Introducing two new Panerai Radiomir watches in composite, the PAM504 and PAM505 (with specs and price)

Panerai recently lifted the covers off two new Composite Radiomir watches, the Radiomir Composite 3 Days (PAM504) and the Radiomir Composite Black Seal 3 Days Automatic (PAM505). That makes it three new models Panerai has announced since SIHH in January, with the first being the Luminor Submersible Antimagnetic PAM389.

Panerai Radiomir Composite 3 Days PAM00504

Because they use the simpler Panerai calibres, both of these new Radiomir Composite watches are fairly reasonable priced at about EUR6500 before tax. The first of the pair is the Radiomir Composite 3 Days PAM504 is a time-only, Historic collection model.

Between the two I like the clean and unadulterated look of the PAM504 best.

It has a 47 mm Composite case and the P.3000 manual wind calibre which is Panerai’s entry level in-house movement.

P.3000 calibre of the PAM504, behind a tinted sapphire glass

On the other hand, the Radiomir Composite Black Seal PAM505 is a Contemporary model. The case is smaller at 45 mm and inside is the P.9000 automatic.

Panerai Radiomir Composite Black Seal 3 Days Automatic PAM00505

Despite its fancy name, Composite is actually aluminium that has undergone a chemical bath during which an electric current is run through the metal. That causes an oxide layer (or ceramic) to form on the surface. Aluminium is not dense, that is why a Composite case is lightweight.

It’s notable Panerai has presented these new Composite models when the Composite Luminor watches announced last year have yet to be delivered.

And for this pair of watches is bad news for owners of the Radiomir Composite PAM339, which was the brand’s first Composite case watch. That was a big hit and sold for a huge premium on the secondary market after its launch.  But that premium has slowly been eroded – as is the case with most Panerai watches – and these two will do it no favours. This matters because value retention is a big issue for many owners and would-be owners of Panerai watches.


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Hands-on with the Speake-Marin Dong Son, a special edition for Vietnam

Made for the Speake-Marin retailer in Vietnam, the Dong Son features a solid rose gold dial depicting flying egrets and warrior figures. Unusually, instead of the usual hand engraving, the Dong Son dial is created by chemical etching.

Speake-Marin Dong Son

Because of the mechanical, rather than manual, technique, the resulting dial has a very precise surface with sharply formed edges. Although it is chemically etched, the visual effect is attractive and mildly hypnotic. There is also plenty of detail to admire, in the wings of the egrets for instance.

After the dial is etched it is treated to create the contrasting, grained white finish. Though they are very different, this reminds me of the De Bethune DB25 IX Maya. Interestingly this is one of the few, or perhaps the only, Speake-Marin watch to use Breguet hands. According to Peter, the pomme hands were specified by the retailer.

The dial replicates a motif found on bronze drums of the Dong Son culture in the Red River Delta of Vietnam. These date from 600 BC to the 4th century.

Like the custom Majestic Monkey Shimoda, the Dong Son is less about watchmaking than it is about aesthetics and dial craft. Housed in a 38 mm, rose gold Piccadilly case, the Dong Son is limited to 18 pieces. Inside is the Eros 1 automatic calibre. – SJX

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News: Richard Mille’s fancy cufflinks

Richard Mille recently announced its line of cufflinks. They are made from titanium, with brushed and bevelled surfaces, not unlike a watch. But these are no ordinary links, for the T-bars open and close via a pair of buttons on the cufflinks. Each cufflink thus comprises 38 components. And because they are Richard Mille the price will surely be extraordinary as well (think five figure Euro price); if you have to ask… – SJX

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News: Speake-Marin unveils the Resilience

The new Resilience from Peter Speake-Marin is part of the his entry level line (not unlike the Spirit Pioneer limited edition). Housed in the 38 or 42 mm steel Piccadilly case that the Serpent Calendar also uses, the Resilience is straight forward but nevertheless beautiful and retains the archetypal Speake-Marin look.

Peter Speake-Marin Resilience

The Resilience has a fired enamel dial, along with blued steel hands. Despite being entry level, all the components, especially the dial and hands, are very well made, as is the case with all Speake-Marin. According to Peter, “Enamel dials never tarnish with age. Thus, the Speake-Marin Resilience is indeed resilient, in terms of substance – the enamel will stay the same for time immemorial…”

Inside is the Eros 2 automatic calibre with a five day power reserve. And visible through the display back is the topping tool-shaped rotor, a signature of Speake-Marin. Unlike the higher priced Thalassa which is completely in-house, the Eros is based on an outsourced ebauche. The Resilience starts at CHF16,020 for the 38 mm steel case, and goes up to CHF29,880 for the 42 mm rose gold. – SJX

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