Jump to content
takashi

Panerai Luminor North Pole GMT PAM252 Review

Recommended Posts

I wrote this just last week, I consolidated everything and changes made. I hope you guys like it.

Preface

This is a start of my review of the week article. I will try my best to write at least 1 replica watch review per week from now onwards ;) Please take note that the watches are obtained with my own money (no sponsorship, etc.), unless otherwise stated.

I hope you will find this review useful. Without further ado, let's start with this week review of Panerai Luminor North Pole GMT PAM252.

About the watch

The genuine:

This watch is a limited production run of 500 pieces in the year 2006 (I series) by Officine Panerai. It is to commemorate a successful North Pole expedition by Mike Horn. Like many other Panerai watches, this watch has become one of the collectible watches in modern Panerai history. The genuine is powered by OP Cal. VIII which basically is an ETA7750 with date and GMT complication.

The replica:

This watch was released many months ago. Prototype pictures emerged as early as after Chinese New Year last year (after HBB craze). At this point of time, PAM186 GMT was the more popular choice among rep buyers. There exists another version of this replica PAM252GMT which uses the same case as old PAM186 GMT with a much pronounced electric blue dial. From what I can see, the older version is not really good and has many flaws as compared to the genuine article. In other words, this is the best and most recent PAM252GMT you can find on the market. It's powered by Asian 7750 hi beat rate with GMT and date complications too.

Technical Details on the Replica:

Watch name: Officine Panerai Luminor North Pole GMT PAM252

Diameter: ~44mm

Movement: Asian 7750 28,800 bph + settable 24 hours GMT function

Case: Stainless Steel brushed, solid caseback.

Crown: Stainless Steel polished

CG: Stainless Steel brushed

Crystal: Sapphire with single sided AR coating. Cyclop is also AR coated.

Dial: Dark Cobalt Blue, matte

Bezel: Brushed with polished NSWE markers, 60 clicks

Strap: Rubber

Clasp: Deployant buckle

Based on the specification, the watch looks really not bad. In terms of functionality, it works like as it should be.

The main attraction of this watch is ,in my opinion, the dial. It has really an attractive dark matte blue colour. I have read someone called it "cobalt blue" which I have to agree. Sometimes it looks very dark and you can mistake it as dark grey/black colour. I can attest to this claim that the watch comes indeed with dark blue dial, a very attractive one. Although the AR coating is not very strong on this model, it helps to reduce reflection on the dial and datewheel. It's definitely a big improvement as compared to old PAM186GMT replica or old PAM252GMT replica.

The datewheel has a black background and correct bold white numbers on it. The magnification looks very good on this model, something that can't be found out of the box in older version of this model. The readability of this watch is very good. It has uncluttered design despite the presence of extra GMT hands. Surprisingly, I like the contrast much better than let say on PAM089. The silver hands go well together with the dark blue dial. The presence of C3 coloured lume blends very well too. However, the lume is as expected. It has standard replica lume (i.e.: average). It's brighter than the older PAM186GMT replica and some other Panerai reps but this is nowhere near the genuine C3 Superluminova.

The bezel has a solid 60 clicks. It centres properly and doesn't wobble. The cut of bezel teeth as well as the markers are done very well.

Crown guard and crown aren't that bad either. The crown is pretty well made on this piece. The CG is also good. However, you can notice that there is a little bit of gap at the end of the tip of half moon shaped CG, joining the CG and the case. It's not a huge problem and can be fixed with sanding it. The edge of the crown guard is cut very well. Sharp but won't cause injury. It doesn't dig into the skin too :)

The case and the caseback are also very well made on this piece. It's infact one of the best around in rep Panerai world. Engraving is very nice on the caseback and pretty accurate to the genuine. I have seen the genuine caseback, the polished part is very accurate but the BB number should be located just above the serial number (I009/500), not beside it. It doesn't have spelling mistake anymore like in the case of old PAM252/186 (Cape Arcticooky). Here it has correct polished and brushed parts as well as correct spelling (Cape Arctichesky).

The strap is not bad at all. It is of different quality than old replica Panerai rubber strap. This one doesn't attract dust and softer than the old rep rubber strap. The deployant locks the strap perfectly and pretty easy to operate too. This is a Panerai model which I think looks best on rubber strap, so I will leave it as it is.

Conclusion

In terms of price/performance of this watch, it is close to unbeatable. The movement is so far so good, winds pretty smoothly with accuracy of +10 secs a day when worn on the wrist. The watch is totally well replicated. Very minimal flaws, I must say. Wearing it on the wrist generates quite a lot of presence. Well, it's gotta do with Panerai, I think ;) It's very comfortable on the wrist too. You can tell that this is an "expensive" watch even without knowing the brand. I can highly recommend you to get this watch (before it gets discontinued :p). You never know...

Eyecandy

P6052133.jpg

P6052152.jpg

P6052179.jpg

P6052206.jpg

P6052263.jpg

P6052282.jpg

P6052296.jpg

P6052345.jpg

P6052366.jpg

P6052374.jpg

P6052433.jpg

P6052454.jpg

P6052469.jpg

P6052481.jpg

P6052518.jpg

Purchased from: Off RWG-Board Dealer, June 2008

Results:

Strap and clasp: (max. 10 points)

The watch comes with latest rubber 24mm replica rubber strap. I have compared it with various older replica Panerai rubber straps. This is indeed very good. It has butter soft feeling, doesn't attract dust, smells good and has a gen feeling on it. The butterfly clasp/double deployant needs further refinement nonetheless. Genuine Panerai deployant has higher quality finishing. The rep is not bad, it has no sharp parts. As a bonus, the screws on the lug are very good. Not stripped and possibility to change it to aftermarket spring bar (River's) is there.

9

Operation: (10)

It has GMT function which is adjustable, crown guard works perfectly to keep crown in place. Setting time and date is not a problem at all. Hack function is available on this model. The crown has butter smooth feeling when manually winding the movement. Flappy CG lever may be a minus point here.

8

Case: (10)

Very well made case, sharply cut and well define just like the genuine article. Caseback engraving is done very well too without "unfinished" part. Engraving looks deep enough. Just like gen, markers are glued to the bezel. I don't think it will fall off easily. I tried to remove the markers, to no avail. CG needs some refinement nonetheless (there is a little gap between CG and case, barely noticable).

8

Design: (15)

Unmistakably Panerai. You can't go wrong with this watch if you like a unique and distinctive design. It's a big watch but I am sure most readers will be able to wear this watch. Sometimes, thickness may posses a concern if you are wearing suit. But hey, this is a sport watch :)

13

Legibility: (10)

After reluming, I will give it full mark but stock lume on this rep is not good at all (i.e.: mediocre). Sometimes there is a possibility to mistake the GMT hand with minute hand. They are using the same hand colour.

8

Wearing comfort: (15)

This is one of the comfortable and well balanced watches. The rubber straps + deployant buckle are a good combo for this watch. Tried it with a pair of calf strap on a tongue buckle, not as good feeling as stock rubber. Not too heavy/too light.

13

Movement: (20)

Well... Asian 7750 Hi Beat rate with GMT complication. By default, it's 10 secs fast a day. Now I brought it down to 3secs fast a day. Not bad for a fresh movement. While reluming, I have a chance to take a peep at the movement. Rotor is decorated with "stickers". Not a good one here. Swapped the rotor to genuine ETA7750. Winding feels much smoother now. But parts appears to be clean under 10x loupe.

15

Overall value: (10)

Got it at wholesale price which is perfect. If you get it however at "street price", this is still worth quite a lot. I don't think resale price is gonna drop a lot on this model too. Just be aware that this model has been released for quite some time, it MAY get discontinued.

8

Total: 82/100

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Forgot to add 1 picture. This one is after hands reluming, original lume just looks like on the dial:

P6072603.jpg

The colour is a spot on C3 Superluminova.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Much appreciated Taka. This is one I have been holding out for. It is the Blue Dial Panerai my collection is lacking.

Thanks for taking the time and for sharing with us :thumbsupsmileyanim:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Taka,

Superb Review....

Thank You...

Nice to to see you over here more! ;)

Great Job as usual...

-MM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great review. I saw a pic of this one when you posted it somewhere else, and thought to myself: "Hey, taka has a great looking 252 that looks better than the one I used to".

A bit on a side note, do you think a complete handset from DSN (with the much better and smaller GMT hand) could be installed in this beauty? That plus an AR and complete lume job could make a killer PAM.

Cheers Taka!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the GMT hand is compatible on this piece too in terms on pole size. However, I compared the hand with PAM089, it's definitely smaller on this piece.

Glad that you like it ;) Another review will come late this week. Consolidating data first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great review my friend ... impressive watch my colleague here has the same one for a month now and i keep staring at it ;)

Thx for taking ure time to write this down ...

Regards Laz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the nice review. This one has been on my list for quite some time... whenever I' was ready to pull the trigger, some new release got in the way... %&#@!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with you chub... I am glad that finally I decided I must have this watch. Should have gotten it much earlier. It really is an excellent replica.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

deep bow Taka for your time and effort, great review, see ya saturday ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you very much - I love reading new reviews - very nice with some positive attitude these days

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Taka - nice review.

Do you mind if I ask you whether this bezel has the same issue as the ultimate pam 092 bezel - in that the N S E W indices falls off after some time?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Taka for the review of this wonderfull piece :wub: :wub:

If i would buy another rep Pam it will be this one or a 202a

Regards

GM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks a lot for your compliments ;) Glad that you like this write up.

Anyway, the markers are fine. I used a toothpick and the tip of a screwdriver to dig out the markers (thinking to reglue them) but to no avail. It seems to be sticked really well to the bezel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

wonderful but.... where can we buy this one? U just mention an .. ''off board dealer''... Any...''on-board's'' ? B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent review.. I might consider getting it if it is that good..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Somehow I completely missed this great review. Lucky for me not only I had the opportunity to have this beautiful watch on my wrist, we also had the opportunity to compare it with a gen on the watch trade market.

On the gen the subdial is slightly more recessed, but only noticeabel when you have rep and gen next to each other. Also the date font on the gen is slighly bolder. The blue is highly accurate.

Too bad I didn't pay attention to see if there were differences in hand sizes/shapes, but it can't be very different or I would have noticed it.

All in all I think this rep is one of the most accurate out of the box PAMs on the market.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree with scoobs :) The hand sizes don't differ much or maybe exactly the same (i.e.: unnoticable IMHO). The GMT hand on this piece also has spot on length (this one I notice properly).

You can buy one in practically all on-board dealer. Some described it as having black dial and looks black on their picture. Let me assure you, they are not. It's definitely dark cobalt blue. At some angle, yes it can appear like black... Hmmm I should say it's like PAM036 old case model. The dial sometimes looks like black instead of dark tabac brown.

I will get V's CG on this one and it will be very very very close to the gen. And the datewheel, I agree it can be improved further, a bit bolder but not too much. I have seen many replacement DW which is an overkill (too bold).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Taka,

That is for sure one of the best review I've seen lately.

Seems like SD4K and yourself are making other pictorials or reviews looking like drafts now :(

Thanks a lot for this.

Cheers

Stephane

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent write up again my friend!

I have to say, this watch is even nicer in person. It has a feel of quality to it.

BTW, the orientation marks on the bezel can be used to simulate a compass.

You can use a watch to find the north direction if you lost your compass. Just make the hour hand point straight at the sun. Half the angle between hourhand and the 12 o

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

×