HANDS-ON: Panerai’s Midas touch – the Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic Oro Rosso (PAM 684)
There’s something gloriously, incredibly and fabulously over the top about a solid gold dive watch. It’s the ultimate juxtaposition of functional object and precious ornament, all bundled up in a neat, wrist-optimised package.
It’s this contrast that lies at the heart of the PAM 684’s appeal. And make no mistake, this is an incredibly lust-worthy watch. At first glance it looks like a slimmed-down version of the Submersible we know and love – that crown, the matt black ceramic bezel insert, the hardy rubber strap – so far it’s very much what you’d expect from Panerai. But then your brain processes the fact that the case is, in fact, heavy red gold, and everything changes. Much like the case has transmogrified from a base metal into a precious one, so too all the utilitarian elements have taken on a luxurious tone – this is one supremely confident watch. Sure, it has workmanlike origins, but the chances are slim to none that this watch is getting its hands dirty.
Not that this Panerai couldn’t handle it. Functionally it’s all there: P.9010 movement, good for three days of power thanks to its twin barrels; ultra legible dial with small seconds at nine; and the aforementioned stealthy black bezel. Although the water resistance of 100m is less than the 300m offered on other Submersibles, it’s still not afraid of getting wet.
Aside from its luxe looks, the key feature of the PAM 684 is the smaller 42mm case size. While it’s far from petite, this watch is unlikely to overpower your wrist or your cuff. The style of this rose gold PAM makes it a perfect dressy diver, while for women, the size makes it a great dive watch to wear with a dress. And finally, we can’t overstate the sheer impact this solid gold stunner has on the wrist, proving that Panerai haven’t lost their Midas touch.
Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic Oro Rosso (PAM 684) Australian pricing
Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic, in red gold, $36,200