when mentioning the 355 and the 161, you are talking about watches in general, not Panerais. A Panerai purist would frown upon an automatic watch, frown upon a watch with a date (let alone a cyclop lense) frown upon a 42mm watch etc etc. So if you're talking about a "complete set" of Panerais, the 355 and 161, are not the ones. I'll answer your question about the 355 which I don't own but I own a 184 (no alarm, on that one). It's a terrific watch and answers every need of a traveler (I am one, by the way). Thing is, when I bought the 184, I wasn't buying a......Panerai. I was buying a watch that had a...deployant buckle, was automatic, had a date, was very luminous in the dark (in case I woke up in the middle of the night) and cost substantially less than it's PP or Breguet counterparts. Same reasons you might have purchased it... The first.....Panerai.....on the other hand, was a 249 Cali. With that one it was love at first sight. I didn't buy a watch...I was besotted by that particular piece. Know what I mean?
Cheers - Sergio
ps The Panerai DNA it's all about.....plain, big, bold, rugged watches...btw....
pps: Panerai guys aren't that crazy about exibition back, either..