Case in point, the Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic Acciaio 42mm PAM 682 is readily found in both 44mm and 47mm sizes, and while I think they are immensely cool watches, I’ve tried them on and found them far too large for my tastes and wrist. In an unexpected turn at SIHH earlier this year, Panerai announced a new 42mm Submersible, offering the same lovable and chunky shape but with less bulk on wrist. Its full name is the Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic Acciaio 42mm (PAM00682), aka the 42mm Submersible. Man, what a difference 2mm makes.
As a previously benched fan of the Submersible design, the appeal of a smaller version was undeniable and I still recall picking it up off the desk in Geneva, the smile growing on my face - it’s a Submersible, and it fits! Diehard Panerai fans may not care for this more casual expression of their beloved rough and tumble PAM 682 Replica, but I was on board from the moment I tried it on.
Put simply, the PAM 682 is a more accessible expression of the Panerai dive watch design and the main selling point here is, unsurprisingly, the smaller size. Rendered in brushed steel and measuring 42mm wide (without the crown and guard), 14.5mm thick, and 51mm lug to lug, the PAM 682 will fit a wide range of wrists. For reference, it wears not unlike a Seiko SRP777 (which is wider, but also shorter lug to lug, sharing a similar overall footprint). Comfort is also aided by the lug design of Panerai’s 1950-style case, which has downward sloping lugs that exit from a lower position (closer to the wrist) on the case.
To my eyes, the PAM 682’s proportions are excellent. The dial is balanced and not too busy, with large luminous markers, a nicely integrated and matching date display at three, and a pop of bright blue in the sub seconds hand at nine o’clock. Dial text has been kept to a reasonable usage and everything combines to make for a very legible and distinctly Panerai time display. While the hands may appear to blend into the dial, this is mostly a by-product effect of minimizing reflections for the photos. In day-to-day use, the brushed finish of the hands provides a strong contrast against the flat black dial.
Like most Panerai models that don’t feature a chronograph, the 42 mm Submersible pam 682 panerai replica does not have a full minute track, relying solely on the main hour markers for reference. My assumption is that this is the sort of design element that will feel normal if you’re well versed in Panerai, but may bother the uninitiated who are drawn to the smaller case size. I really only missed the minute markers when setting the time, after which I barely noticed their omission. Overall it actually gives the dial a bolder, punchier look that I appreciated. This is a no-fuss watch and the dial definitely gives that impression through and through.
What I did notice during the course of producing the photos for the review is that this example’s bezel does not perfectly align with the dial markers. In normal use, I didn’t notice the alignment, but once I saw it in the photos it’s hard to miss. General placement of the bezel markers seems on point, but the bezel markers are off by perhaps one third of the distance between the click points. Matching the case back markings with those in the photos I shot at SIHH, it’s clear that this specific Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic Replica is a pre-production prototype and not a final retail product. Just to be sure, I compared it to a model in my local boutique and that watch was spot-on.