I know what you’re thinking. Gold? For a dive watch? Why? First of all, you’re right, gold is a ludicrous choice for a dive watch – but Panerai knows this. And so do all of the other watchmakers that have made gold divers (a long list that includes Cartier, IWC, and and even Rolex). So while you have every right to question why this watch is needed, it’s good to keep in mind that for a few decades now, since the introduction of Quartz technology and in the diving world, of computers, it’s a question most mechanical watches face. And that brings us to the new PAM 684.
The PAM 684 is not a watch I recommend diving with, and I’m pretty sure you’d hear the same thing from the salespeople in any Panerai Watches Berrys Replica boutique you happened to walk into around the globe. There’s a long list of professional-grade divers with better depth ratings and more durable cases to choose from, and guess what? They’re all in Panerai’s Submersible range, right alongside the PAM 684.
The PAM 684 a new 42mm Submersible diver, but not one you’d want to go diving with.
Rather, this is a watch for the guy (or gal) who probably already owns a more rugged Submersible, loves the look of it, but wants something a little more appropriate than a 47mm wristwatch (ok, so probably not a gal) to wear on a night out. And the smaller, thinner, and more elegant Oro Rosso is exactly that. At 42mm across, it’s much smaller than the Submersibles we’re used to seeing and it’s obvious on the wrist (and even just in the hand) that this makes the PAM 684 a substantially different watch.
The PAM 684 works, despite (and because of) all of its contradictions. Red gold is an odd choice, but I have to admit I love the contrast between the warmth of the case and the functional, almost militaristic elements of the watch, including the black strap, dial, and bezel. Large lume dots and broad hands with filled luminous tips make reading the watch easy and the matte black ceramic bezel is both really sleek and extremely durable. The PAM 684 is still water resistant to 100m, even if you wouldn’t want to subject it to any serious diving.
Red gold is not the strongest metal, but it offers a nice contrast to the matte black dial in the PAM 684.
The watch is powered by the recently developed P.9010, which is the new standard three-day automatic movement from Panerai, and which is slightly thinner than its predecessor. The layout of the Submersible has remained the same though, with a small seconds at nine o’clock and a date window at three o’clock. The movement has a total of 200 components, 31 of which are jewels. Importantly, the caliber also has a stop-seconds mechanism and allows the hour hand to be set in single-hour jumps without affecting the minutes hand (for quick timezone changes).
The caliber P.9010 fills the sapphire caseback in a very satisfying way.
Exactly 1 year ago, when Panerai launched the Luminor Due, it had been well-documented that I wasn’t convinced about this new, second chapter for the much-loved Luminor collection. To come to grips with it and determine what it is like in the alloy, I decided to review the Panerai Luminor Because 3 Days Automatic PAM674, which is the stainless steel, 45mm wide variant of the four bits that Panerai debuted the Luminor Due collection with.The Luminor Due now comes in either 42mm or 45mm-wide cases in either steel or red gold, together with the 42mm models featuring the P.1000, that is a good-looking, little, hand-wound, “3 Days” caliber. The 45mm variants, such as the one we are looking at here, are powered with the still remarkably thin but complex P.4000 in-house caliber, which also provides 3 days of power reserve but adds micro-rotor-driven automatic winding to the mix and also around $2,000 to the cost. As such, we are taking a look at a Luminor that retails for slightly over the $10k mark. All this noted, what I first had issues with were the name and some of the specs of this Luminor Due, so let’s see whether these beginning to make sense in real life before we do our regular review run-down on the PAM674.Due (pronounced “doo-eh”) means “2” in Italian, so the Luminor Due collection conveys the burden of being the second generation or second chapter of the Luminor, among the most successful and recognizable (see how I avoided saying “iconic”?) Watch collections of this century. Additionally, this is precisely what baffled me when I covered the Luminor Due upon its debut in May 2016.
On the movement side, a sapphire case back lets you view the caliber at work. The large, brushed stainless steel rotor does cover a good portion of the view, but you can catch glimpses of one of the two power barrels peaking out at the top left and on the right, of course, is the escapement.
The PAM 684 as seen here in red gold is priced at $26,700. But, importantly, Panerai will also be offering a stainless steel version called the PAM 682, priced at $8,700, and that’s the one you might actually want to take on your next diving trip.
For more information, visit Panerai online.