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by Aleta Saeger June 18, 2020 3 min read

Panerai has been one of my favorite brands since I started collecting watches. It’s military history, unique aesthetics, wrist presence, and versatility, combine into a winning recipe. For the first time in a while, I’ve found myself without a Panerai in my collection. The great thing about being a watch nerd is that you tend to make friends with other watch nerds. In my case, some of them are nice enough to lend you their watches. 

Seven years ago, I had my heart set on the PAM 111 as my first Panerai. Not too long into my search I ran into a PAM 112 (Base model). I really wanted the PAM 111, but the owner of the PAM 112, who happened to be @bzabodyn214, was willing to take my Breitling Superocean on trade, so I thought I might as well give it a shot. Seven years later, I’ve owned other modern Panerai classics like the PAM 233, 372, and 911 but still haven’t gotten around to picking up a 111. 

Lately, I’ve been thinking about adding another Panerai into the collection, so a friend of mine sent me his PAM 111 to test drive before I made my decision. The PAM 111 was my “grail”  seven years ago and the last few weeks with it did not disappoint. The PAM 111 is a classically sized 44mm Luminor Marina. It’s definitely not a small watch, but it’s what I consider the perfect size within the Panerai collection. On the wrist, it’s surprisingly comfortable for its size and the cushion case has a lot of wrist presence. 

panerai

Other than its unique case designs, Panerai is known for its simple, extremely legible, and uncluttered dials. The 111 features a sandwich dial where the top section of the dial has cut-outs for the numerals and minute markers and is laid over a lume disc. This creates an eye pleasing 3-D effect when reading the time. When charged, that lume disc lights up like a torch! It should also be noted that the PAM 111 features a thick domed sapphire that creates an illusion that the dial is slightly convex. 


panerai watch strapsImage Source @youreterrific1

panerai watch bands
Image Source @youreterrific1

Based on the ETA 6497/2, the PAM 111 is powered by a hand wound COSC Certified OP XI Calibre. Panerai modifications include a swan neck regulator, 56 hour power reserve, Geneva stripes on the plates, and redesigned bridges. The movement is robust, reliable, and easily serviceable. The OP XI Calibre is larger than the current in-house Panerai movements, so you will notice that the PAM 111 is a tad thicker and chunkier than its modern siblings. 

panerai watch bands
Image Source @youreterrific1

My time with the watch reaffirmed all my expectations of the PAM 111. It’s got the look and feel of my ideal Panerai. It’s not as fancy as some of the current Panerai offerings and it doesn’t feature an in-house movement, but what it does have is a certain charm and intangible classic appeal that drew many people like myself to the brand. Paired with the relatively “affordable” current market price and the reliability of an easily serviceable movement, the PAM 111 is a top contender for the only Panerai you’ll ever need. Best of all- its a strap monster! Shop Panerai straps from Everest Bands here.

panerai watch bands
Image Source @youreterrific1

panerai watch bands
Image Source @youreterrific1

Written by Patrick Bernardez

Aleta Saeger
Aleta Saeger



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