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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well, it's finally happened - I've joined the club.

A little background, I was raised by an Interior Designer and went into the Fashion world as a career, so I've always had a heavy emphasis on aesthetics in my life and, for that reason, I've always loved Panerai; the quirky numerals and true Form-over-Function of them feels uniquely Italian (leave it to them to make a beautiful, military dive watch without a minute track...). I've never been a movement snob so I've always been fine with the Unitas movements however, sporting a very average 7" wrist I've never found the 44mm or 47mm models to look decent. It's personal preference but, as I'm not a military frog man, I want something that looked like a watch rather than a Dive Computer on my wrist.

Enter the PAM 512. I first saw it in a 2012/13 watch supplement from The Rake on which it stole the cover. I was tremendously interested but, at the time, I was unwilling and unable to drop ~$8K on a watch. So it simmered for years, under the surface, being outgamed by Rolex's and Langes for the watch budget as it came and went.

Recently, I've had a change of heart, from constantly chasing the next shiny watch, to refocusing the collection on 6 core pieces: 2 Dress, 2 Casual and 2 Sport. On top of that, I want to build my collection around watches and brands that are, more or less, icons. I'd filled my dress watches already with the Lange and Cartier, I've gotten the Speedy as a casual watch and the Rolex as a sport watch, leaving me room for 1 more casual and 1 more sport. I'd recently sold an Omega Railmaster and was looking to fill my last Sport space when, lo and behold, the 512 fell back into the picture.

It started with refinding the Rake Time supplement, now worn from years of thumbing through it, and rereading the article on the then newly launched 1940s collection. The watch looked just as good today as it did then - simple classic Panerai lines in a (for me) wearable case size. Despite preferring sub 40mm watches I thought this could be a wearable watch. With my newly refocused collecting outline, I thought the 512 could certainly fit into my empty Casual watch slot, it's from a historic maker, with clear design DNA that speaks to me, and it is different than my 36mm-40mm other watches.

It so happened that there was a decently priced offering on the forums, full B&P with original AD purchase... and I pulled the trigger without ever having tried the watch in the metal. The best, and worst, decisions are impulses and I hoped this would be the former.

Sure enough, the watch arrived safely and fits exactly as I'd hoped. The watch is large, for me, without overbearing my wrist (I can't stand when the strap doesn't curve out past the watch. Lugs at the wrist are a no-go for me). So far, so good. While Faux aged lume is a contentious matter, on this model, I like it. It's subtle compared to how most other manufacturers are doing it (I'm looking at you, Omega).

I think this could be my Panerai, although only time will tell.

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Welcome to the Paneristi, and the 512 looks great on your wrist.
 

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Congrats! I love the shot of it on your wrist. Looks great and I've always liked their small seconds. Looking forward to hearing more thoughts as you continue wearing it. It certainly has presence, but from the photo I'd say it's not overbearing.
 

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Looks great. I have a small wrist too and made the mistake of going 45mm despite the 44mm luminor looking fine. PS. You wouldn't happen to also be on miata forums would you?

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a Great start. Congratulations wear it in good health.
just give it a few days on your wrist and the watch will look like an average size. (then all your other pieces will start to look smaller!).
enjoy it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Love it!! I'm a little worried we were looking at the same watch!


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Certainly could have been! I tend to strike while the irons hot, so to speak.

I can definitely recommend it if you're looking for another; I've long admired the design of Panerai but, finally wearing, it I'm able to appreciate the build quality (simple yet substantial) and the comfort. It feels unlike any Panerai I've previously tried on. Very slim by PAM standards and hugs the wrist well. For a guy like myself, who has a lot of cognitive dissonance around disliking large watches but loving PAM, this hit the sweet spot. Large but wearable for me, awesome Panerai DNA, simple and classic look. I know the 1940 case is polarizing in the PAM community but, as an outsider, I really like the aesthetics.

So far so good.
 
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Certainly could have been! I tend to strike while the irons hot, so to speak.

I can definitely recommend it if you're looking for another; I've long admired the design of Panerai but, finally wearing, it I'm able to appreciate the build quality (simple yet substantial) and the comfort. It feels unlike any Panerai I've previously tried on. Very slim by PAM standards and hugs the wrist well. For a guy like myself, who has a lot of cognitive dissonance around disliking large watches but loving PAM, this hit the sweet spot. Large but wearable for me, awesome Panerai DNA, simple and classic look. I know the 1940 case is polarizing in the PAM community but, as an outsider, I really like the aesthetics.

So far so good.
MZ-
I loved your thread a ways back about a collection framework. A high & low watch for 3 categories- dress, casual, & sport. I really liked your idea of a "casual" category as I was having a difficult time segmenting watches in a way that made sense for me.
I remember wanting to recommend for you the Cartier Drive, except you already had the Tank! And now you end up with a 512! I think the real reason I haven't purchased a 512 is that I'm lusting for a Cartier Drive & a 512 and can't see having both.

I'm also dying to know if you've slotted the 512 into one of your collection categories and if it displaced anything, or is it just in a "tryout" phase to see if it makes its way in!


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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
MZ-
I loved your thread a ways back about a collection framework. A high & low watch for 3 categories- dress, casual, & sport. I really liked your idea of a "casual" category as I was having a difficult time segmenting watches in a way that made sense for me.
I remember wanting to recommend for you the Cartier Drive, except you already had the Tank! And now you end up with a 512! I think the real reason I haven't purchased a 512 is that I'm lusting for a Cartier Drive & a 512 and can't see having both.

I'm also dying to know if you've slotted the 512 into one of your collection categories and if it displaced anything, or is it just in a "tryout" phase to see if it makes its way in!


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Ah, thank you! My collection continues to progress and I've actually refined my thoughts a little more on the matter. In addition to the 2, 2 and 2 methodology, I continued to go back and forth on what I wanted to lock into because, as you may recall, the idea is to make these 6 my keepers - ding them up, watch them age with me etc. To ensure they're watches that age well I've decided to shoot for watches from (what I feel are) iconic families: the Cartier Tank, the Rolex Pepsi GMT, etc. They have proven silhouettes and, even as fashion and pop culture evolves, these watches will be rooted in history making them relevant and wearable.

For Casual watches, I've really been at a cross roads. I want watches that all give me a different "feel" when worn which will help them all complement each other. For example, my light, rectangular, Stainless Steel Cartier feels totally different than the circular, heavy, gold ALS. They fill the same role as dress watches, but they give the wearer a totally different feeling and look. They don't compete as much as compliment each other.

I originally wanted the JLC sector dial chrono and the Nomos Worldtime Blue as my two casual watches.

I picked up the Nomos and love the looks, but it is a bit light; it almost feels cheap to me and I'm not sure it will remain as a keeper. At the same time as my Nomos concern, I had the option of snagging an Omega FOIS at a price that made it easy to not loose a lot of money if it doesn't work. I've long admired the FOIS: I much prefer the straight lugs and the Alpha hands speak to the vintage lover in me. After it arrived, I had a short period of hesitation but it continues to grow on me and it clearly fits the Iconic families bucket. So, as I write, the Omega seems much more likely to take over the Casual Low spot than the Nomos.

As for the JLC, it now violates my iconic families rule. Despite being awesome, it's a novelty and I'm not sure how well it will age (I think it will be amazing but I truly don't know). In addition, at 40MM, I would have had at least 3 watches all at nearly that size (the Nomos or Speedy, the GMT Master II and the JLC). As I've discovered with my dress watches, it's really nice to have non-competing silhouettes, which gave me even greater pause on the JLC, especially if I keep another ~40mm chrono in the speedy. So I abandoned that model despite it still being one of my modern favorites and began to look elsewhere with a renewed vision.

This perspective led me to the 512. Panerai has a very distinct DNA which, love it or hate it, is historically rooted and is undeniably iconic. The 512 itself is unadorned and modestly sized for Panerai but larger than anything in my collection and a very unique shape. It fits the iconic family and unique wearing experience test for me. With 100M WR, its wearable just about anywhere but the dressy leather bands and large size prohibit it from really being a sport watch for me (too easy to catch on things, band can't go swimming etc). So it fits really well into the Casual watch group, where it sits in the High/Low pantheon is a bit of a debate. It has a higher MSRP and in-house movement compared to speedy so I suppose I'd be placing it in my High category, although it's unclear there is really much differentiation between the two.

That would leave me with:

Dressy
High - Lange 1815 Up/Down
Low - Cartier Tank Basculante

Casual
High - Panerai 512
Low - Omega Speedmaster FOIS

Sport
High - Rolex GMT Master II
Low - Unknown (currently looking for a Tudor 79260 silver dial, black tachy)

Rotators (the one in-one out crew)
1 - Nomos Zurich Weltzeit Blue
2 - IWC Fliegerchono 3706


TL:DR
The Panerai might fit into my Casual High spot. Currently going through the honeymoon period to see.
 

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Welcome aboard! I would say that this Panerai fits you just well and sits nicely on your wrist. In contrast to the larger PAMs your pick can be combined with literally every type of clothes. Elegant, sporty, all fine. So maybe you do not need to seek for your last "casual" any more. ;-)
 
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