*Wipes eyes*. It’s real! Panerai finally did what many have asked for for years, and created a very wearable Luminor. I’m not sure what took so long, but I guess it’s better late than never. Not long ago, I told the W4L crew in our ongoing chat that if Panerai made a 42mm PAM372, I’d buy it in a second. I said this partially because I never thought they’d do it, but also because it would be a killer watch. Thankfully, this PAM676 has the running seconds that saved me from eating my words and shelling out $8K, but it’s still a tempting proposition.
Over the years, Panerai has released a few smaller options, but they’re either too rare to find, or they’re still really thick. This is where the 676 really adds value, the thickness. I’d have to say I’d still be interested in a 42mm Luminor if it were the same thickness as a PAM111, but the 10.5mm thickness here is a major eye-opener. You can pretty much count on one hand the amount of sports watches with a thickness of under 12mm, but here we have one from a brand known for giant watches almost too big for the Terminator.
Okay, so there’s more than just a svelte appearance that the PAM676 has going for it. Panerai utilized the retro good looks of their 1950s case, as well as their classic sandwich dial to add a bit of depth to that 10.7mm heft. The other fantastic detail is the sunburst finish of the dial, which I know will be killer in natural light. Panerai didn’t stop there. They’ve been hard at work with developing movements, and here the 676 is packing their P.1000 3-day manual wind caliber. It’s a good looking movement for those that like the industrial-finished style, and certainly more interesting than an ETA6497 variant.
With all of this goodness going on, there has to be a catch, right? Yes. There’s one major catch for me: the water resistance. Come on, Panerai — 30m?!? That’s just about enough water resistance to protect your watch from a rainy forecast. If achieving a modestly sized case requires a 270m reduction in water resistance, it’s almost not worth it. What am I missing here? Is the caseback not screw-down? Does the crown lock not work? I don’t get it. For a company known and built on dive watch history, I don’t see how they can even release a watch with this kind of resistance.
Despite the very disappointing water resistance, the PAM676 is a huge step in the right direction for Panerai. I have a feeling this watch is going to sell like hot cakes, which will hopefully prompt Panerai to look at doing other similarly sized references. Retail on the 676 is $8,100, which sounds about right considering their other in-house powered watches. Figuring second hand prices will be about 35 to 45% lower after a year or so, the PAM676 becomes an incredibly attractive option. Kudos to Panerai to going against their own grain.by