Monday, March 18, 2013

Panerai PAM 372 Review Preview

Luminor Panerai PAM 372
Discovering A Timeless Classic That Brings Us Back To The Future 
47MM 3 Day Movement: Reference PAM00372

I am working on a super-detailed review of the Historic Luminor 1950 3 Days Panerai PAM00372, and I thought I would give you a detailed preview. The "Panerai 372" (as it is commonly referred to) is probably the most anticipated modern Panerai ever offered. Panerai first showcased the PAM 372 in 2011 at the SSIH show in Geneva, Switzerland to critical acclaim.

The PAM372 Beautifully Showcases the Core-Essence of Panerai DNA

The Panerai PAM 372 is an amazingly cool and desirable watch for many reasons. First and foremost, because it arguably captures the core-essence DNA of the vintage Panerai Reference 6152 from 1954. Many of the details on this watch are very, very similar to the original 6152, which is arguably the quintessential trademark Panerai. The 372 has a sandwich dial with tan lume, which give the watch a very vintage/antique 1940s look–which is incredible!

Before we look more closely at the Panerai 372, let's see what it looks like on a real person. The Panerai 372, just like the Panerai 6152 from the 1950s is 47MM in diameter (excluding the crown guard). 

Let's get one thing out of the way. 47MM is an acquired taste. Most people don't go straight to 47MM. They typically begin with a 44MM Panerai, and work their way up to 47MM. Think of 44MM as a gateway to 47MM. 

All the wrist shot photos in this article show the Panerai 372 on my wrist which measures 6.5 (165MM) inches in circumference. I am 6 feet tall, but have smaller wrists, yet the Panerai 372 in not too large, and fits unbelievably well. For most people 47MM works well, once you get used to it. I even have one male friend that is 5'2, and another who is 5'3, and they both wear 47MM Panerai 372s that look great on them.

The Panerai Reference 372 is considered a "Base" Panerai, meaning it only has a Minute and Hour hand, which gives is a stunningly simple, streamlined, balanced, highly symmetrical look. 

Despite its outstanding looks, the Panerai 372 has zero bling. It is almost reverse bling, which makes it extremely tasteful, clean and sophisticated–in an distinguishing, old-world, kind of way.

The Panerai 372 is a very masculine, macho watch that exudes confidence. Its DNA is that of a real Tool Watch and it has a big, bold look, which remains low-key, reserved, unassuming, unexpected, charismatic and quietly confident. 

There is something really unsusual about the vibe and color combination of the Panerai 372 that is amazing! As I mentioned the 372 has a very 1940s, Indiana Jones, Safari-lifestyle kind of look. If you have ever seen the movie The English Patient, it used an unusual, kind of antique art-deco, 1930-1940s color pallet, and the 372 has that exact same vibe. Every time I look at the 372, either the National Geographic Explorer theme song, or the Raiders Of The Lost Ark, or James Bond theme-song starts playing in my head! Seriously!!!

Speaking of Raiders Of The Lost Ark, in the photo below, I was wearing the PAM 372 with khaki cargo pants and brown boots, and I took this shot, that kind of looks like Indiana Jones, from Raiders Of The Lost Ark–which happens to be one of my favorite movies of all time.

The Panerai PAM 372 is so cool looking in a Steve McQueen kind of way. In other words, it oozes super-cool energy and charisma. The photo below shot in front of the Golden Gate Bridge shows the front and side view of the split cushion case, and you can't help but notice the plexiglass crystal. Panerai chose to use plexiglass instead of synthetic sapphire crystal, because they wanted to make the 372 look as authentic and vintage as possible.

The PAM 372 comes standard with a straight 26/26/4MM Ranger Strap which has a stunningly beautiful aged tobacco color, that looks like a rich cigar leaf and develops and even better patina over time. "26/26/4MM" means the strap is 26MM between the lugs, and does not taper, so it ends at 26MM. The 4MM indicates the thickness of the strap. The original Panerai 6152 from 1954 came with 26/26/4mm leather straps, which offer a real tool watch look and vibe. The Panerai 372 comes standard with a removable, brushed/satin finished Pre-V buckle which is curved, and gives the strap a beautifully streamlined, cohesive, fitted look.

The Panerai 372 is pictured above, in front of another stunningly timeless Art Deco masterpiece–the Golden Gate Bridge–which has also endured and successfully transcended time. The Panerai 372 design language is pure Art-deco, going into late 1950s Populux, and it has a definite 1950s, old-world sensibility to it. It is super-cool looking, in a James Dean, 1955, clean-cut kind of way. In my minds eye, I can see James Dean, driving his 1955 Porsche 356 Super Speedster, wearing this beautiful watch!!!

The dial is matte black with a very fine micro-bead blasted look to it, and in brighter light it looks almost like it's a very, very dark brown. Also, the Panerai 372 has a very distinct, unique, trademark look that will NEVER be confused with any other watch brand on earth.

The build quality of every aspect of the Panerai 372 is superb. Every single detail is flawlessly executed, and the more time I spend studying the detail, the more I realize how much love and passion has gone into the design of this watch.

The Luminor Panerai dial designation is etched into the uncluttered dial, and the sandwich dial offers deep 3-dimensionality. Did I mention I am madly in love with the Panerai 372!?! It is such an Italian beauty, like Sophia Loren, with gorgeous curves everywhere, I can't take my eyes off it, and I can't seem to stop staring at it!!! The watch has a mystical, magical quality about it, and it looks great from every angle.

I have said it before, and I will say it again, there is something unique about super-high-end Italian design that is arguably unquantifiable, but it exists. 

Think Ferrari, or Pavarotti singing, and the Panerai 372 exudes this superlative "rare-air", Italian quality. The entire color palette of the 372, from its tan lume to its tobacco colored strap is rich Italianate–mocha earth-tones, and dessert browns that exude warmth and antiquity. Also, I noticed the 372 looks great with absolutely everything I have worn with it. The watch looks sporty, and elegant at the same time, in a timeless-modern kind of way.

Every single detail on the Panerai 372 is optimized for a streamlined, highly comfortable fit. This is due to many design variables, including the fact it has a completely flat back so it sits perfectly on your wrist, and fits like a glove. It is completely counter-intuitive, but the Panerai 372 is the most comfortable, best fitting watch I have ever worn. Also because of the design of the case and the strap, when temperature fluctuations occur, the watch does not become loose and does not move around on your wrist.

There is something else really unusual about the Panerai PAM372, at least for me. I don't like anything that looks old-looking, distressed or rough-hewn. In other words, I have always liked everything I own to look new. Take blue jeans for instance. I only like dark denim, and I can't stand really faded jeans. You get the idea. The PAM372 is an exception to the rule, because the older and more worn it gets, the more vintage looking it gets. In other words, you almost want to try to scratch up the plexiglass crystal, because it makes it look better.

Panerai is renowned for making limited edition watches, meaning they only make 500 or 1000 pieces of a model, which because they are so desirable, have a very strong effect on the appreciation of the watch. Thank God, Panerai did not make the 372 a limited edition watch!!! This means anybody who wants a 372, can purchase one, at least eventually. If I understand it correctly, the 372 is not a limited edition watch, but a limited production model, meaning Panerai is only making something like 2000 units per year for the international marketplace.

The Panerai 372 is a manual wind watch which surprisingly did not take much getting used to. I never thought I would prefer a manual wind watch over an automatic, but there is something really kind of cool and interesting about winding it every day. You can tell the watch is completely wound when you can't wind it any more.

The 372 has and EXTREMELY precise Panerai P.3000 calibre movement that keeps virtually perfect time, and when I say PERFECT, I mean PERFECT. In 30 days it did not gain or loose a minute!!! This is due to the in-house double barrel Panerai 3-Day movement. The movement also has a feature which allows you to easily move the hour hand independently of the minute hand, so changing time zones or changing time for day light savings time is instant. It is worth noting, the Panerai 372 P.3000 movement has a 3 day (72hour) power reserve, which is remarkable for a manual wind watch.

Some people say they like watches with a constantly moving second hand attached to the center stem because it makes it look like the watch is alive. I am the opposite. I think the constantly moving second hand makes the watch look like it has Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). The lack of a second hand gives the Panerai 372 a Zen-like, peaceful, quiet calming effect. Also the lack of a date is a feature for me. Nothing drives me more crazy than having to change the date or having the wrong date on my watch. Also, the lack of a date, gives the 372 a perfectly balanced, symmetrical look, which I really like.

The photo below shows the lume pattern, which is insanely cool looking, and really kind of represents the core essence of the original vintage Panerai tool watches!!!


As I mentioned at the beginning of this preview, I plan to go much more into depth with this article, and as time permits I will be updateing it with more photos, observations and anecdotes.

So what do I think about the Panerai PAM 372? I think it is the coolest watch I have ever worn in my life!!! Officine Paneari has hit an absolutely brilliant Grand-Slam with the 372!!! As I mentioned earlier in the article, I am madly in love with the stunningly simple PAM 372!!! If I had to get stuck on a dessert island for the rest of my life, and I could only have one watch, I would chose the Panerai PAM00372!!! It's really that simple (Pun Intended ;-)

I also think the Panerai 372 is the most timeless watch every made. Why? Because its design is from 1954 and it still looks great and equally modern! I can think of a few other watches made by Patek Philippe and Rolex from the 1950s, that are stunningly beautiful, but they are way too small to wear today at 34mm. As people get bigger and taller, larger watches make much more sense, and at 47MM the Luminor Panerai 00372 remains perfectly ahead of its time. The Panerai 372 is not only the quintessential Panerai, but also arguably, "The Panerai."


  1. What a great review! I really feel the passion you have for this watch. I was on the fence between the 422 and the 372 but I think you've made up my mind for me. 372 it is.

  2. Are you sure, that's on a 6.5 inch wrist? It looks for like a 7.5 wrist. with the 47mm watch. A 40 mm doesn't look like that on my 7.0 inch wrist. Are you positive of those mumbers?
    Beautiful piece. Thanks

  3. Great arictle, I am 6'3 and this watch is the perfect size. You can wear this watch as stated with cargo's or with a dressy suit. One of my favorite watches. I own many automatic watches and just fell in love with this mechanical watch. Jake's review is spot on everything he said i could not agree more.
    Thank you...greatest watch ever...

  4. yes me to as i am typing this i have the panerai on my wrist and love it to bits