Panerai can often get some flack for producing watches that are a bit too similar looking through their model lines, which can often make it hard for a “non-Paneristi” to actually distinguish between many of them. This year at SIHH, Panerai debuted four new Radiomir 1940 GMT watches (Hands-on with those here), but they also released another Radiomir 1940 watch that is actually a “first” for the brand. The Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days Automatic Acciaio (PAM00655) watch is, as our David Bredan covered here, the first white dial Radiomir 1940 watch. It’s a great-looking piece that will have appeal to the Paneristi who wants something a little different in their collection, fans of white-dial watches, or people who just appreciate great design. It definitely appeals to the entire aBlogtoWatch team, as it made our Top 10 watches from SIHH 2016 list.
Personally, I find the size of 42mm watches to be a sweet spot, and I’m really glad Panerai chose to bring the white dial to a watch as broadly appealing and wearable as this Radiomir 1940 3 Days Automatic Acciaio. I also appreciate that it’s just under 11mm high on the wrist, giving it presence without being blocky. The familiar cushion-shaped case is complete with off-center small seconds dial at 9 o’clock and numeric indicators for the hours. Something I really love about some of their white-dialed watches is Panerai’s decision to use dots and numerical indicators for the 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, and 10 o’clock positions. Scanning the circumference of the dial almost makes it look like the 12, 3, and 6 o’clock indicators are popping out as if viewing from a magnifying glass. Fortunately, legibility on the dial is not affected by using the white dial and it’s easy to read.
Through the sapphire case back you’ll get a view of the in-house P.4000 movement, which operates at 28,800 vph (4 Hz). As the name suggests, the Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days Automatic Acciaio has a three-day power reserve, which will be the minimum power reserve on all forthcoming in-house movements by Panerai. As David noted when the watch was announced, this is a great minimum power reserve because you can leave your watch off for a weekend and come back with it still ticking. It’s an actual practical benefit to have this, so it would be sagacious for other brands to follow suit.
One reason why fans of Panerai get hooked on the brand is due to the distinctive and unmistakable styling that’s shared by the Luminor and Radiomir lines, as well as the Luminor 1950 and Radiomir 1940 lines. The dark dial is definitely a part of the “Panerai look” and, as I mentioned before, I find it unlikely that someone will get this as their first Panerai. Rather, it’ll probably add to a collection. Then again, it could draw in buyers who were on the fence but prefer the white dial a lot more. This is when you know the design is successful; it’s familiar, yet unique to the brand’s aesthetic, but still has a wide appeal to the larger watch buying community.
The watch comes on an untreated leather strap with contrast stitching, which looks great and has a handsome quality to it. I really like that the stitching just about matches the brown/beige color of the hands and hour dots. Moving on to the case, the word acciaio is Italian for “steel,” which the watch case looks great in. On the crown you’ll find the signature “OP” logo which will be familiar to anyone who has a seen a Panerai. And, naturally, as Panerai used to make dive watches made for the Italian Navy, water resistance is a respectable 100 meters.
The Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days Automatic Acciaio (PAM00655) is a great-looking white-dial watch that will likely please fans of the brand, and maybe even lure in a few new people to the brand. The asking price for the watch is an even $10,000, which is right in line with what you’d expect to pay. panerai.com