REVIEW: PAM512 and PAM514
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  1. #1
    Editor Dimer's Avatar
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    Picture REVIEW: PAM512 and PAM514

    For the past couple of days Panerai was so kind to lend me two novelties from their collection, the Panerai Radiomir 1940 PAM512 and PAM514. Before I will go into detail about both watches, let me share some of my history with Panerai and watches in general.


    My interest for watches started when a friend bought a EUR 200,- Calvin Klein watch (the most expensive watch I have ever bought at that time was a EUR 65,- Casio G-Shock), I was shocked by the amount of money he spent on a watch. I just didn’t understand. So I began searching the internet for watches and discovered a whole new world of watches that were more expensive than cars or houses even. One of the first watches that really grabbed me was the Rolex 5517. At first it was because I thought it was ridiculous for a simple watch like that to be worth over EUR 100.000,-, but then I learned about the history of the watch and it is still one of my favourite watches of all time. As I was reading about the 5517, I naturally was learning a lot about Rolex and their history. And when digging into the history of Rolex, you automatically find out about that Italian watch brand they worked very close with: Officine Panerai. It didn’t take long before I had a Panerai on my own wrist. But as I have quite small wrists, most PAM’s just didn’t feel right.

    I am a sucker for brands with history and Panerai definitely has some history. One of the most beautiful watches they* have ever made is the 6154 Little Egiziano.


    Picture by Panerai

    The 6154 features a cushion-shaped case middle with edges that are more pronounced on the sides, a general reshaping of the individual parts and a cylindrical, tubular rather than conical, winding crown. But with the recognisable Radiomir dial. For me this watch was the best of all worlds. I have always preferred the Radiomir dial, but I never really liked the wire style lugs and the 6154 had a Rolex movement under the hood. And then there is the fact that there were only 30 built.

    So lets fast forward to 2012. Finally, Panerai came with a tribute to the illusive 6154, the PAM399


    Picture by Panerai

    This watch was very true to its heritage, 47mm cushion-shaped case, tubular crown and a Radiomir dial. Purists might wanted to see a closed case back . But let’s face it, it is not a punishment to look at the beautiful Minerva movement every now and then. With only 100 pieces made, 50 which were sold per set (PAM398 and PAM399), it is almost as rare as the original.

    Before I went to the SIHH this year, I didn’t read up on the novelties that Panerai would be presenting. So when I was walking around the booth, admiring the beautiful pieces I suddenly saw my dream watch, a 1940 Radiomir in a 42mm case! It seemed like Panerai answered to my prayers. One of the most beautiful watches I know in a size that just fits me perfectly. So when Panerai offered me to have the 512 and it’s bigger brother, the 514, for a week I was over the moon. Although I knew this could well put a big dent in my watch budget.

    When I got my hands on the PAM512 it didn’t disappoint me and feeling I had in Geneva was being confirmed. The 514 was almost equally as beautiful. The size of the dial allows for more space between the numerals and the centre of the watch, I’m not sure if this is a good thing, and there is the date window. Personally I think it takes away of the historical design, but it also clearly distinguishes itself from the 399 and honestly, a date is one of the best complications a watch can have.


    Picture by Dimer van Santen


    Picture by Dimer van Santen

    Let’s look at the case backs, and what is underneath them.


    Picture by Dimer van Santen

    The 514 houses the Manufacture P.3000 calibre, a hand wound high beat double barrel movement which allows a power reserve of 3 days. The P.3000 calibre also has the ability to set the hour hand without interfering with the movement of the minute hand or the operation of the watch. Setting it back also sets the date back, ideally for the seasoned traveler. Performance wise this movement is everything you need, but aesthetically it kind of reminds of of a modern Mercedes engine. When you open up the hood you don’t really see anything.


    Picture by Autoweek


    Picture by Dimer van Santen

    When looking at the P.999/1 you will immediately notice the exposed drivetrain which makes it more attractive than the P.3000. With a diameter of 27.4mm and a thickness of 3.4 mm, it is considerably smaller. It has a single barrel, giving it a power reserve of a respectable 60 hours. It beats with the same 21.600 alternations per hour as it’s bigger brother. Personally I would have preferred the P.999 movement, as it has the swan neck regulator and polished edges, which makes it just a bit more interesting to look at.


    Picture by Dimer van Santen

    One of the best features of these watches are their cases. The lines of the 1940 style case are just stunning. The angle in the middle of the side of the case gives the case an even slimmer appearance. Even the massive 47mm PAM514 wears quite good on my small wrist. The strap on the 514 is also extremely subtle and one of the best OEM straps I’ve seen. The 512 features a beautiful black alligator strap with white stitching. I won’t go into much detail about the straps and buckles as we all know that these will be replaced by a custom vintage strap anyway.


    Picture by Dimer van Santen


    Picture by Dimer van Santen


    Picture by Dimer van Santen

    When I saw the 512 for the first time in the Panerai window and later drooling over the first official pictures I was afraid it would be a disappointing experience when I would have the watch on my wrist. But it met all the expectations I had. The 514 actually was better than I thought. My main concern was the size. Yes it is big. In my opinion 44mm is already too much for me and 47mm is just extreme. But it wears comfortable and looking down on my wrist, it isn’t bad at all. Making writs shots with an iPhone is a bad idea. The distortion in the lens makes this watch looks like something Flava Flav would wear around his neck.

    So in the end it always comes down to the question: “Would I buy it?”

    PAM512, MSRP EUR 6.300,- (incl 21% VAT): Yes! I have seriously thought about this and I can’t think of another watch I would buy in this price range. My criteria are that it needs to have a in-house movement, at least 100m water-resistant, max 42mm, versatile and preferably a watch with history. The only other watch that comes to mind and is considerably cheaper is the Omega Speedmaster. But since I already checked that one from the list, the PAM512 is the one.

    PAM514, MSRP EUR 6.800,- (incl 21% VAT): If you are looking for a big watch and you don’t want to spend EUR 20k on the PAM399 (IF you can find one), this is a great alternative. I’m not a big fan of the date window, but it is very useful. I especially love the quick hour set function.

    I would like to thank Panerai for giving me the opportunity to have these watches with me for the past couple of days!





    *This watch was built by Rolex, hence the Rolex movement and crown.
    Last edited by Dimer; November 22nd, 2013 at 16:26.
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  2. #2
    Member Dale Vito's Avatar
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    Re: REVIEW: PAM512 and PAM514

    nicely done Dimer - both the pics as well as the write-up.
    Dimer likes this.

  3. #3
    JSI
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    Re: REVIEW: PAM512 and PAM514

    Great write up and pictures.

    Thanks.
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  5. #4
    Member iam7head's Avatar
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    Re: REVIEW: PAM512 and PAM514

    Thanks for sharing and great photo

    love the modern-patina lume :)
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  6. #5
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    Re: REVIEW: PAM512 and PAM514

    I got a PAM 00512 shortly before seeing this review and I have to say I agree with everything. I love the size and thinness of the 512. It's extremely versatile for casual and dress occasions. Mine came with the same alligator patterned strap, though I've seen pictures of it with OEM brown straps. I think both work well on the 512. Got it for 7K "used" off Paneristi. The price was not bad especially since it was LNIB/mint, though it was kind of high for being my 1st Panerai.

  7. #6
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    Re: REVIEW: PAM512 and PAM514

    Nicely done...good write up and photos
    thanks for sharing
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  8. #7
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    Re: REVIEW: PAM512 and PAM514

    Quote Originally Posted by GnomeCop View Post
    I got a PAM 00512 shortly before seeing this review and I have to say I agree with everything. I love the size and thinness of the 512. It's extremely versatile for casual and dress occasions. Mine came with the same alligator patterned strap, though I've seen pictures of it with OEM brown straps. I think both work well on the 512. Got it for 7K "used" off Paneristi. The price was not bad especially since it was LNIB/mint, though it was kind of high for being my 1st Panerai.
    Congrats! thats one serious Pam for a first Panerai
    we want pics!
    Seiko 5 Sports SRPB31k1
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    Raymond Weil Parsifal

  9. #8
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    Re: REVIEW: PAM512 and PAM514

    Thank you for posting this excellent review! Can you confirm if the PAM00512 uses 22mm straps? Also, what is the lug width of the PAM00514?

  10. #9
    Member Synequano's Avatar
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    Re: REVIEW: PAM512 and PAM514

    IIRC,514 has 26 mm lugs like 372,422,399 et al

  11. #10
    Editor Dimer's Avatar
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    Re: REVIEW: PAM512 and PAM514

    Thanks, it was my pleasure :)

    Quote Originally Posted by jsciii View Post
    Thank you for posting this excellent review! Can you confirm if the PAM00512 uses 22mm straps? Also, what is the lug width of the PAM00514?
    Yes, the 512 has 22mm lug width.
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    - Panerai Radiomir 1940 PAM512

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