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Panerai PAM040B Review

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I blame milesd for this review. If not for his stunning pictures here of the 040, I would never have gone and ordered one.

Background, DSN has a new dial, :undecided: , doesn't he always? Whatever it is, it looks stunning, a huge step up from his previous attempts recently, but, with DSN, get'em while it lasts and before he changes again!

The 040 is a vintage Titanium cased, black dial, solid caseback, manual wind 44mm Luminor Marina watch. The first commercially available Titanium cased watch from Panerai, so basically the grandfather of today's 177.

As with all my reviews, just follow the numbers :)

Front

040_front.jpg

1) The first thing that strikes you is that though the shade and shape of the numbers is bang on, the size is off. The gen has thicker numbers and indices

2) The printing is fantastic, though a little thin. Also, for the very first time, DSN is using an off colored white on his dial, but this is wrong for this model, it should be pure white. Oh, and the A bar looks accurate too

3) T SWISS T, some have complained about this, not as big an issue for me, the gen has a flat top and bottom T SWISS T, DSN's are rounded. But size and sharpness wise, perfect

4) CG Pin hole is off, bit too far out and small. First DSN CG that I've had where by it doesn't suffer from a floppy lever. But I'll pop the pin to give it a matte finish

5) Not so visible here, but the lever tip is very thick on the gen. DSNs have a continuous thin taper.

6) Not shown, but the crystal has AR. The gen due to it being a B series didn't. Panerai only started using AR on their D series PAMs onwards. However, DSN's AR has improved significantly. Very mild bluish tint and amazing to look at.

CG Side

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1) DSNs CG is thicker than the GEN?! Its a tell, but for me a good one. I rather have a thick CG than a thin one.

2) The crystal sticks out a hair's breadth more over the bezel on the gen as compared to DSNs

Case Profile

040_lside.jpg

1) Profile of lugs is close, but wrong. DSN's lugs have a distinct hump to them

2) DSN's lugs also have rounded edges versus the sharper ones on the edge, very pronounced the sanding here

3) The bezel base is also 0.5mm thicker than the gen, only noticeable here, and definitely not as bad as his older 240 case.

Crown

crowns.jpg

This is the first whereby I can honestly say I have no desire or need to really swap out the DSNs crown.

1st is a gen 040 crown (measurement is based off an LH crown).

As you can see, the bevel between the gen and DSN's is close. Hardly any extreme bevel as seen on the stainless steel DSN crown taken from his 201a. Even when the crown is physically thicker, the bevel makes it look visually thinner. For me, this is good enough and I won't be ordering a T48 Ti crown to replace it.

Back

040_back.jpg

This is where all the disappoints come. :mad:

1) Much thicker engraving

2) Wrong OP number, should be 6510

3) The 040 was only ever released as a B series. It was a "special edition" of a sorts

4) Only 200 units were ever released as well.

Lume

Lume-2.gif

DSN201a on left, 040 on the right. 1sec exposure, 2mins interval, only cropping done in PS.

I will admit, this 040 is the least bright of all my PAMs. That said, this is meant to be a tritium dialed 040 that was released in 1998. So I would expect the glow to be more muted. (Lets not discuss the accuracy of a torched 201a ;)) Further to that, you can see the numbers have a lovely yellow tint to them, giving them a great patina, including the hands, which adds to the character of the watch for me. So I'll gladly sacrifice a bit of lume power for this added vintageness.

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My thoughts

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Titanium watches have very rarely been my thing. I can't handle the extreme lightness of the case, plus the dullness sometimes gets to me. However, I'm enjoying the vintage expect of this piece. The dial is wholely accurate with minor flaws that most people won't be able to call out, the most obvious being the size of the numerals. The crown is fine to me. The crown guard, the most obvious tell on Ti models is accurate, thicker than gen and perfect profile. The only big tell is the caseback. Two options, don't take it off, don't show it to a paneristi or just enjoy. I'll just enjoy it. Most people won't remember the exact specifics anyhow :)

One thing to note, Ti scratches easily, I wore it one and you can see a scratch already today...:mad: Add to that, I've found with Ti watches, the movement is louder. I can hear the 040 quite clearly, but not any of my other 6497s. With the casebacks off, they are of equal loudness. So one thing to consider as well.

Overall, a lovely piece from DSN and with this new dial, a real stunner

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as always, Unreg, great review...

with today's "technology" i still can't figure out how the manufacturers can't get the dials right...as you said, the shape and shade of color is right - but why can't they get the thickness down... :nea:

well done!...R

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That is an awesome review, thank you for the effort you've put in there and it makes a very refreshing change against the usual suspects that get posted.

Your Lume shot gif is really great, and though your case-back isn't completely correct its has a nice engraved looked rather than the usual laser etched versions we see.

GOLD STARthumbsupsmileyanim.gif

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hackR: What I can't understand is DSN. He perfects his dial, then suddenly a new batch arrives with a whole slew of issues. Why can't he keep them consistent? How hard is that? Some variance is expected maybe in the finishing, but not in the complete method in which the dial is constructed! Whatever it is, this dial is a keeper, one of the best from DSN in a long time. Yes its too thin, but on the wrist, it passes off fine.

st4: Thanks mate. Definitely not one of your usual suspects. I'm slowly getting turned off open caseback PAMs with all the flaws in the movements, even though I've got 2 stunning examples myself, moving towards all closed caseback. However, this Ti one, its a tricky piece, I may get a bare caseback from DSN and see if I can get it engraved somewhere.

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I did find very nice case for my 040B project, check this out :)

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That is one of my favorite watches :thumbsupsmileyanim:

Then buy an individual ti caseback from jakob for it and You have a superreplika :whistling:

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I cant believe I missed this when I came back :bounce:

As always UR, a really well constructed and informative review, thanks mate :thumbsupsmileyanim:

Seems like its pretty much the same sort of DSN flaws we have come to expect and love !! ;) Its always his Ti casesets that are my biggest bugbear !! The shape reminds me of those budget cartel 318s a few years back...

I thought, though I could be completely wrong, that I read on Risti or the like that this dial has variants similar to a few early 1997 dials etc on the thickness of the numerals, markers etc.. any idea on that mate?

Great pics as well mate :)

Thanks K for bumping this up mate :)

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That is one of my favorite watches :thumbsupsmileyanim:

Then buy an individual ti caseback from jakob for it and You have a superreplika :whistling:

yes thanks , only problem for me is that Jakob case back is etched, not engraved and that is quite disturbing for me.

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yes thanks , only problem for me is that Jakob case back is etched, not engraved and that is quite disturbing for me.

Never knew that....now I need to find out the difference as the few pics I saw of Js they looked engraved...:D

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Never knew that....now I need to find out the difference as the few pics I saw of Js they looked engraved...:D

I can be wrong also B), but I did look 040 case back and look `s more like etched to me.

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I can be wrong also B), but I did look 040 case back and look `s more like etched to me.

If you hear before me let us know mate :) and vice versa ;)

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More pics of my 040B with Jakobh caseback here

IMG_4599.jpg

The difference between the DSN and Jakobh is night and day. Not sure why you say its etched, sure doesn't look it. DSN on the right btw.

Jakobh

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PeteM: The only variant I know of is the supposed brown dial Pre-A 040 which has its own controversy. w0lf discussed it with me before on here I think whereby the owner claims its a brown dial though it doesn't look brown, just a slightly less dark shade of black of the Pre-A dials. Was claimed to have been made by a Risti employee for himself. I'm sure there are other variants as with all early series Panerais, I've seen thick and think numeral 001As next to each other so wouldn't be surprised about variations in the 040B.

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Ok, all clear for me. Thanks :) So J case back is not etched, I was wrong, so it is good news for me. No I can maybe keep my 040B instead of selling it. ^_^

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Thanks UR :)

I wonder if that dial might be the OP Black/Brown like on my 267 dial? It is nothing like say the 36 or 203 dial...it really is black most of the time especially under crystal..

I know what you mean with the 001s it seems those grey (transition) years in OP history have created a lot of ambiguity in model details ... Though it does make it all the more fun :thumbsupsmileyanim:

Thanks for clearing up on the Ti CB, I did wonder why J would engrave the SS CBs and not the Ti versions ( I assumed it might be the material as thats all I could think of...)

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BTW can somebody tell to my, these my 040B pictures on top, what type of "old school" case is used? It is not DSN case it is sure.

I am not sure by myself what case set it is...worth of keeping? :g:

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BTW can somebody tell to my, these my 040B pictures on top, what type of "old school" case is used? It is not DSN case it is sure.

I am not sure by myself what case set it is...worth of keeping? :g:

Maybe another thread mate ;)

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