Rare Bird: Officine Panerai Luminor Marina Left-Handed PAM 26K 'Destro'. A 1,000-Piece Vendome Inspired Limited Edition.

When it comes to the Panerai Luminor Marina PAM 26K 'Destro', you rarely run into a complete new old stock set like this one. When you see one, you know what to do. The Panerai Luminor Marina Left-Handed PAM 26 is a 1,000-piece limited edition paying homage to one of the most iconic Panerais from the Vendome era. The Panerai Luminor Marina PAM 26K 'Destro' released in 2008, quickly gained momentum as it is a perfect reinterpretation of the PAM 26B. The Panerai Luminor Marina Destro PAM 26B originally sold for a price of $2,900 in 1999, today, almost impossible pay less than $15,000-20,000 for a PAM 26B. Now, for those in love with the PAM 26, the PAM 26K brings a more affordable option still highly coveted. Below, the watch is pictured on a Panerai Assolutamente Vintage strap but the watch came originally fitted with a black calf strap and an additional caoutchouc —natural rubber— strap.

The Dial

The main differences between the PAM 26K and the PAM 26B include nuances on the case construction and on the dial. While the PAM 26K sports a sandwich luminova dial, the PAM 26B came with a tritium sausage dial. Honestly, we prefer the sandwich dial on the re-editon.

Because of the use of luminova instead of tritium, the PAM 26K brings unparalleled lume like all other modern era Panerais. When it comes to lume, there is really no other brand other than IWC that can do luminescence this perfectly.

The Case

The case construction also suffered some improvements between the PAM 26B and the PAM 26K, while the watch still remains in the 44 mm case size. In the PAM 26B series, the crown guard is thinner with relatively more straight lines, while on the PAM 26K, the crown guard is 'beefier' and features a better quality pin system for its securing lever and a better finished crown. Additionally, the edges on the case are more prominent in what is known as a 'Bettarini' case type. This case type is the case design of Luminor Marina 44 mm watches done by Alessandro Bettarini during the rebirth of Panerai in 1992-1993. Also, the case on the PAM 26K has a straight finish —instead of fully rounded— in the area between the lugs where the strap comes in contact with the case. The lugs are also slightly thicker than on its predecessor and the PVD finish is more matte and graphite gray looking.

The case back is done in a very similar fashion to the case backs during the B-series era and is a solid one. The engravings are very similar between the PAM 26K and the PAM 26B, however, the first features a slightly different and smaller font as well as a depth rating where there's no space between the 'm' for meters and the number 300. Both watches are powered by the Panerai OP II manual wound movement with a power reserve of 56 hours.

The Strap

The PAM 26K was sold with a black calf leather strap with thumbnail pin buckle. Additionally, the watch comes with a second additional caoutchouc —natural rubber— strap. Since we love the look of the beige Assolutamente Vintage strap, we decided to swap it for this review.

Special Presentation Box

The Panerai Luminor Marina Left-Handed PAM 26K 'Destro' comes in the large special presentation box with parchment certificate, special key, additional books in black leather pouch, screwdriver and additional rubber strap.

On the Wrist

On the wrist, this is one of the most unique Panerais out there and one that a true Paneristi can spot from a block away. Meant to be worn on the right hand for those that are left-handed, it can really be worn very comfortably on your left hand. Something we love about wearing it on our left hand, is that the watch appears 'sans crown' if you are wearing a long sleeve. Definitely a conversation piece among watchlifestylers and especially among Paneristi.

Approximate Sticker Price $9,000-$10,500 USD. For more info on Officine Panerai click here.