Over the last few years, Panerai has gone to a lot of effort to evolve their offering. The foundation pieces are still there – aggressively simple dive watches that make little effort to belie their military origins, but these days the brand has so much more to offer, from hi-tech tourbillons to slender dress options. These two GMTs, released last year, are the kind of watches that bridge old and new. They’re undeniably Panerai, with the large 45mm Radiomir 1940 case and instantly recognisable combination of super-stylised Arabics and hash marks, but look closer and the changes are obvious too. The dial, for starters. No longer a simple matt sandwich, Panerai has added texture to the mix, with subtle Clous de Paris and vertical stripe finishes to keep things interesting. Likewise, the iconic luminous sandwich construction hasn’t been used here, with the ecru-coloured luminous material applied in the more traditional manner.
As you can see, both these watches display a second time zone via the slender, arrow-tipped hand. This is a 12-hour hand, which is convenient for reading the second time at a glance, but less so if you have problems remembering if it’s day or night in that time zone. Luckily there’s a 24 hour or AM/PM indicator on the dial as well, sitting inconspicuously under the small second hand. PAM 628 adds a power reserve indicator to the mix, and both versions have neatly done date windows at three.
The watches are powered by the robust P.4002 (on the PAM 628) and P.4001 (on the PAM 657). The latter also offers a power reserve indicator but keeps it out of sight on the case back. These movements are a far cry from the Unitas ébauches that used to be the brand’s stock in trade. Not only do they look pretty – and offer a quite sophisticated micro-rotor – but the GMT can be adjusted without interrupting the timekeeping, and if you change the time, the second hand automatically hacks to zero, allowing for easy time-syncing.
The genuinely useful complication and functionality, combined with the subtle evolution of Panerai’s timeless style mean both of these Radiomir 1940s will always look the part, no matter where you travel.
Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days GMT Automatic Accio (PAM 628 and PAM 657) Australian pricing
Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days GMT Automatic Accio with power reserve (PAM 628), $16,250, and without (PAM 657) $15,950