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Review: Panerai 111 Luminor

Panerai Luminor 111: Classic Panerai looks, great everyday watch

The PAM 111 is one of the most popular models in the Panerai lineup and has been since it was first created, in 2002 for the “E” series. It is the “cousin” of the Luminor Base, with the difference being the second hand and Chronometer certification. The 111 is a manual, handwound watch with seconds functionality at 9 o’clock. The watch belongs in Panerai’s Historic Luminor Marina lineup, as it is heavily based on one of the first Luminors created, the PAM 1.

The particular watch in this article is an “I” series, originally purchased in late 2006. The watch was worn regularly and, as you can tell in the photos, it was and is very much enjoyed. It’s just such a classic piece that looks great on anyone’s wrist. The wristshot pictures really say it all! The high-polished steel case and handsome matte black dial look fantastic in all angles. This Panerai manages to make a statement and maintain its classic appeal at the same time- which is rare in today’s world of short-term design.

The case measures at 44mm wide and mm thick, but actually feels bigger due to the overall heft and extending crown guard- a Panerai trademark. The case is certainly original- a Panerai design element that makes the watch as instantly recognizable as any. The watch is quite versatile, especially when outfitted with a variety of straps. I happen to think it goes well with the light tan suede, black crocodile/alligator, dark brown/burgundy crocodile/alligator, or black rubber OEM strap that comes with the watch when new. Though not as popular among Paneristi (Panerai enthusiasts) as other models, the 111 is indeed a great introduction to the Panerai line, offering classic looks and functionality. The PAM 111’s versatility is probably second to none in the Panerai line-up. It’s 44mm size is just right, with the matte black dial able to match any outfit, and the strap-changing ability allowing it to match different occasions as well. For instance, if going for a swim in the pool, the black rubber OEM strap or Kevlar and Velcro strap is a good fit. Or if wearing it to a casual dinner with friends, a leather strap would do the trick.

As far as the movement is concerned- this watch is fitted with the Panerai OP XI movement, with a well-finished Geneva Wave design. It is a Certified Chronometer, meaning it keeps time within -4 and +6 seconds per 24 hour period. The power reserve is about 42 hours when fully wound and the winding itself is actually fun, though most quartz or automatic watch owners may find their watch stopping due to inadequate power reserve, as they could be used to not having to worry about winding the watch.

The strap changing is quite easy, actually. A blued screwdriver comes with the watch to unscrew the straps from the extended lugs. Just be careful though, as the mirror finish on the case attracts scratches easily. I usually cover the screws with light tape first, before proceeding to unscrew the screws. The whole strap-changing process should take about a minute once you’ve done it carefully a handful of times.

Overall, Panerai’s 111 is a very fun watch to own. Its design is certainly unique and deserves the relative recent attention it receives. The execution of the watch is solid- little features on the PAM 111, such as the “sandwich” dial (where the hour indices are cut out and filled with Super Luminova) and the “Geneva Waves” and “blued screws” on the movement are nice touches. The display back, featuring the movement behind a smaller sapphire “window” is also an interesting aspect of the watch. This Panerai’s best features though are its legibility, style, comfort, and versatility. This Panerai could easily be an everyday wearer.

                                       

 

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Pros:

  • Classic Panerai design
  • Extremely versatile to wear
  • You won't get sick of this watch!

Cons:

  • Questionnable quality of movement

Panerai Luminor Marina PAM 111 Specifications:

 

Case: Stainless Steel

Case Diameter: 44MM

Case Width: 14.48MM

Crystal: Sapphire, 3.5MM thick

Movement: Panerai OP XI, manual wind

Water Resistance: 300M

Strap: Tan leather and black rubber