Panerai Radiomir Black Seal PAM609 Review and Ultimate Buying Guide

To the untrained eye, most Panerai watches look so similar to each other that it can initially be somewhat challenging to spot all of the differences. However, once you’re familiar with the Panerai brand, you’ll notice that each model brings something different to the table while still retaining that bold Panerai aesthetic that has made […] The post Panerai Radiomir Black Seal PAM609 Review and Ultimate Buying Guide appeared first on Bob's Watches.

Panerai Radiomir Black Seal PAM609 Review and Ultimate Buying Guide

To the untrained eye, most Panerai watches look so similar to each other that it can initially be somewhat challenging to spot all of the differences. However, once you’re familiar with the Panerai brand, you’ll notice that each model brings something different to the table while still retaining that bold Panerai aesthetic that has made the company so famous.

When it comes to the Panerai Radiomir Black Seal, that same trained eye is needed to distinguish all of the unique characteristics of the PAM609, from its special dial features like the ‘Black Seal’ signature, to its impressive manual-wind movement that boasts a whopping 8-day power reserve that you can view through the sapphire crystal caseback. With a history tracing back to the very first Radiomir watches made for the Italian Navy in the 1930s, the Black Seal continues Panerai’s modern tradition of honoring the past and nodding to the future by pairing heritage-inspired design with modern watchmaking standards. Below, we take a closer look at this noteworthy Panerai and how it sets the bar so high for a relatively entry-level model.

Panerai Radiomir Black Seal 8 Days

Radiomir Black Seal PAM00609 Key Features:

– Reference Number: PAM00609

– Case Size: 45mm

– Materials: Stainless Steel

– Functions: Time w/ Running Seconds; 8-Day (192 hours) Power Reserve

– Dial: Black ‘Sandwich’ Dial w/ Luminous Hour Markers

– Crystal: Sapphire (Domed)

– Water Resistance: 100 Meters / 330 Feet

– Movement: Panerai Caliber P.5000 (Manual Wind)

– Strap/Bracelet: Tapered Brown Gold Calf Monte Carlo Leather w/ Contrast Stitching

– Retail Price: $6,000 USD

Click here for our Ultimate Buying Guide on Panerai watches.

Panerai Radiomir Black Seal 8 Days PAM609

A Brief History of the Radiomir Black Seal 8 Days

The Radiomir was the first watch created by Panerai way back in 1936 for the Royal Italian Navy during World War II, and the Radiomir Black Seal 8 Days plays on the company’s long tradition of creating watches that are inspired by its history. In fact, the “Black Seal” label on the dial is a tribute to the Italian Royal Navy’s frogmen, also known as the elite combat divers, the “Gamma Group.”

In 2004, Panerai launched the first Radiomir Black Seal PAM183 – inspired by the original Radiomir 3646 – with a 45mm (as opposed to the traditional, larger 47mm diameter) cushion case and the ‘Black Seal’ logo located at 12-o’clock. Over the years, the ‘Black Seal’ saw many dial changes, eventually landing on details like moving the ‘Black Seal’ logo to 6-o’clock and upgrading the movement to the Cal. P.5000 with an 8-day power reserve as opposed to the original 36-hours offered by the inaugural model.

Panerai Radiomir Black Seal 8 Days PAM00609 PAM609

The Design Of The Panerai Radiomir Black Seal 8 Days

The Panerai Radiomir Black Seal 8 Days PAM609 sports a 45mm stainless steel case in the familiar Radiomir silhouette – a cushion-case shape with wire lugs, no crown guards, and an oversized turnip-style winding crown. However, despite its large diameter, the PAM609 is relatively slim for Panerai standards and sits comfortably on the wrist with a rather low profile.

As with most Panerai watches, the Radiomir Black Seal 8 Days houses a stark black dial with oversized and luminescent Arabic numerals and sticks. This particular version has a “sandwich dial” – a style of dial that is constructed in layers, where the bottom layer includes the luminous material and the top layer features cut-out indexes to display the luminescence below.

The Radiomir Black Seal PAM609 is what is referred to as a “Marina model” in Panerai parlance, which essentially means that there is a running seconds sub-dial at 9 o’clock. In contrast, the PAM609’s sibling reference, the PAM610 is a “base model,” which means that it only includes the centrally-mounted hour and minute hands.

Completing the look of the Panerai Radiomir Black Seal 8 Days PAM609 is a beautiful brown leather strap, accented with contrasting stitching. The strap tapers slightly to meet the large stainless steel tang buckle, which is engraved with the Panerai name. Also of note are the removable wire lug strap attachments, which are patented by Panerai.

Panerai Radiomir Black Seal 8 Days PAM00609 Caliber 5000 Movement

The Panerai Radiomir Black Seal 8 Days Movement

Turn the Panerai Radiomir Black Seal 8 Days PAM609 around, and you’ll be greeted with a sapphire display case-back. Peer through the window and you will have an unobstructed view of the manually-wound, in-house Caliber P.5000 movement with 21 jewels and operating at a speed of 21,600 beats per hour.

Introduced in 2013, and only previously used in the Luminor line of watches, the Cal. P.5000 movement utilizes two mainspring barrels to achieve an 8-day (192 hours) power reserve (as the name of the watch might suggest), which echoes the vintage Panerai dive watches that were made for the Italian Navy about 70 years ago – note the engraving of, “OFFICINE PANERAI – 100M – STAINLESS STEEL – FIRENZE 1860,” hallmarks, too.

With an official retail price of $6,000 USD, the Radiomir Black Seal 8 Days PAM609 is among the more affordable Panerai models currently available. Although the PAM609 is considered an entry-level Panerai watch, you get plenty of value with this particular model. Along with the unmistakable and iconic Panerai aesthetic, you also get an in-house movement and a power reserve that lasts for more than an entire week. All told, that all makes for a value proposition that’s hard to beat.

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The History of Tudor Watches

Founded in 1926, Tudor is probably best known for being the sibling company of Rolex: the single most famous luxury brand in the entire world. Rolex’s founder, Hans Wilsdorf originally created Tudor watches to be the more affordable alternatives to those made by Rolex, and the two brands have an unusual and intertwined history that dates back nearly […] The post The History of Tudor Watches appeared first on Bob's Watches.

The History of Tudor Watches

Founded in 1926, Tudor is probably best known for being the sibling company of Rolex: the single most famous luxury brand in the entire world. Rolex’s founder, Hans Wilsdorf originally created Tudor watches to be the more affordable alternatives to those made by Rolex, and the two brands have an unusual and intertwined history that dates back nearly an entire century to the very earliest days of the Tudor company name. However, following Tudor’s global relaunch in 2009, many new collectors are starting to take note of this historic Swiss watch manufacturer and Tudor has finally stepped out of Rolex’s shadow, cultivating a new generation of passionate collectors in the process.

The Tudor brand as we know it today is drastically different from the one that has existed for most of history. In fact, Tudor stopped selling watches entirely to the United States during the early 2000s and only resumed selling to the American market in 2013. Additionally, a big part of the reason why Tudor was able to succeed during its early years was that it was able to use Rolex’s waterproof Oyster case, which allowed buyers to have access to Rolex’s legendary durability at a more affordable price point. However, the modern Tudor company no longer relies on its ties to Rolex and it now even produces its own in-house movements, further bringing it out of Rolex’s shadow and making the gap between these two companies closer than ever before. To fully appreciate Tudor is to understand its history, so below we are taking a look at the complete history of Tudor watches.

About Tudor Watches

Tudor Watches Key Facts:

– Founded in 1926.

– Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

– Established by Hans Wilsdorf (Rolex Founder).

– Owned by Rolex.

– Originally created as the more affordable alternative to Rolex.

– Supplied watches to the US Navy and French Marine Nationale.

– Used in the British scientific expedition to Greenland.

– Brand was relaunched in 2009.

– Started producing in-house movements in 2016.

Click here to learn more about the history of Tudor watches.

Rolex’s More Affordable Sibling Company

Within the high fashion world, it is rather common for big brand names to offer secondary lines (aka diffusion lines) with more accessible price points and a younger vibe. It’s a way to market designer wares to a mass audience without tarnishing the appeal of the signature line. Think Giorgio Armani’s Emporio Armani, Ralph Lauren’s Polo Ralph Lauren, or Paul Smith’s PS by Paul Smith.

This approach is not common in the luxury watch world (although, frankly, it should be), yet there is one very notable example: Rolex’s Tudor. In fact, Rolex’s founder, Hans Wilsdorf was very explicit that the purpose of the Tudor watch company was about “making a watch that our agents could sell at a more modest price than our Rolex watches, and yet one that would attain the standard of dependability for which Rolex is famous.” Textbook diffusion line strategy.

If you follow the luxury watch industry at all, you will have no doubt noticed that Tudor watches are having a moment, especially in the U.S. market. But it wasn’t always this way. Let’s look back at the history of Tudor watches to uncover their origins, evolution, and current standing.

History Tudor Black Bay S&G

The Early Years Of Tudor Watches

In 1926, Swiss watchmaker Veuve de Philippe Hüther (which means “Widow of Philippe Hüther” since the wife took over after her husband died) trademarked the name “The Tudor” and Hans Wilsdorf struck a deal for the exclusive rights to the name.

By 1932, the first Tudor signed watches made their appearance and were sent to the Australian market. The watches were rectangular in shape with beveled edges. Some pieces even included the Rolex name along with Tudor on the dial to make the association clear. Some dials also included the name “Catanach’s” – one of Australia’s oldest jewelers and a retailer of Tudor watches during that time.

Encouraged by the brand’s potential, Hans Wilsdorf acquired “The Tudor” name from Veuve de Philippe Hüther in 1936. And as a marketing man, he added the famed Tudor Rose inside a shield to the logo (the traditional floral symbol of England derived from the emblem of the Royal House of Tudor) to spruce things up.

After WWII, Hans Wilsdorf created the “Montres TUDOR S.A.” company in 1946, with the understanding that Rolex would play a big part in the company’s manufacturing and distribution. This relationship between the two brands explains the parallels between the watches Rolex and Tudor released throughout their respective histories.

Tudor Watches History Tudor Black Bay 36

Tudor Gains Momentum In The Mid-20th-Century

Under the new Montres Tudor banner and armed with a refreshed rose logo sans shield, the company released a slew of new watch models starting in the mid-20th Century. The waterproof and automatic Tudor Oyster Prince made its debut in 1952, and the Tudor Oyster Prince Submariner dive watch joined the catalog in 1955. The Tudor Advisor alarm watch and ultra-slim Tudor Oysterthin soon followed in 1957.

The sixties and seventies saw the arrival of the Tudor Oyster Prince Ranger (1967), the Oyster Prince Date+Day (1969), the manual Tudor Oysterdate chronograph (1970), and the self-winding Tudor Oysterdate “Automatic Chrono Time” chronographs (1976). It’s also important to note that in 1969, Tudor redesigned the face of the Oyster Prince Submariner dive watches to include large square-shaped luminous hour markers and matching square-tipped hour hands – these specific Tudor hands are collectively known as “Snowflake hands” today.

When Tudor celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1996, the company decided it was high time to shed Rolex signed components (such as cases, winding crowns, and bracelets) in favor of Tudor branded ones. The 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s saw Tudor add more models to its already established collections. However, perhaps due to less-than-stellar sales and brand equity, sometime in the late 1990s/early 2000s, Tudor watches stopped being sold in the American (and other) markets.

History Tudor Pelagos Blue Dial

The Rebirth Of Tudor Watches

Refreshed, rebranded, and refocused, Tudor announced its return to U.S. shores in 2013 – and what a return it has been! As they say, timing is everything, and Tudor’s value-driven proposition (while still having the illustrious Rolex name attached to it) fits perfectly into today’s booming watch enthusiast culture.

The majority of modern Tudor watches draw design cues from their archives but have been updated with larger cases, in-house movements, and contemporary materials. They take the best parts of Tudor’s history and repackage them for the modern watch fan at prices that are not cheap per se, but certainly reachable.

The most popular collections of the current Tudor lineup include the Black Bay, the Pelagos, the North Flag, and the Heritage. The Black Bay flaunts its vintage dive watch vibes more overtly, while the Pelagos leans more towards modern dive watch designs. The modern North Flag adventurer’s watch takes its name from the 1952 British North Greenland Expedition where 25 men were issued Oyster Prince watches; however, its design comes from vintage Tudor Ranger II watches. And as its name implies, the Heritage collection houses faithful reissues of vintage Tudor timepieces such as the Heritage Chrono, the Heritage Ranger, and the Heritage Advisor.

We love a good comeback story and Tudor’s tale is as good as any.

Tudor History Black Bay Burgundy Bezel ETA Movement

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