Launched a few months ago, the new Panerai Radiomir Black Seal 8 Days PAM 609 is the latest addition to the 'Black Seal' family within the Radiomir collection. The first modern Panerai Radiomir watch honoring ref. 3646 from the late 1930s was launched in 2004 as the Panerai 'Radiomir Black Seal' PAM 183 with a 45mm —the original Radiomir watches had a case measuring 47mm in diameter— stainless steel cushion-shaped case. Since then, many iterations of the 'Radiomir Black Seal' have followed with dial changes —i.e. today, the PAM 183 features the 'Black Seal' writing at 12 o'clock instead of at 6 o'clock as it did when it was launched in 2004—, release of new models with in-house calibres that include date functions, power reserve indicators and most recently powered by the manual wound Panerai in-house calibre P.5000 with an outstanding 8-day power reserve. Interestingly enough, while working on our hands-on review, the PAM 609 reviewed here, ended up delivering an impressive total power reserve of 9 days, 3 hours and 10 minutes.
Now, back to our hands-on review of this new Panerai Radiomir Black Seal 8 Days PAM 609. This beautiful new watch features the same case construction as its predecessors with a 45 mm cushion-shaped case with detachable wire lugs. The onion-shaped crown on the PAM 609 is the exact same screw-down crown on other Radiomir watches featuring the OP —Officine Panerai— logo on bass-relief. It takes approximately 160 turns of the crown to fully wind the movement.
The Radiomir Black Seal 8 Days PAM 609 features a black matte 'sandwich' dial that to the naked eye appears more like a 'sausage' dial. When comparing the depth on the cutout markers and numbers between this dial and other Panerai 'sandwich' dials —to see the difference we are talking about, just take a look at our review of the PAM 388 we did here—, the dial on the PAM 609 seems to be constructed with a much thinner black top layer where the cutout portions almost appear to not be there unless you are using a powerful loupe. If you are a 'sandwich' dial Paneristi type of guy or gal —just like us— this dial will do nothing for you.
The Radiomir Black Seal 8 Days PAM 609 features the traditional gold Monte Carlo calf rugby strap with ecru contrast stitching. The strap tappers from 26.75 mm to 22.15 mm and is fitted with the trapezoidal highly polished pin buckle.
As mentioned earlier, the PAM 609 is powered by the new Panerai in-house manual wound calibre P.5000 with an outstanding 8-day power reserve. While most watches we review end up failing to deliver the promised power reserve, or deliver the power reserve right on, just a handful of them will outdeliver the promised power reserve by just a couple additional hours. In the case of the Radiomir Black Seal 8 Days PAM 609 you see here, it was quite surprising to see the watch still running strong and accurately for an additional day plus 3 hours and 10 minutes. While the expected power reserve should've been only 192 hours, the watch under review delivered 219 hours with 10 minutes —pretty much 14% more power reserve than what was promised by Panerai. Kudos to Panerai!
The manual wound calibre P.5000 with a power reserve of eight days combines two characteristics which are part of the history of Panerai watches since the first models created for the commandos of the Italian Navy —being manual wound and having an 8-day power reserve. With a diameter of 15¾ lignes —35.7 mm— and a thickness of 4.5 mm, the P.5000 is composed of 127 parts and 21 jewels. Its balance wheel oscillates at a frequency of 21,600 vph —3 Hz.
Its very strong structure recalls that of old movements in which the mechanism was contained between two plates concealing most of the wheels and allowing only a few details to be seen, such as the balance cock and the intermediate wheel. The P.5000 calibre has a variable inertia balance, its period of oscillation being adjusted by turning the little timing screws on the outside of the balance wheel. Using this system the balance spring is free, without the curb pins which would otherwise be used to modify its active length. The bridge supporting the balance is fixed by two screws beneath which are threaded rings which turn in both directions, the purpose of which is to adjust the endshake of the balance staff pivots. This technical solution helps the escapement to continue running perfectly in the event of shocks. The long power reserve of 192 hours is achieved by coupling the two spring barrels with toothed rims in series. The twin assembly enables longer, thinner springs to be used, resulting in a longer duration and greater uniformity in delivering energy to the movement.
On the wrist, the watch wears comfortably and true to its size. Its wrist presence is that of a watch that true Paneristi will be wearing. Ultimately this is just a perfect watch for those watchlifestylers looking to wear a watch with great history and superb vintage appearance without compromising on power reserve.
Sticker Price $6,800 USD. For more info on Officine Panerai click here.