In 2015 at the Watches and Wonders show Officine Panerai released a very interesting piece which was the first California dial in a Luminor case. The PAM629 was a 47mm DLC with Cali dial that definitley took some time to get used to. I am a bit fan of the California dial but never seen it with this type of combo before. Flash forward to this year and Panerai has once again released a PAM779 with a few interesting differences.
This latest release, the Panerai PAM779, like it’s predecessor features a titanium case that has been DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) coated to give it a matte Anthracite finish. This time the watch is done with a more wearable 44mm case instead of the 47mm of the PAM629 and now comes with those iconic blue hands that you have become accustom to on the PAM249 and PAM449 Special Editions. I am very partial to blue hands and absolutely love them on this particular piece. In my opinion it brings in another layer of depth to a beautiful time piece.
The black dial on the PAM779 has the historic Arabic & Roman numeral combination done in a faux vintage gold color which work nicely with the dark case and blue hand combination.
Powering this beauty is the P.5000 hand wound 8 day power reserve movement that is executed entirely by Officine Panerai. This movement which has become a staple in many of the luminor pieces and quickly become a work horse movement for the brand. The movement which is 15 1/2 lignes in diameter and only 4.55 thick, oscillates at 21,600 vibrations per hour. With a solid titanium case back the PAM779 is rated at 30 bars or approximately 300m of water resistance.
Finishing off the intriguing look of the PAM00779 is a two part leather strap that is a throw back to it’s military roots. The Bund or Cuff strap style which comes with this Panerai is made of soft natural leather that will patina over time making each one unique to the wearer. The cuff style strap was implemented to keep the watch case back from touching the back of the skin.
If there was a situation of high temperatures in the case of a fire or plane crash for a pilot, it would keep the metal from burning into the skin. In the reverse situation, in extreme cold it would keep it from freezing to the wearer’s wrist. Another useful feature of a Bund-style strap is that it will help anyone that has a metal allergy. With the 2 piece design, you can easily remove the cuff part and wear the strap in it’s normal fashion or alternatively you can wear it on the black rubber strap that also comes with the watch.
All of the features and design implementations taken into account, I have to say that I really do like this watch. I was able to see it in person a number of times before it’s release and fell in love with it instantly. Maybe it’s because I had time to let the PAM629 grown on me, maybe it’s the blue hands that always make me a little biased, but for whatever reason it is a winner in my book. I am not the biggest fan of the cuff style strap but lets be honest, most of us Panerai wearers change our straps so much that it won’t be an issue.
The PAM779 will be hitting boutiques sometime in August and will be priced at around 7,500 Euro or 8,500 USD.
MOVEMENT – Hand-wound mechanical, P.5000 calibre, executed entirely by Panerai.
FUNCTIONS – Hours, minutes.
CASE – 44 mm, titanium with DLC coating.
DIAL – Black with luminous Arabic and Roman numerals and hour markers.
POWER RESERVE – 192H.
WAT E R – R E S I S TANCE – 30 bar (~300 metres).