the Panerai ownership experience.

Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days PAM514 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

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  • While not a Panerai guy by any means, I find the combination of the Luminor case lugs and lack of crown protecting device (ala Radiomir) to be the best of both worlds. I also would like to see a review of 42 mm model with automatic winding. Even though it may be thin (relatively), it still looks like the 47 mm reference wears large in the photos. And Kris (SuperStrapper) can always whip up an nice aftermarket bespoke strap if the distressed one does not do it for ya.

  • MikeinFrankfurt

    This looks like a nice watch, but I really prefer the 42mm version size-wise and without the date.  Not sure how large your wrists are, Ariel, but this one actually seems to have a have fair bit of overhang on your wrist (especially the upper lugs).

    Lastly, the 42mm movement looks a lot prettier…more moving parts visible through the caseback.  Credit to Panerai for pushing manual wind movements as there is nothing like winding, IMO.  Great article!

  • Ulysses31

    Shiny and pretty.  Nice case, good-looking movement and just distinctive enough not to be boring.  I’d like to see more from the back though, not just huge plates.  Easy to read dial too, typical of most Panerais.  I like it, though at $8000 it seems you don’t get much.  At that price we’re in the realms of arguably more prestigious and good-looking (subjective I know) watches.

  • Stan Litvin

    Very nice. Good looking movemen.t

  • MarkCarson Segue of the year…

  • Nice, and handsome, but all polished Panerai = no thank you. I know the rules have way changed and you can wear a G-shock with a tux and a Calatrava in shorts and flipflops if you like, but as I’m concerned, these will never be dressy watches and I don;t see an all-polised case as a match. I know its not the first time they have done it and wont be the last, but i’m sticking to it. I’d love to see this exact watch with a bead blasting done to the case. 

    I own 2 Panerai watches, so I am a fan of the brand. Also, between those 2 watches – 21 straps. They just make it so easy…

  • CHANGSUB

    Size is just a personal taste. Some guys like smaller and others like bigger.  I like bigger on and I love this watch

  • WimadS

    Spot on Ariel! That’s what Panerai is all about. Basically 2 designs, and a lot of tweaks to allow all fans to be picky. If you see a Panerai and think: wow, nice watch, just whish it had a seconds hand… well there probably is just one like that with a seconds hand!
    Personally I like this watch a lot. My small wrists would demand the 42mm version, a shame that that one has no date wheel though… oh well, let’s brows through all their other models then!

  • Fraser Petrick

    Too big for me as a wrist watch; perhaps as an ankle watch. John Cleese could revive his silly walk with a  Panerai around his left argyle.
    Kidding. Beautiful watch.

  • BIGCHRONO

    Mr. Malcontent feels @ this jacked up cost, there should be a metal bracelet as std. equip. Larger size translates to inflated cost, & if this were a limited edition, it would be over 10K. I’m not a “Rai Guy” for many reasons, especially since it needs to reward its ambassadors quite handsomely, which in turn forces Pan. to pass on expenses to its consumers. I don’t care if Stallone is wearing one in Expendables 3 (opening soon), or a toilet bowl, there are many viable alternatives @ much more palatable prices.

  • Oelholm

    I cannot see why anyone would want this hunk of metal instead of the Omega reviewed yesterday?

  • funkright

    Oelholm I love that frame of reference 🙂 In that sense the Omega is the value piece. It is all on one’s perspective. I would take neither. Plus, why would anyone buy a Panerai without the crown guard? It’s what defines their brand to most outside the immediate WIS community.

  • funkright

    MarkCarson this watch reminds me of the Magrette Timepieces. Or, maybe, it’s the other way around. What’s the history with these cushion cases anyways?

  • Oelholm

    funkright On online fora you often run into “which watch should I buy, X or Y?”, but I cannot see these two ever going up against each other, so the I guess my example really isn’t that good 🙂
    I just can’t fathom what makes these watches appeal to the enthusiasts. In my view, Panerai is only just one step up from a fashion brand.

  • funkright

    Oelholm “In my view, Panerai is only just one step up from a fashion brand…” I think Richemont might disagree, but I don’t… It’s just another way that we attempt to differentiate our status from the next. My wife gets a bigger diamond or a remodelled kitchen, I get a new watch.

  • I do enjoy the look of Panerai (and cushion case / sandwich dial in general), but that opening paragraph?  Could be just as easily said about Rolex (pick a specific line and history), no?

  • funkright “why would anyone buy a Panerai without the crown guard?” – because that’s what makes Luminors look too much like U-Boat watches to me. Crass and cheesy and contrived. “Look how tough my watch pretends to be”. Distinctive sure, but so is an Invicta Russian Diver.

  • funkright

    MarkCarson Just jewellery and idiosyncratic idealism’s driving different product purchases. We are all looking for some type of differentiation, some are willing to pay for it, some aren’t 🙂

  • funkright The cushion case and minimalist sandwich dial are distinctive enough for me to spot a Panerai as such. The silly crown guard I can do without. Just me. Cheers.

  • MarkCarson funkright Interestingly, aren’t U-Boat watches in existence because they were trying to look like Panerai (and cheaper) and not the other way around?
    I have to say that at the time, with the technology available, Panerai did a nice job with the crown guard for a mil-spec dive watch. It worked and though they probably didn’t make it their first consideration, they made a design statement. And we all know the Italians are all about design, right?
    Although I feel it’s sort of overused and maybe tenuous, I do agree at least Panerai has a “DNA” and some legitimate tie to their function based design. To call it contrived seems a bit harsh, IMO. Would you call Navy “canteen cap” divers from the ’40s contrived?
    Sometimes design, if iconic & timeless, is nice and I feel it’s what draws a certain segment of the watch collecting community…esp guys that get the NOMOSes, Max Bills, Rolexes, Panerais and Reversos.
    All that said, yes I do own one Panerai (382) and got it because of its iconic crown guard (though this reviewed Radiomir is nice, I say if you’re getting a Panerai, you should definitely get one with the icon) and in-house movement but also because it is just so unique and fun to wear.
    Aloha & cheers!

  • Chaz_Hen I can’t really argue with any of that. Except to say that yes on tool watches the crown guard makes sense. Used on dressier references it seems unnecessary to me. I suppose one could argue that all Panerais are supposed to be tool watches. I still maintain that the crown guard is more of style element (yes, Panerai DNA) than a needed function for how most people use the PAMs. Same could be said about any desk diver I guess. 
    On the other hand, if you think that one should get a Panerai with the iconic elements, then Panerai should go the other way and have a model with wire lugs (ala Radiomir) and the crown guard of a Luminor. Or do they already have that?

    Aloha.

  • Henryus

    Great looking Panerai. The crown is killer. Don’t like the aged straps. Something smooth and shiny to match overall aesthetics of the watch would have been better, black blue Cordovan maybe?

    • Scott Etherington

      It has to be said there’s a huge amount of alternative straps out there and these watches are designed for you to change the strap. Personally i change most of my watches to these kinda straps but no reason not to go the other way

  • Fraser Petrick

    funkright Oelholm  My wife got a remodeled kitchen – and I didn’t get a new watch. No fair. Your secret?

  • MarkCarson Chaz_Hen “Tool” watches, as we know them, are a thing of the past for the most part. Unless you’re wearing and using your Garmin or Suunto.
    Watches are pretty much my one and only indulgence. I don’t have any tats, will not wear ANY bracelet or necklace of any sort, have no rings and don’t even do caps/hats. My cell phone is the cheapest, most low end “smart phone” out there and I only got one finally about a year ago. 
    I cringe when people say “What do I need a watch for when I have a cell phone?” I look at my watch for the time a lot more and faster than it would take me to go fumbling through my back or cargo pocket for that phone, flick the screen on to check the time and then put it back. Though I know most people could care less about watches, once in a while when I do meet another “watch guy”, the conversation is much more interesting and fun than talking about the latest version of the iphone to come out.
    Are watches a fashion accessory for men in this day and age? Hell yes. But they’re also my tool and I can’t think of a more comforting and useful tool/accessory that I can wear and not look like a total rube 🙂 
    AFAIK, at least.
    Cheers

    • Scott Etherington

      to me a watch is art. It goes beyond being a tool and becomes part of who i am. Im covered in tats and to me a watch is an extension of that.
      That said im a geek to and will happily talk android with anyone..

  • Twinbarrel

    Beautiful piece!
    The polished case and the simplicity of its design is just stunning and do attractive. I didn’t think so at first until I tried one on my wrist for fun… All my pre-conceived notions like many of you have as well were out the door and I couldn’t get it out of my mind. At this point I own a 44, 45 and 47mm Panerai. The size is also a pre-conceived obstacle. For those of you who have never placed on on their wrist, please try it and have an open mind. The size really doesn’t feel like you would think this moment and it’s design will leave you thinking of it well past it’s moment on your wrist.
    I have other brands and am not just a Pam-only fan. Some are.
    Wrist appeal is tremendous. I have other watches, probably more your interest, but they don’t seem to get noticed like Panerai very often does. Then the many straps that you’d change in a mere moment; change your strap and you get a totally different watch. More bang for your buck and much fun as well.
    Try them on, just for a good time 🙂

  • MikeinFrankfurt Yeah, though the movement is nice, it shows too little.  The automatic movement is bit more interesting, but not that much more.  But their tourbillon movement…

  • Chaz_Hen Again, I agree – right down to a cargo pocket. Being in the same place (Oahu), I’m most often wearing a pair or cargo shorts with my2 year old Galaxy S3 in a pocket. 
    In case you are open to changing your mind about bracelets, BlackPoint Fine Watches in the Sheraton Waikiki has Speedometer bracelets which look like bezels from various Rolex watches. I was skeptical at first, but I wore one for a day last week and was impressed at how well it fit (so that I did not notice it after an hour). I was just borrowing it to take some photos and get an engraving quote for a friend (with initials AA).

  • MarkCarson Chaz_Hen 😉 we need to meet up one day, man.

  • Chaz_Hen They have only been open since April. It is Richard Paige’s new shop. I’m down there a lot as they carry my watches and my daughter works there 3 days a week.

  • marbstiu

    enough panerai for this lifetime..

  • MarkCarson Chaz_Hen I know Richard from back in ’01 shortly after he moved to the HNL. I’ll have to go check it out. Thanks!

  • shinytoys

    I’ve been collecting watches for 30 years, and I have never felt the allure of the Panerai timepiece. It just doesn’t do anything for me with it’s style, and for a watch in this price range, it just sort of lays there. Perhaps it’s a marvel in horological design, maybe it’s the heritage that is unknown to me. The company sure has a hardcore cult-like following.  It misses me completely.

    • Scott Etherington

      i think its just a taste thing. I must confess from the moment i first saw a pan i was transfixed and it instantly become my favourite looking watch. My pet hate is TAG cant stand um. I guess we all have that one favourite and that 1 wont touch.

  • shinytoys The Panerai tifosi?

  • shinytoys Me too.

  • Galvan

    Great Watch. Panerai one of my favorite wish list watches. 47mm is a good size for any wrist size, I think the watch design goes well with such a big size; I don’t see any issues what so ever with this clean and modern design.  Good Job Panerai!!

  • TomasinaCovell

    Lovely images.  What is it’s summing and rates on the timegrapher?

  • No quick-set date on a manually wound watch? Oy vey…

    • Scott Etherington

      As an owner i can confirm its anoying

  • btgillespie

    Reminds me a little of the Precista Italian CA (PRS-20)  and at a price that even Fraser (comment below) could afford after his  wife’s remodeled kitchen.  So as not to offend those of you Paneria pundits yes  I know the insides are vastly different and it is a beautiful time piece  :0)

  • aleximd2000

    shinytoys Yeah , I am a collector since 1998, and only from then because of my age but i feel as you feel about Rolex. It is nr 1 in the world but it has not such an appeal to me to get one. In the near future i will do buy one but i am fond of Panerai. I think the discussion is a little bit over the counter and we are discussing about taste, which is a non sense.

    • Scott Etherington

      i was just saying i feel that way about tag. Yet i love pan and rolex