About 3 weeks ago I thought I lost my Q-series 560. Since I had insured it (Jewelers Mutual, I highly recommend them), I made a claim when I gave up looking for it. I got an S-series 560 as a replacement in quick order. While it was a bummer to lose the sandwich dial of the Q-series, I ended up liking the painted dial of the S-series a lot and was very happy with the replacement.
Fast forward to this weekend. My Q-series turned up! (it was literally stuck in the only place I didn't think I had looked) So before I return the S-series, I figure I'd do some quick comparisons of the two types of dials on the 560 while I have them both on hand.
Side by side: L = Painted, R = Sandwich
I've always preferred the sandwich dial, but I will say that I was surprised by how much I liked the painted dial in this case. While the painted dial doesn't have the cool looking depth of the sandwich dial, it "pops" more in all viewing angles. I found myself liking how it looks quite a bit.
Lower angle: L = Painted, R = Sandwich
I really don't think the painted dial look any worse compared to the sandwich dial. With the lower angle shot, the sandwich shows off the cool cutout effect, but the subtle "filled-in" effect of the painted dial looked really good to me as well.
Lume: L = Painted, R = Sandwich
It's a bit hard to tell from this picture, but the sandwich dial does have obviously stronger lume in person. The painted dial looks perfectly bright on its own, but when compared side-by-side to the sandwich dial, the sandwich dial is brighter hands down.
Painted dial close-up:
Sandwich dial close-up:
Painted dial outdoors:
Sandwich dial outdoors:
I have the option of keeping either one, and the decision was slightly tougher than I thought it would be. The sandwich dial should have been the no-brainer to keep, and is what I will be keeping. In this particular instance, the brighter lume and future scarcity of the sandwich dial 560 are the main reason for me to keep the original. But the painted dial has really won me over and I think if I end up getting another Panerai, it will for sure be a painted dial version.
Finally, I will put in another plug for Jewelers Mutual. The claim process for the "lost" 560 was fast and painless, and I couldn't be more satisfied with JM's service. Now that the watch turned up, I feel a bit bad and embarrassed about putting in the claim, but hopefully this episode will teach me to keep better track of my watches at all times.
Anyway, I feel like there had been a lot of discussion out there regarding painted vs sandwich dials, but I don't recall seeing many direct comparisons of the dials on the same model, so hopefully this is of interest to some of you out there.