Shopping for your first Panerai is a very exciting process. Panerai is a fun brand with a unique style and wrist presence, but knowing where to begin can be a bit overwhelming. Unlike most brands, Panerai doesn’t use model names to distinguish their watches. Instead, each watch is put under a collection (Luminor, Submersible, Radiomir, etc) and has its own unique reference number. Unless you are a Panerai nut, keeping track of all these references is nearly impossible.
In the past, models like the PAM 000, 005, 111, and 112 were usually the go-to recommendations on where to begin one's Panerai journey. Now that they all have been discontinued, let's take a look at the comparable models within the current Panerai collection.
In recent years, the PAM 000 and 005 have been replaced with a whole new line-up of six Luminor Logo references (three base models and three marina models) all powered by a new in-house movement. The previous iterations were powered by a modified ETA 6497-1 that has since been replaced with Panerai’s new calibre P.6000. The three base models (hour and minute only) are the PAM 773, 774, and 775. These three start off Panerai’s “entry level” models and are priced at $4900. The three marina models (hour, minute, and small seconds) are the PAM 776, 777, and 778. These models are priced at $5400 for the added second hand complication.
If you’ve got a bit more to spend, I recommend taking a look at the new PAM 914 and 915. These models have quite a few upgrades compared to their Logo counterparts. First, they have Panerai’s signature sandwich dial. A must for me when owning a Panerai. You can read more about sandwich dials here. Second, they’re screwdown caseback gives them 300m of water resistance. These two models are very similar to the discontinued PAM 111 and PAM 112 except for the added text on the dial, patina accents, and updated movement.
With all these options, it’s no surprise that making your first leap into Panerai can be a bit confusing. The good news is that you can’t go wrong with the current line up. The logo collection offers a lot of variety without breaking the bank, while the PAM 914 and PAM 915 offer you more Panerai DNA features for your money. If I had to choose, my money would be on the PAM 915 for its close ties to one of my favorite Panerai models, the PAM 111. Don't forget to check out curved-end Swiss Everest Bands for your Panerai model here.
Written by Patrick Bernardez