Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Review: Panerai PAM005 - one year on

It's almost a year since I bought the PAM005 and I think it's a good time for a proper review. I've been wearing it very often over the past year and under various conditions, so let's see how it's been doing so far.

Before I begin, here are some quick specs for people who are still new to this watch:

Case: Polished Steel
Caseback: Solid
Crystal: 3.5mm Sapphire
Diameter: 44mm
Lug Width: 24mm
Thickness: 14.5mm

The PAM005 is a Luminor Marina, which means it has the famous Panerai crown guard and the small seconds indicator. This watch also comes with the OP (Officine Panerai) logo on the dial, which is something I quite like personally, while some may tend to disagree.

What I've liked:

Build Quality - really nice and feels tough. The polished stainless still case has picked up minor scratches that can be expected from normal wear, but the sapphire crystal is still scratch-less.

The Crown Guard - What? The crown guard? Yes, the way it opens and locks is so nice that I find myself fidgeting with it all the time.

Looks - Although a 44mm would seem pretty big for some people, it actually sits really well on the wrist, thanks to it's curved lugs. It really hugs the wrist and makes it very comfortable to wear. I have a 7 inch wrist and it seems to fit perfectly on it. I have also received a lot of compliments for it, which is always nice, since people generally don't notice a watch.

Timekeeping - The PAM005's movement is COSC certified, which means it should ideally maintain an accuracy within -4/+6 seconds a day. From my personal tests, it has been been keeping time well within those specs.

Lume - Bright, very easy to read at night and just looks awesome!

Versatility with Straps - Well, if you read about Panerai, you will surely come across the obsessions of straps that people develop soon after buying one. I can personally tell you it's very true. In fact, in one of my earlier posts, I've even mentioned that this was the very reason I started making straps. The PAM005, like most other Panerai watches look great in a wide variety of straps. The watch even comes with a small screwdriver which makes changing straps really easy (different Panerai models may have a different technique to change straps).

What I didn't like: Honestly, I don't have anything bad to say about it, so I will have to nitpick here:

Polished Case - Looks great, but scratches quite easily.

Setting The Time - Not something that bothers me, but may bother others, so I am mentioning it. If you want to be accurate, you will have to wait for when the minutes is in multiples of five, like 5, 10, fifteen. This is because it has no individual minute markers. Also the movement doesn't allow for the seconds hand to be hacked (stopped) when you pull the crown out.

Also a tip when you set the time: I was a bit unsure as to how to push the crown back after setting the time. I constantly found myself accidentally rotating the crown a bit while pushing it in, which in turn would move the minute hand slightly and I would have to wait again for another 5 minutes to set the time (only if you are picky bout setting the time accurately). I then wondered if I could just use the crown guard to push the crown down while locking it. It worked great, but some fellow Panerai owners told me it could lead to unnecessary pressure on the crown. So I went straight to the source - I contacted Panerai regarding this. To my surprise, they actually got back to me within a day and told me the right way to do it - do not use the crown guard to push the crown back in. Instead use two fingers on either side of the crown guard to gently push the crown in. This takes a bit of practice but it works like a charm and the minute hand doesn't move when done correctly.

Overall I'm really loving the watch. It pairs really well with whatever you may wear, especially with the ease of changing the strap. I have not got the chance to take it swimming yet, but I plan to do so very soon on an upcoming trip. I have got it wet in the rain though and of course it had no issues whatsoever. For those looking to buy the PAM005, it definitely gets a thumbs up from me, although since Panerai has discontinued this particular model, it may be a little hard to find.

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