Bars & Dots

Dec 09, 2012,17:46 PM

Ciao everybody! I trust that you all are having a great week! It’s been awhile since I added anything to my humble collection of the family of watches that stems from its early days as suppliers to the Regia Marina. With this latest addition, I return back to the often shrouded in top secrecy roots of the Panerai marque, one that has spawned many a tale and still we often can’t get the absolute truth, due to many a circumstances, one of them being the flood of 1966 that Florence suffered from.


With this I present to you my very own homage to the mysterious Ref. 2533, a novelty from SIHH 2012, the Panerai PAM 449! It has been a year of long anticipation, but I tell you it was all in its entirety worth it! While I have not yet had the honor of neither viewing nor handling the actual historical vintage piece, (of which I will undertake a pilgrimage to view it in Italia con Sig. Feretti one day, when I have the opportunity) but from the photos of the piece that I have seen, this is what the ref. 2533 would have looked like (bar certain details which I’ll get to further down my post) when it first saw the lights of day back in 1936. As mentioned previously, because so many aspects of this watch (as with a whole lot of other Panerai’s earlier masterpieces) lies in ambiguity, it is simply impossible to lay down hard facts such as exact dates etc. As such all dates and years stated are solely my own humble conclusion & belief after all the years of studying and reading up on this world of military courage and might. Do feel free to correct me when there are discrepancies, but do know that this is an argument that will probably never end. (Those of you who have been in the world of OP long enough probably know this by now)


Back to the new baby, you will notice that it comes with a Plexiglas crystal, which lends the watch a very vintage quality, especially when seen from an angle and you get that distinctive distortion that is characteristic of Plexis. The only slight concern that I might have is the ease of Plexis to get a scratch, though this is easily remedied by those abrasion paste. The factor though shall in no way hinder me from fully and courageously wearing this piece. Unto the dial we get a rather deep sandwich, black dial that is filled without any indications of the numbers, instead it is filled with what I’d nicknamed the ref. 2533 since I first learnt about it, the “Lines and Dots”. (As a side note, when I first saw the 2533, I was in Japan, and thus I called it by the Japanese “Sen, sen, ten” which literally translates to “Line, line, dot/point”) Whilst it is highly debatable, and often still is, as to the reason OP chose this configuration, I am personally entirely attracted to the design language exuded by it. I means numbers are fine, beautiful even, especially when done in Roman numerals, but don’t you see that not every brand can simply pull of this look, a look that stares at you blankly, yet you know what you are reading, whether you are fully in the bright sunshine, or in the deepest depths of the ocean, upside down or right side up, (all thanks to the twin bars that sets the reference for the entire dial). It’s just amazing. (Don’t you feel that? I do wink )


The hands are heat-treated blued steel, and boy are they beautiful in their un-contrast with the black dial. It has often been said that blued steel hands are hard to read against a black dial (for watches that doesn’t have luminous coating on the hands that is, but even then I actually contemplated of purposely doing just that, blued hands on a midnight blue dial, just my biasness towards blue) which thankfully in here is not a problem as the super luminova coating on hands ensures top notch readability, in light or dark conditions. The way the blue is reflected off, especially when viewed at an angle with the correct lightings, is marvelous. No mistaking of which is which here as the hours hand has a bar in the middle to separate the luminova into 2 sections.


The dial of the watch is black, which is my argument as to what all PAM dials should be. For those who say that brown makes it more vintage, true, but I always talk back to historical reasons. I believe that all PAMs started out as black, and it was the time and exposure to the elements (Sun, ocean), the radiation from the early Radiomirs and Luminors that caused the dials to brown. So if my watch is going to turn brown, I’d prefer it does it on its own, though that is hardly likely to happen as now there’s zero radiation coming from the coating, and the quality of manufacture is of course much better so a black will stay as black a long long time. I just do not like it when they brown it from the start. And besides I hate the color brown.


Radiomir Panerai. What a name! Over here we see them engraved unto the dial, creating a slight 3D effect when viewed up close. I do have a preference for this since Panerai introduced the new font style last year, and it could be fun if they also filled these in with super luminova. Neon sign board anyone? The letters are colored the same ecru as the luminous coating, thus making this piece appear as a true vintage, albeit being a much cleaner one.


A small detail before we move to the external parts of the watch, you might have noticed that there is the writing “S.L.C” located at the 12 o’clock position on the rehaut (inner bezel). As the watch itself is called the Radiomir S.L.C. which pays tribute to the “Silura a Lento Corsa” (Slow speed torpedo) or “miale” (Italian for pig, apparently due to the clumsy and slow movement of said machine when in operation) as named by one very brave Italian combat diver hero, Teseo Tesei. I personally do not mind that the engraving is located here, although there are many who wish it was absent from the dial. But this watch is an homage, and I think that Panerai would just like to pay rightful respect to the history, so long as they don’t ruin the face too much, I can accept.


The case is crafted out of 316L stainless steel, as are all SS cases from Panerai and is historically correct at 47mm. This is definitely the better choice than the Platinum that was chosen to dress up last year’s PAM 373. Although my love and passion for Platinum cannot be emphasized more, but it’s just wrong for a tool watch to be in Platinum, as the heft, whilst being much sought after and desired in luxurious times, would simply hinder the actions of a real combatant. But I wonder sometimes, if the country he serves in is wealthy enough to supply their forces with a Platinum timepiece, and he don’t mind the weight around wrist, despite the watch is definitely going to end up bashed and with scratches so much that it’ll hurt my heart to even look at it, that the superior qualities of Platinum is going to ensure that the watch lasts for an eternity, and how nice it would look like after decades. (Folks who have the PAM 198, 21 could try that out) (Same reason you don’t make cars out of Platinum, I mean it’s going to look so nice and such, but I wonder what the zero to sixty for that is? ROFL). The side view from opposite the crown is what I would describe as voluptuous, and I am still waiting for my Radiomir Coupe Luc!


Powering this sexy beauty is Panerai’s in-house P.3000 calibre, the engine that is meant to replace the previous ETA 6498/7 movement. It is Panerai’s interpretation if the workhorse if the industry, and fits the requirements of the watch well. Being tough and robust, with a double-sided levered balance cock that supports a balance wheel that oscillates at 21,600 bph (3 Hz) thus ensuring stability fast return to equilibrium during rough activities. Not that this watch can be considered a chronometer as it doesn’t have a seconds hand, let alone a minutes track! But that’s missing the point with this baby. Its raison d’etre is to bring joy and much viewing pleasure whilst honoring the glorious past of Panerai. As they always say, a base Panerai is what a Panerai should always be. Unadulterated, pure class and sophistication.


At the 6 o’clock position on the case writes the word “Vintage”, while at 12 o’clock is the reference model (PAM00449). I personally have no issue against these, though others say it ruins the watch.


Through the sapphire case back you can admire the movement of the watch, although the finishing is nothing to boast about. But it finds its place here just fine as this is a tool watch to begin with, and at the price point that the watch is at you can’t and should not set your standards too high. I already own a piece (PAM 372) that comes with the exact same movement, and I must say that it is excellent. I foresee no biggie issues arising here until the watch’s next overhaul. A feature of this calibre that is useful for travelers is the quick hour advancement. When you pull the crown out to position 1, you are able to adjust the hours hand only, either by advancement or going backwards without disturbing the minutes hand. Very useful function for on the go. Pull to position 2 for full time setting. After’s which you push the crown back in with a satisfying click, and then screw it in. One thing to note is that the movement does have a stop point once the mainspring barrel has reached its maximum capacity, and I tend to prefer my hand wound babies to have these as opposed to a torque slipper.


It’s prowess in the water has vastly improved from the early days of Plexi based Panerais, when they all had a mere 30m water resistance rating (e.g. PAM249). Though this is not a true diver’s watch, it now at least boast a 100m rating, more than enough for any regular water exposure. (Think of it in the same line as Revolver Ocelot’s script in Metal Gear Solid, “More than enough to kill anything that moves”, referring to the number of bullets, 6, in his Colt SAA vs. Solid Snake’s SOCOM) It should be good against some pool time. And the heavy monsoons we receive here in Indonesia.


Now, strap time! As is my norm and all of you know this, I would quickly have it swapped from the original much hated brown, to the usual “Stephen Blue” crocodile. Add to that a 26mm Titanium buckle, and the piece is finally, truly mine! Voila!


I hope that you all have enjoyed reading my little write-up, and I appreciate you spending the time sharing in my passion and love for this new baby! I love it so much!


Have a great rest of the week ahead!


Ciao e grazie mille!





Very 1st glimpse of the baby

This naturally calls for my traditional welcome, Panerai style! From Tokyo, to Singapore!

How refreshing!

very 1st time i strap it on!

So not me!

Quick, time to make you TRULY mine!

Just look at THAT!

Those heated Blued hands are to die for

Pure 26mm Titanium goodness

It's lunchtime! Celebrate with the newbie.

As is my tradition, to share with you all the instructions manual so you could read along with me, and for those who dont own the watch to know what it's all about too.

It's been awhile since i gathered all of you!

And of course the obligatory lume shot! To be able to see this has been my dream since 6 years ago!

Thats all folks and thanks for tagging along this far!

More posts: Luminor 1950PAM100PAM198PAM249PAM316PAM372PAM373PAM449RadiomirRadiomir 1936 SERadiomir 3 DayRadiomir 8 DayRadiomir Platinum Tourbillon GMTRadiomir S.L.C. 3 DaysRadomir

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WOW, that's some hollywood-production-like....

 By: sergio : December 9th, 2012-19:22
introduction. Congratulations for the new arrival and I'm sure you'll enjoy it immensely. Bit of a funny dial (at first) but then you'll get used to it, I'm sure.. :-) Ciao - Sergio

Ciao mio amico!

 By: BluNotte : December 9th, 2012-19:27
Lol, does that mean you even like my introduction?! Haha sure i will, cause right now i AM! I have this huge passion for the dots and bars! Love it so much, so much, so much! Ciao! Stephen

My favorite photo is that of the straps...

 By: patrick_y : December 10th, 2012-01:02
Love the collection of all the midnight blue straps. That's a cool photo.

Thanks bro!

 By: BluNotte : December 10th, 2012-08:15
And im sure you'll agree, one shot that is very much me indeed? Ciao Stephen

congratulations on this piece...

 By: glorygunners : December 10th, 2012-04:57
what a wonderful addition to your already immaculate collection. Didnt know that there is so much history behind this piece also... so thank you for opening my eyes! Cheers. GG

Grazie & am honoured to play that role!

 By: BluNotte : December 10th, 2012-08:17
Glad you enjoyed my little coverage! Ciao Stephen

Huge congrats

 By: Bill : December 10th, 2012-08:17
As always a purchase done in style. The watch personalized with a glass of champagne. Bravo another great selection. Wear it in great health. Bill

Thank you Bill!

 By: BluNotte : December 10th, 2012-08:19
We'v come a long way since my Japanese days. Salute to you too for all the support from the start. Ciao Stephen

Terima Kasih! [nt]

 By: BluNotte : December 10th, 2012-16:34

Hey u are Malaysian bro. I just landed today from kl.

 By: Horology75 : December 11th, 2012-07:02
One of my favorite city. But don't know good shop for OP

Nope i am Indonesian

 By: BluNotte : December 11th, 2012-08:20
Tapi sama sama yah ;) I wont know KL that much, and i get my PAMS from Singapore these days! Ciao Stephen


 By: Horology75 : December 11th, 2012-08:23
Great to know that you have good connections with the Singapore boutique.

Congratulations! And a question...:

 By: shortys home : December 10th, 2012-10:21
Your pics indicate that right in the center of the dial the hole for the hands looks a little too big, so that the lume of the lower dial shines through... or is it an optical illusion? The last 2 large photos of the 449s face show best what I mean, on th... 

Danke schoen!

 By: BluNotte : December 10th, 2012-16:39
Hallo Henrik, Guten tag! And as for your question, I get what you mean. Although it may seem that the lume of the lower dial might shine through there, the ecru-coloured portion that could be seen from the hole is NOT superluminova, therefore no light wil... 

Fantastic and a hearty and warm congrats to you :)

 By: Miranda : December 10th, 2012-11:37
Had it not been boutique only I may shared your joy :) Wear it in good health and may it bring you much joy pleasure and happiness Sincere congrats again and so nice that a fantasy is fulfilled Best my friend Imran :)

Despite there not being a London boutique

 By: BluNotte : December 10th, 2012-16:41
I think you should hope for the best! Remember, if you really really wish for something, it'll be good if you act as if you already own it! Thanks my friend, and i will enjoy it in good health! Stephen

Awesome addition!

 By: AlexSunrise : December 10th, 2012-15:16
Hi, Stephen, I am extremely happy to see that you have received your 449, as I know how much you have been eager to get it! The strap, the bubbles, and the celebration are only but a taste of all the great memories you shall build with your newest catch. ... 

You always speak so kindly mio amico!

 By: BluNotte : December 10th, 2012-16:43
Ciao my friend! Indeed this past year since SIHH 2012 has been a long one, with many ups and downs, but to wrap up the year before the new one gets in, with this baby is beyond blessed. I am still busy now, especially with the year end coming in, but i tr... 

huge congrats BluNotte..

 By: ocwatching : December 10th, 2012-15:49
and I love love love the Metal Gear Solid reference!!! LOL! Congrats on one of the new modern icons in the Panerai family! Well done Stephen!


 By: BluNotte : December 10th, 2012-16:45
Phil, I wasnt sure if there are many here who would get it, you're the absolute first, and i am happy! Thank you my friend! I could not have agreed more! How's the family? Grazie mille! Ciao Stephen

Congrats on your new PAM449 Stephen!

 By: AnthonyTsai : December 10th, 2012-17:20
Btw, did you have 7 straps made for your new PAM449? Or did you pick 1 of the 7 in the below pic? Cheers, Anthony ...  

All 7 are mine Anths

 By: BluNotte : December 10th, 2012-17:26
I always reserve them as stocks, since all my PAMs except the 300 & 341 uses these. I was choosing which one to place on my 449. Grazie mille Anths! Stephen

Ciao Felipe!

 By: BluNotte : December 10th, 2012-18:38
Long time no hear from you! How have you been? Hope all's well! Grazie! Stephen

Congratulations Stephen

 By: patrickh : December 11th, 2012-02:28
Your baby is arrived and your combo fits well. Did you try with a blue veal strap instead of aligator? Enjoy it and wear it in good health. BR, Patrickh


 By: BluNotte : December 11th, 2012-06:42
Well, as for that i dont think that OP makes an OEM veal that has the right shade of blue that i want ( bleu nuit), and even if they did, i have this thing for alligator/crocodile ;) Will do! Ciao Stephen

Very impressive Stephen..

 By: fernando : December 11th, 2012-05:10
the tray of blue straps! And the watch too, I might add. :) Congrats! fernando

Glad you enjoyed it too!

 By: BluNotte : December 11th, 2012-06:43
Lol, everyone seems to be liking the straps more than the watch! Ciao Stephen


 By: Mirian : December 18th, 2012-03:13
Hi Stephen, Very well written and a wonderful time piece to collect! I am glad you got them, just too busy these days! Cheers! Nien


 By: BluNotte : December 18th, 2012-16:50
Hope all is well in Shanghai! Ok, do take care this festive season! Ciao! Stephen

Congrats Stephen, A good read and great effort.

 By: John HS : December 18th, 2012-17:02
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Regards John

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and all at home!

 By: BluNotte : December 19th, 2012-05:42
Ciao John! I missed you in SIngapore! Hope you had a good vacation! Thanks for the compliments! Glad you enjoyed it! Ciao Stephen

Thanks for your write-up, Stephen,

 By: colantotte : December 21st, 2012-19:21
I love the simplicity of the dial. The case, dial and movement come together so well this time, imo . And I like the idea of the logo on the crown, which I feel, compliments to the design of the 449. Cheers to your new acquisition and wear it in the best ... 

Grazie Ken!

 By: BluNotte : December 22nd, 2012-07:06
Indeed one of the major charm point of this piece is that it's so simple, yet it attracts you into it's depths. Grazie and wishing you all the best this festive season! Ciao Stephen