Insider: Panerai Radiomir GMT 3 Days Oro Rosso PAM 421. Hands-on with One of Our Favorite Panerais.

The Panerai Radiomir GMT 3 Days Oro Rosso PAM 421 is by far one of our favorite Panerais as it combines several things we typically like to see in a Panerai timepiece. Some of the reasons why we love the Panerai PAM 421 is because it is fitted with an 18K red gold case, paired with a beautiful tobacco brown sandwich dial and it features a power reserve indicator. As far as looks, it really doesn't get any better. If you like tobacco dials as much as we do, but you're not crazy about titanium cases —Panerai only fits their tobacco dials on titanium and gold models—, there is no better way to go than with one of their 18K gold pieces in 'Oro Rossa' —pink gold— or 'Oro Rosso' —red gold.

The Case

The Panerai Radiomir GMT 3 Days Oro Rosso PAM 421 features a 47 mm case in the traditional Radiomir cushion-shape with screw-down onion shaped crown with 'OP' logo and detachable wire lugs. Additionally, the PAM 421 is water rated to a depth of 50 meters. The case, made out of 18K red gold has a very unique 'coppery' color thanks to the high percentage of copper used in the gold alloy for its construction.

Considering that most people can't tell the difference between the different gold alloys and tend to refer to pink gold, rose gold and red gold indistinctively —as if they were the same thing—, let's explain the composition of the different gold alloys and what the nuances are for each kind. To begin, any 18K gold watch case regardless of its color, needs to have at least 75% of gold in it, hence the 'Au750' stamping on the back of watch cases, where 'Au' refers to the chemical element 'Aurum' —gold in Latin— and '750' to the 75% of gold in the alloy. While there are different alloys for colored gold by manufacturer, the following, are the most commonly used in the precious metal industry: 18K White Gold is composed of 75% gold and then 25% of Nickel, Manganese, Palladium or Silver and typically finished with a rhodium plating; 18K Red Gold is 75% gold and 25% copper; 18K Rose Gold is 75% gold, 21-22% copper and 3-4% silver; lastly, 18K Pink Gold is 75% gold, 20% copper and 5% silver.

The Dial

As mentioned before, the Officine Panerai Radiomir GMT 3 Days Oro Rosso PAM 421 features a matte tobacco brown sandwich dial with 'ecru' superluminova. The dial features seconds subdial at 9 o'clock, date aperture at 3, a very useful arrow-shaped GMT second time zone hand and all hands are in matching red gold. The dial is very well balanced and a real treat for the eyes.

One great thing about the GMT complication on the Panerai PAM 421, is that the date can be moved forward or backwards as necessary thanks to the date mechanism that is fully synchronized with the hour hand —which can be advanced independently in increments of one hour. When pulling the crown out to set the time, the seconds hand resets to zero for the most accurate time setting. The only bad thing about the GMT function on most Panerais that don't feature an AM/PM indicator, is that you are limited to keep track of a different time zone within a -12 or +12 hour difference —any time zones outside of that range cannot be tracked.

The Movement

The Panerai Radiomir GMT 3 Days Oro Rosso PAM 421 is powered by the Panerai manual wound in-house calibre P.3001 with power reserve indicator on the back side and with seconds-reset mechanism as explained earlier. The Panerai P.3001 calibre is a very wide movement that traces its origins to the first movements fitted on the historical Panerai watches. This three-quarter plate movement is fully visible via the display case back and is composed of 207 parts, 21 jewels and two spring barrels. The movement beats at a frequency of 21,600 vph —3 Hz— to provide a power reserve of three full days —72 hours.

The Strap

The Panerai Radiomir GMT 3 Days Oro Rosso PAM 421 is equipped with a gorgeous chocolate brown alligator leather strap with beige contrast stitching and matching 18K red gold pin buckle. Perhaps the biggest downside to the PAM 421, is the lack of strap options available through Panerai, as the strap is very wide at the lugs and quite narrow at the buckle measuring 27 mm/20 mm. The availability of 27/20 straps at Panerai is pretty much reserved to alligator straps only, definitely the type of strap we wouldn't dare to get soaked or submersed in the pool.

On the Wrist & Pricing

On the wrist, the watch wears slightly smaller than its actual size and more like a 45 mm watch. When compared to how it wears against the 45 mm Radiomirs, there is really not much difference. The PAM 421 wears really comfortably and is not top heavy like most other solid gold watches. Its total weight is only 147 grams, which is actually pretty light when compared to the 144 grams of the Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days PAM 372 we reviewed here. Its wrist presence is unparalleled and perfectly suited for year-round wear.

Sticker Price $21,000 USD. For more info on Officine Panerai click here.