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Short review of the latest PAM104I from H-Maker

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This wasn’t meant to be a full fledged review, just few of my personal findings and observations. I hope the level of detail and info provided will be sufficient for most, newcomers and older collectors alike.

First of all let me say this – the recently released 104I is simply a great watch. All the important areas have been addressed by the maker and there’s hardly anything to mod on it. This will be present a fresh change for most, but the hard-core modders amongst us will feel a little short-handed this time ;)

I personally wish I could fiddle or mod something on the watch but this time around – it’s mostly done for you.

The watch looks and feels expensive and of high quality manufacture, truly a nice piece.

If you’re interested in this watch and would like to know little more, keep reading below.

The watch in general

As I mentioned already – a great product indeed. It exudes quality and high-end finish throughout.

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Case-set overall

The case is beautifully finished and all the main bits of interest taken care of, like the correct lug shape and slope, bezel height and thickness, cut-out between the lugs and others.

Side profile and lugs:

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Inter-lug cut-out:

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Well appointed lug screws, flat on both sides, polished and flush with the lug edges:

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Crown, Crown guard and Case-back

Top stuff indeed.

I found the crown on my 104I to be slightly over-polished with a bit of sharp definition lost due to that fact, but otherwise a great look and feel.

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The outer dish rim is also highly polished which is unusual for Panerai.

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A little turn of a crown dish rim on a Dremel against a finer grit sand paper like 1200 should just do the trick, it did for me, anyway ;)

Round crown tube, correct for I-series:

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The CG on this watch is well made and it hides a little surprise. This (to my knowledge) is the first ever CG from H-maker that comes with a rubber shim, or shall I say o-ring to prevent floppy lever operation. Their implementation however is slightly different from genuine and the CG from Noob maker, and it almost exactly duplicates current CG design from Davidsen.

Be careful when/if taking the CG apart – the rubber o-ring measures just under 1mm and is very easy to ‘fly’ loose. There’s only one o-ring located on the top of the lever, and this one is more than enough to provide nice snug feeling when operating the CG lever

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Also, the lever shape itself seems to closely follow gen lever shape, nicely rounded around the bottom of the ‘nose’ and nice shape overall. Caution is advised regarding lever pin, though. Please make sure it’s secured in its position as mine became loose with first two-three lever operations and almost fell out. There’s only a very little physical area of friction between the CH hole and the lever pin. From product design point of view I would call this a design-flaw, but it is what it is and it’s not easy to change. For some reason H-maker is persisting on this pin/CG design. DSN CG design is similar to this one, though.

One more photo of a lever and o-ring:

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CG and crown assembly:

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Caseback is a massive and heavy chunk of metal, DSN and Jakob take note ;)…engraving depth is good but lacks the definition of a gen, as my photos below show. This however is hardly noticeable by the naked eye.

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The movement

Nothing much new here. It’s a well known and trusty non-chrono A7750 28.8kbph mov’t, with a fine regulator and gen-like mov’t number engraved and gold-painted/gilted.

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The OP calibre text on the rotor is unfortunately lightly painted instead of engraved or laser ethched, but this is nothing new coming from H-maker. One just needs to look at the bridge OP lettering on their A6497 to realise that these guys are not ‘into mov’t engraving’ much ;)

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The Sapphire crystal

Great clarity and correct refractions, appear to be 1:1 to gen in construction but to state this with greater certainty one will have to pop it out and measure, as well check the cyclop desing, is it glued on the bottom or ‘cut’ into the recess of xtal from underneath.

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Great xtal clarity:

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A/R features

I’m sure this topic will be active for many months to come, as the xtal comes with slightly blue-ish single-sided A/R that may not be everyone’s cup of tea. But this A/R actually works, compared to the blue A/R that came on older cartel Pam reps.

I have to reiterate what had been said many times before, the genuine 104 I series came with A/R that had a little blue hue under certain angles.

My own feeling is – the A/R on this 104I is slightly stronger in hue than gen, but less intrusive than standard cartel blue A/R from the past. If you happen to own Noob’s 111J, the 104I A/R is just a little less visible than the stronger blue A/R on the 111J. Unfortunately the round shape of a cyclop amplifies not only the optics but the A/R hue colour as well. It’s not bugging me, though.

A/R on 104I:

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For a comparison purpose, I took a photo of my old-school EL 112F from 2006. This one comes with super-clear xtal and great A/R although blue hu is a little stronger on EL’s.

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Here are 026K and 104I next to each other, A/R on manual wind models from

Xtal on manual-wind models from H-maker still kicks butt:

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Below are 104I and EL 112E sitting side by side, A/R 104I is again a little better:

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Date wheel, Mag, Dial, Hands and Lume

The DW is certainly one of the highlights of this watch. The DW comes with gen-like numerals and cyclop provides just the right level of magnification.

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You can also spot on above photo how well the lume has been applied. It however isn’t semi-gloss lume like (I believe comes on a gen 104I) but very matte in appearance.

Lume color is green and it glows well, comparable to H-maker lume on their manuals and aftermarket Superluminova re-lumed dials.

The watch on the left is my 112F lumed by The Zigmeister, the lume is almost indentical on two watches compared:

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Daylight lume on hands seems to be a little lighter and closer to creamy off white than green colour of dial lume, but that’s really hard to notice…you basically need to look for it.

Dial texture is very matte, projecting almost anthracite grey color under an angle instead of more deeper black of the genuine. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but the gen 104 I held in my hand came with more jet-black finish.

It makes the dial look dull and ‘tired’ under certain angles, not a biggie at all. This would be my only beef with this watch.

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You can notice the difference in dial finishes between the 104 and the other two watches shown below…26K and 112F:

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Dial text isn’t as crisp white as I expected it to be, it’s standard H-maker's dull grey-ish brown color the same as on 111M, 177L and 176M from H-maker. But that’s not to say it’s not good.

In closing, I really have nothing more to say about this watch at this stage. I didn’t have time to take the mov’t and dial out to check if the bezel and rehaut are following standard H-factory non-gen design or not, but that doesn’t bother me much at this stage.

The watch is simply great and at this price is a no brainer, the so called ‘ultimate 104’ from few years back would cost you at least 50% more off-the shelf and with required mods to get it closer to gen you were looking at over $650 easily.

Thanks for reading!

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Short review? It's freaking long and absolutely great!

Nice pic and great write down. Thanks for taking the time.

PS: It does not seem to be that much smaller compared to the other models.... maybe a wrist-shot to top it off? ;)

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They just keep getting better and better. Great write-up D. If that is what you call a short summary review you have outdone yourself thumbsupsmileyanim.gif

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Great review and pics, thanks for sharing! B)

I really hope this factory release a blue or anthracite dial auto PAM soon, maybe with a titanium case? That would be sweet! :)

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Good replica, for me it was perfect if there was a correct flat polished CP...

What is difference, check:

rep:

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gen CP:

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Is is possible to polish factory 7750 CP? As I remember A7750 CP is plated brass, so not possible to polish

But that is just me, "CP freak" :D

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Is is possible to polish factory 7750 CP? As I remember A7750 CP is plated brass, so not possible to polish

In this case the 'CP' is part of the minute hand. Because they used a 7750 they modified the hand with a cap to make it look like a CP. So no, polishing is out of the question.

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Thanks guys, glad you like it :)

In this case the 'CP' is part of the minute hand. Because they used a 7750 they modified the hand with a cap to make it look like a CP. So no, polishing is out of the question.

RM, not the capped minute hand this time, mate. Here's a response to this question I left on another forum yesterday:

On the cannon pin topic - I haven't taken the hands off yet as there's really no need for going inside for modding etc.

However the pin seems to follow the old-school non-chrono A7750 design, it's basically a pin attached to the flat cap on the top brushed in concentric circles. The pin is inserted into the large chrono hand hole.

To be 100% sure one would have to remove the minute hand, so if anyone's keen - let us know your findings.

These used to be made of chromed brass, so polishing the top was out of question (I unfortunately found about this when trying to polish the CP on my 064 LaBomba). The Zigmeister however, was one of the modders who was able to manufacture a replacement flat top polished CP turned from a single piece of S/S.

BTW, some of these 104I reps come with flush CP and minute hand, on some the pin protrudes a little above the hand. Easy fix anyway.

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RM, not the capped minute hand this time, mate. Here's a response to this question I left on another forum yesterday:

Ah okay. Good to know as this was not the case on the 312L. Thanks!

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I am new to rep and certainly new to PAM... trying to decide which one to get. I almost settled on the H-Factory 005M (was told N-Factory has better movement, but H is better from external. My priority is closeness to gen from outside since 005 has closed back).

Now discovered 104I V2 from H-Factory with colorless AR, can you help comment how does it compare with the 005M in terms of closeness to gen? Does it have obvious giveaway other than the CP that is discussed in this thread?

Finally, any other model that you would recommend me check out? Many thanks!

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