The Bronzo Returns! could be the title of a Marvel or DC Comics episode. But we’re talking watches here. In 2011, Panerai introduced the first Bronzo to us, the reference PAM00382. Only 1000 pieces were produced and all sold within a blink of the eye. Paneristi who were able to buy one, were (are) very happy. In 2013, Panerai did one more with the PAM 507. This year, Panerai introduces another bronzo. The PAM 671 Luminor Submersible 1950, with a blue glossy dial and P.9010 calibre movement.
Today, the PAM00382 is offered on the pre-owned market between 28.000 and 35.000 Euro. The same goes for the PAM 507 (which featured a power reserve indicator). To give you an idea about the demand for this watch. There isn’t any advantage for Panerai in that, but the management must have thought that a new bronzo will bring some fuss about the watch (and brand). Where the green dial version gave the watch this military look, the glossy blue dial of the new PAM 671 makes it definitely different from its predecessor. I would rather say it is the more dressy timepiece of the two, or perhaps ‘luxury’ even comes to mind. If the dial would be matte blue, the watch would have a more ‘tool watch’ appearance I think. I am not sure what Panerai had in mind to be honest, when giving Bronzo III this glossy dial. It does look good though, it is just a matter of preference if you like it better (or not) than the PAM 382.
Besides the dial, the main difference is in the movement. Where the PAM 382 Bronzo used the in-house developed Panerai calibre P.9000 (PAM 507 used P.9002 but had an extra complication), this new PAM 671 uses the updated version: Panerai calibre P.9010. This movement is slimmer than the P.9000 (6mm thick instead of 7.9mm). It also consists of a few more components, 200 instead of 197. Besides being slimmer, the balance-wheel is now also attached to a double bridge to ensure more stability of the balance-wheel and a better accuracy.
Panerai wasn’t the first to use bronze for a wrist watch, it is said that the Gérald Genta – now Bvlgari – Gefica was the first, in 1988. Others followed, like Anonimo, IWC, Oris, Archimedes, Zenith, Tudor, Pinion, IWC and Aquadive for example. It is an interesting material that will gain quite some patina, with a uniqueness to it due to the response of the material to your skin, water, air and a lot of other factors. A brand new bronze piece, like this PAM 671 that was only used at the SIHH show, looks like a bit of dark gold though. That will soon change, when you put the watch on your wrist and wear it for a couple of days. That fast!
During our visit to the Officine Panerai Manufacture in Neuchâtel (click here to read it), we saw how much effort Panerai puts in experimenting and developing new materials for their watches. Hence the new BMG-Tech model that we will review later on. This new metal consists of different alloys and result in a durable, smooth (as glass) and light-weight material. We are happy to see that Panerai doesn’t get too techie though, and still creates watches in steel, gold, titanium and bronze.
From what I’ve seen and heard, there’s already a high demand for Panerai’s 3rd bronze model, the PAM 671. Already during the SIHH I noticed some people around me getting nervous and want one. On forums we read that the new Bronzo has been received very well, also amongst Paneristis. The price tag of 14.000 Euro is more attractive than the pre-owned market prices of the PAM 382 and PAM 507. It is limited to 1000 pieces only, that will make some people cringe a bit perhaps. You will find your share of ‘flippers’ try to get at least one at retail and immediately put it on Chrono24 or other market places, to make a quick buck. Hopefully most of them will go to the collectors and Paneristis, that will truly enjoy these pieces without having to pay twice the retail price. This remains to be a difficult thing of course, as authorized dealers have long waiting lists for this model already. Besides that, you can fairly trust that authorized dealers that get one or more of them allocated, will sell first to their best clients (and those who are willing to spend a bit more on some extra models in order to get this one). Fingers crossed.
Just like the two previous bronzos, this 47mm Luminor Submersible probably won’t fit everyone’s wrist. For that, Panerai came up with the new 42mm versions of the Submersible. However, those are not in bronze (yet). Thew new Bronzo PAM 671 looks simply stunning in my opinion. I prefer the green dial myself, but the blue dial looks good as well. The hour markers, hands and printing on dial and date disc look well-balanced and match nicely with the bronze case material. The case back is made of titanium and allows you to look at the Panerai calibre P.9010. A beautiful finished movement and one that performs well within COSC specifications. Panerai does severe testing on the influence of magnetism and shocks, so let’s assume that is taken care of as well (they don’t communicate on this, as we’ve explained before).
The list price of 14.000 Euro is a lot cheaper than getting one from the pre-owned market, but it is still more than the 9.600 Euro of the previous Bronzo (PAM00507) of 2013. I am not sure how this mark-up can be justified aside from the slimmer movement (and thus case), especially in the times we are in. I guess here is where Panerai relies on the fact that people want it anyway, given the prices of the PAM 382 and PAM 507 on the market. The watch is beautiful though, I am sure they are gone in a second. Delivery expected in August 2017.
More information via Panerai on-line.
Ever since he was a young child, Robert-Jan was drawn to watches, even though it were digital Casio and quartz Swatch models at the time. In the mid-1990s, his interest increased when he started to read about mechanical watches in... read more