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WATCH REVIEW Panerai Radiomir Black Seal PAM 183

Editor's opinion
67.5 / 100
Reminiscence of historical models of Panerai, the Black Seal is a watch with enchanting simplicity, readable and well designed. Review troops.
Straight to the Point

Panerai Radiomir Black Seal

Ref.: PAM 183
$3,900.00 US retail price June 4th, 2010
  • the “cushion” shape that has been updated
  • the technical and aesthetic optimization of the movement
  • the readability of the dial
  • the winding remains a bit rough (due to the ETA/Unitas 6497-2 basis)
  • it is a pity that there is not a smaller version with a basic movement (and price)
  • no choice of colors for the dial and/or the hands
Brand Panerai
Model name
Radiomir Black Seal
PAM 183
Case material
Steel 316L
Case diameter (without crown)
45 mm
Case diameter (crown included)
49 mm
Base Caliber
ETA (ex-Unitas) 6497-2
Single-face crystal with anti-reflective coating
Power reserve
Transparent back
Lug width
26 mm
Length from lug to lug
50 mm
Case thickness
13 mm
Clasp type
Pin buckle
Clasp material
Steel 316L
Total weight
102 grammes
Retail price USA at June 4th, 2010
Comfort (/15) 13
Movement (/20) 9
Movement Optimisation / Garnishment (/5) 3
Ease of handling and adjustment (/5) 3
Movement control proceeded by the Manufacture / horlogical awards (/3) 2
Power reserve (/2) 1
Complications (/5) 0
Finishing (/20) 12
Dial finishing (/6) 4
Case finishing (/6) 4
Quality of garnishment / caseback engraving quality (/2) 1
Crystal quality (/4) 2
Clasp finishing (inner and extern) (/2) 1
Functionality (/20) 15.5
Diurnal legibility (/5) 4.5
Night legibility (/4) 4
Water resistance (/3) 1
Strap : ease of size adjustment + ease of substitution (/4) 2
Clasp : quality and safety (/4) 4
Additional items (/10) 5
Limited edition (/3) 0
Watch delivered with several straps (/2) 0
Quality of the watch box (/1) 1
Portability with shirtsleeves buttoned (/2) 2
Goodies included (/1) 1
Understandability of the brochure (/1) 1
Value for money (/15) 13
When to wear it ? For a cool walk along the riverside in Italy !
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Reminiscence of historical models of Panerai, the Black Seal is a watch with enchanting simplicity, readable and well designed. Review troops.


Just for the anecdote

In the 1940’s, some Italian partners had the mission to woo young British ladies on Mediterranean vacation.

Furrowing furtively the lanes of Alexandria or La Valette, driving a two-place scooter, the Latin wore Rolex with the shape of a cushion and that has been modified by Panerai.

The Florentine firm underlined the markers with a special luminescent paste called the Radiomir.
Essential to chronometer their performances in the smoky backrooms, the
Panerai watches have entered history thanks to these transalpine heroes.

At least, this is what Luigi told me when he entrusted me with his Radiomir Black Seal 183, to which I have to show Geneva for a few days.


A tribute to the first Panerai watch

With its “cushion” case typical of the 1930’s, a fob watch movement with its cut bridges just the way before the Second World War, and the famous sandwich dial, it is a successful tribute to those first Panerai.

As for the rough characteristic of the winding, it has to be considered as an evocation of this difficult period (and the character of its Unitas basis, closer to the Peppone tractor than to my Lancia Aurelia).

With my 16,5 cm wrist I was afraid to have to wear the watch over my cuff like the Avvocato Agnelli.
But thanks to its short handles, it settles itself quite comfortably.



An harmonious design of the case

These takedown ties allow to easily changing the strap, and gladly, because with its harmonious design that matches almost everything, the Radiomir invites to multiply it. The watch can be matched to the belt or the pumps, or other fancies.

Certo, it takes a lot of time and I had to catch the Pendolino in Milano centrale without being able to polish my shoes.
In the train’s restroom, I could check its good readability in case of absence of light and the Radiomir’s waterproof is very practical to wash your hands without being afraid to drawn your watch.

The gradation of the dial, every five minutes, is largely enough to check the Cisalpino’s punctuality and the cooking of pasta is determined by touching them with the fork.
Perfetto thus.

Meticulously polished, the case allows us to mirror ourselves and to arrange our hair discreetly…
Ah ! I have to leave you : a signor wearing a uniform is observing my wrist.

– No Sir, it is a brand with an Italian name but it is a Swiss brand and I am going to Switzerland, so it is not parallel importation… I can assure you, this watch has nothing to do with Italy !

More informations about the brand: Discover Panerai watches

Further Information
  • journalist’s wrist size = 16,5 cm

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