To the careless observer, the addition of Panerai’s “Marina Militare” wordmark to a dial might not carry much meaning – but to Paneristi die-hards, it’s a significant hat tip to the brand’s origins with Italian Navy commandos, and a subtle detail that references some of the most iconic dive watches ever made.
Technically speaking, a shot-for-shot remake of the original Marina Militare-issued watches would be rendered in Panerai’s Radiomir case (sans crown guard), but this treatment already exists in the PAM587. However, apparently the detail was too good for just the Radiomir, as Panerai continues to ride the nü-vintage tide by replicating the 587 dial and dropping the same P.3000 manual-winding movement in a fully modernized 47mm stainless steel Luminor case that’s water resistant to 100 meters. The end result is the Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 3 Days (PAM673) – the most current evolution of the original Militare-issued watches.
Before getting too spun up in the minutia of what sets one Panerai apart from the next, think of the Tudor “Black Bay” for a moment. Each is a fully modern dive watch whose language and design intent pays homage to a comparable era of military-spec watchmaking. Simply swap out “Rotor Self-Winding” for “Marina Militare” on the dial, and you start to get the picture.
That said, it could probably be argued that this Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 3 Days permutation is about as faithful as it gets to the source material. In fact, if you were to ask anyone with a passing familiarity with Panerai watches to draw one from memory, you’d probably be presented with an example looking a lot like the PAM673, which manages to pack in all the classic signatures – from the oversized case and patented crown-locking mechanism to the luminous, time-only sandwich dial.
But all of these signatures remain an homage to the mid-century Marina Militare editions, right down to the generous 47mm case proportions and Plexiglas crystal. Obviously, Panerai wasn’t unable to use sapphire – considering the exhibition caseback is fitted with sapphire – it just serves to prove that the Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 3 Days PAM673 is staying faithful, even to a fault, recognizing acrylic’s tendency to accumulate scuffs and scratches through normal wear.
But you’ve got to hand it to Panerai for fully acknowledging this by including a spare crystal that any Panerai dealer should readily be able to swap out. It’s an odd inclusion to the package (which also includes both rubber and Tuscan leather straps), particularly when a simpler after-sales solution would be to just warranty the crystal for the life of the watch, but maybe Panerai prefers the foreshadowing?
Either way, there’s a lot to like with this Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 3 Days edition – the classic black dial execution smacks of the ultra-rare 6152-1 vintage examples from the mid-1950s, but flip the watch over for an expansive view of Panerai’s fully modern P.3000, a twin-barreled movement which packs a healthy three-day power reserve and a quick-set jumping hour hand – the latter of which is a boon for frequent fliers. But like its limited-edition PAM587 brother, the PAM673 Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 3 Days will be available in short supply – only 1,000 units, each with a price of $10,200.