Jump to content
unregistered

Panerai PAM 5218-201A Review

Recommended Posts

I am writing this review with a bit of trepidation as I know this is the grail watch for many a risti, and many a geek. Also, there is a wealth of information on this piece on the forums and I only just recently stumbled onto its charm, so please be gentle with me if I miss out the 0.5mm difference in lug shape, or 0.25mm difference in numeral drift :undecided:

Anyhow, this is going to be the stock 5218-201A latest version from DSN versus the Gen. As many know, the 201a needs to be upgraded bit by bit and I'll delve into what I know the mods are later on.

Front

00017423.jpg

1) LUMINOR PANERAI, though correct font, correct color, correct sharpness, seems a half size too large

2) Same for the logo

3) CG is incorrect profile, much too small/thin as compared to the thick lugs and shape of the gen

4) CG pin is protruding and rounded (candidate for a polish)

5) Crown is too thin (bevelled too much as I'll show later)

6) Shape of 6 is incorrect closer to the bottom. The gen has a squarish shape to it at the base

7) The 9 suffers the same issue as the 6 just inverted

8) The 2 doesn't have the small hook/clump at the tip as the gen, though the tail and sharpness of the cut in looks good

No AR on the crystal which is accurate.

Crown

crowns.jpg

Copied from my 040 review

As you can see, DSN's SS crown suffer from having the correct thickness but too much bevel on the edges giving them a visually thinner appearance and rounded edges

CG side

Dsc05.jpg

1) Incredibly thin. A good 1~1.5mm missing. No curved upper portion, not thick like gen. Better off polishing this and making it an A-F series CG

2) Bezel base is too thick and doesn't have the rounded edges like the gen

3) Crystal is too thin, doesn't poke up above the bezel

Profile side

Dsc10.jpg

1) Notice the bezel base again, much clearer here

2) DSNs screws are much too large. Gen like in that both sides are screwed in, but too large. Unconfirmed, but someone mentioned the gen is 1.6mm whereas DSN is 1.8mm

Other than that, I can't comment on the lug profile. It looks decent. Perhaps a bit short, but the downward slop looks continuous almost, the base looks right and there doesn't seem too much of an angle either. Please correct me if I'm wrong

Back

PANERAI-5218-201A-PRE-VENDOM-5.jpg

1) Gen engraving is larger in font size. The model number look accurate though

2) Logo engraving is too small and sits further up. You can notice that the "centre" of the caseback is on the leg of the down arrow. DSN has it on the head of the arrow

Also, many have commented that DSN's caseback is too thin by 1~2mm as compared to gen. As I don't have any shots for comparison, do note this.

Lume

Lume-2.gif

DSN 201a on left, DSN 040 on right. 1sec exposure, 2min interval. No PS effects added.

Technically, a vintage 201a shouldn't be glowing at all :D But it still is pretty to see

Conclusion

Dial

IMG_2656.jpg

I must say the engraved dials though are stunning in person to see. I'm still mesmerized by it and love it more than my sandwich 111I.

IMG_2662.jpg

IMG_2663.jpg

IMG_2664.jpg

Upgrade options

Dial first, only 1 option. FishGoDeep on RWG, aka FGD makes some. Couple of versions out and the few I've seen look stunning. Definitely more accurate than DSNs. None are being made at the moment but scuttlebutt is a new batch may appear in May/Apr 2010

Crown: Multiple options. T48 stainless steel (discontinued). Opalow is making new ones. Some older crowns emerge now and then like Palps etc. So you take your pick.

CG: Multiple options. Gen G~current series CG is accurate. V or LH are the next two best CGs to get, as close to gen as possible. Seadbo ain't a bad option, though mildly thinner than the gen, but not noticeably. Torobravo as well has one out.

Caseback: There's a thread on RG of a custom caseback project going on. Better engraving with a thicker caseback is promised. Only option currently available unless you do it yourself

My conclusion? I'm going to be modding the hell out of this piece. Got the crown, CG on the way, awaiting an FGD run should it occur. I needed a base in my collection, and now that I have this piece, I can understand why it's known as the "Grail" for many ristis. The Logo has a special place in any collection and you should go get one. :)

Edited by dluddy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great review, very useful. Thanks for all the work. :notworthy:

I hate this: Everytime I read something like this I get more anal about the differences tween gen and rep. :wallbash:

Val.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really don't like the fact we can't edit our posts. I understand why but still don't like it.

Anyhow, wanted to make a change, another flaw I've spotted for the caseback

1) Gen engraving is larger in font size. The model number look accurate though

2) Logo engraving is too small and sits further up. You can notice that the "centre" of the caseback is on the leg of the down arrow. DSN has it on the head of the arrow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great thread. Although it will take a while we have started the process of trying to upgrade the case set. Currently checking all the dimensions on a prototype with gen strap pins which when I am happy will be sent to a CNC shop for quotes. Also in the process of chasing down a sapphire supplier who can supply gen spec crystals (as anyone who owns a gen or Jimmy Fu case set knows the rep crystals are too thin). It will take a while but with a little bit of luck it will be the final ingredient to the FGD dials, aftermarket crowns and cg's, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great review!

Another few things to note:

- Gen case does not have a pronounced strap notch, if you've seen the JF case between the lugs the design is similar. It's mostly in the very bottom of the midcase and has a flowing contour unlike DSN's case which has a very defined conical cutout.

- Midcase on the DSN model is taller because it's a multipurpose case used in all of his current builds including auto.

- Lugs are not tall enough, coupled with the thickness of midcase section they create a appearance of sitting too low in relation to the top of the midcase.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great review!

Another few things to note:

- Gen case does not have a pronounced strap notch, if you've seen the JF case between the lugs the design is similar. It's mostly in the very bottom of the midcase and has a flowing contour unlike DSN's case which has a very defined conical cutout.

- Midcase on the DSN model is taller because it's a multipurpose case used in all of his current builds including auto.

- Lugs are not tall enough, coupled with the thickness of midcase section they create a appearance of sitting too low in relation to the top of the midcase.

Forgot about the notch, remembered before I did the review, forgot to put it in, thanks for mentioning it.

I felt the same way about the thickness of the case, but wasn't 100% due to the angles of the photos, the lugs did look shorter, but I didn't comment. Thanks for confirming.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I appreciate people who take the time to start aftermarket parts projects like yourself FGD. I've always wanted to, started it, then stopped cause they're too much work, so big ups to you. For me, writing a review is a hobby, at least its on something I love, these same skills get used at work for much more boring activities. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for taking the time do do this terrific review and share it with the community thumbsupsmileyanim.gif

Only thing I really need for mine is the correct height (thickness) crystal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×