Since its introduction in 2006, the Panerai PAM 233 has become one of the most popular modern references among Panerai fans. The PAM 233 launched shortly after Panerai released its first in-house movement, the P.2002, and became the debut model to feature Panerai’s newest calibre.
Powered by the P.2002, the PAM 233 pays homage to its DNA by featuring a manual wind movement with an 8-day power reserve. Along with the hour, minute, and small seconds, the watch offers the following complications:
- GMT-function on a 12-hour scale
- 24 hour AM/PM indicator (formerly a “dot” to indicate day and night)
- Rapid adjustment of local time
- Linear power reserve indicator
- Seconds reset
Aesthetically, the PAM 233 is an absolute stunner. It comes in a brushed steel 44mm 1950 Luminor case with a polished bezel. Holding true to its DNA, it features Panerai’s trademark crown guard with the classic “REG.TM” inscription. Arguably, it's most notable feature is the high domed sapphire crystal that you don’t see in a majority of the Panerai line-up. Underneath the crystal, you’ll find a layered black sandwich dial with a Super-lumiNova disc underneath. The sandwich dial gives Panerai its trademark “3D” effect when the lume is glowing.
For Paneristi, straps are part of the culture. New for this model was Panerai’s quick-release strap system. Rather than the lug screws, the PAM 233 is equipped with a push-lock on the underside of the lug that when pressed with the included tool would release the lug bar. This makes strap changing much easier, quicker, and scratch less.
From its movement to its aesthetics, the PAM 233 checks a lot of boxes for the modern Panerai collector. With its depth rating, GMT function, and lengthy power reserve, the 233 makes a strong case for any enthusiasts “only watch”. Priced at $12,300 USD, it isn’t exactly cheap. However, with pre-owned models priced at 40% less, the 233 offers a lot of bang for your buck and is - in my opinion - the Panerai to own.
Written by Patrick Bernardez
Photos courtesy of @trav11er