Panerai's stock is on the up and up, and with an unrelenting onslaught of new releases that seemingly hit the market on a weekly basis and words like Carbotech, Platinumtech and Goldtech being branded about, we thought it a good idea to take a step back and get our hands on one of the more basic models. Here is the Panerai Submersible 42mm, reference PAM683, an entry level diver's watch inspired by its larger flagship model.
The Panerai Submersible 42mm spoke to me almost immediately. Watches like the PAM683 often have a knack for being either one of two things. Either it's something that exceeded your expectations. Or it's something that you didn't really engage with. Luckily enough, my first reaction was the overriding and everlasting one. Based on the original 47mm PAM1389, the PAM683 did have some big shoes to fill, no pun intended. And fill it the PAM683 most certainly did. It sat nice and snug on my wrist, it wasn't at all understated nor do it scream presence. It flew under the radar but had more than enough ubiquity to holds its own amongst other watches.
At 42mm, the Panerai Submersible 42mm's brushed steel case sat comfortably on my wrist, although I think a 44mm would have suited the overall aesthetic of the watch a bit better. Being a purposeful, all-rounder divers watch, you'd imagine that it would have a certain rugged durability to it. I think this was amiss with its understated size, however from a marketability perspective Panerai definitely hit the nail on its head by sizing it at 42mm.
Complimenting the brushed steel case is a ceramic unidirectional bezel which was a joy to play with. Wonderfully engineered with a definitive "click" at every turn, the bezel definitely tied in the exterior of the watch. But what brought the whole watch together was that black dial with offsetting aqua-blue highlights. Super legible, the semi-skeletonised hands feature luminescent material, as do the raised house indices.
I'm a sucker for in-house movements, but at this price point it should be nothing but expected. Panerai has incorporated the manufacture P.900 calibre, which is an automatic movement with a power reserve of 3-days from its single barrel and 171 components. Unfortunately it's not on display with thanks to the screw-down caseback, which is a shame really because I absolutely love the finishing Panerai implements to its movements.
From the perspective of a potential buyer, an entry-level diver's watch that costs as much as the Panerai Submersible 42mm is perhaps a bit of a stretch, and at $14,400AUD there is a plethora of other watches out there that make the grade and then some. But, for those looking for something that is a little bit low-key, against the grain and a touch different to what you would normally see, then the Panerai Submersible 42mm PAM683 is definitely right up your alley. It's a safe bet that oozes quality, is well engineered and executed, is right at home 300m below in the ocean's depths as it is desk diving at your 9-5 and is charismatic enough to hold its own against the competition.