Panerai releasing the PAM914 is like the Rolling Stones playing “Satisfaction.” It was just an undeniably dead-center kind of watch, the one you might have sent out to space to represent Panerai to aliens. It’s the Panerai that didn’t have some feature you wished was or wasn’t there. Here’s why this watch is the perfect Panera.
For me, the Searambler is the weirdest Doxa of them all—less sporty than orange or black, and totally ready for bare chested-Dads of the 1970s. The Searambler is the watch for men who smoked cigarettes with their wetsuits tied around their waist as they discussed the next dive plan. The Searambler is the watch stuck in a drawer in a lakeside cabin in northern Michigan ready to be discovered by some yet-unborn great-grandchild who will hold it as a genuine antique, a lost family heirloom this great-grandchild may see on his great-grandfather’s wrist in a faded Kodachrome photograph in a shoe box. In this hypothetical photograph, grandad has a cigarette in one hand and the backside of his bikini-clad wife (that’s great grandma?!) in the other. Their carefree smiles and sun-burnt skin suggest a pre-apocalyptic moment when hope and happiness weren’t so rare—a mid-century moment when technology was still a good and simple, not some self-taught AI unleashed to consume its maker. The SUB 300 Searambler is a watch a man could wear while water-skiing without a life preserver, maybe even with a beer in one hand.
I take a look down at the Seiko 6309 Turtle, the lume long since faded. I turn the Seiko towards a window. I am almost in complete darkness, my camera seeing more than I can. The Seiko’s bezel indicates that my hour is almost up. I retrace my steps from empty room to empty room and find our fixer and our driver smoking cigarettes at the entrance to the hospital.
One of the problems I often have with two-piece watch cases this thick is that the sides can be super boring or, as the kids say, “slab sided.” The 40mm Broadsword case is 11.9mm tall, which is the exact same height as Tudor’s Black Bay 58, a watch I don’t buy precisely because the thing is so “slab-sided.” (The new BB54 is better, I hear, but I digress.) The Broadsword case is simply not slab-sided. It’s actually quite elegant and interesting.
The Sector GMT features a twenty-four-hour hand and scale in a clearly delineated sector on the dial. That scale is raised by a step and I was delighted by the legibility of the second time zone. This is in sharp contrast to the more common long GMT hand stretching to the bezel. I finally understood the sector design advantage. The chapter ring subtly breaks up the six AM/PM with a light blue that matches the GMT hand. It’s a remarkably legible design.
I feel lost these days considering a dive watch costing $575. Seiko had been my benchmark; alas, no longer. As the 2020s roll on, Seiko divers have gone up in cost, if not quality, while random Chinese brands are making better Seikos for $179 than Seiko makes for $900. Now in the $500-range, we’ve got Bulova, Timex, Lorier, Vaer, Vero, Yema, Benrus, Vero, Boldr, Unimatic, Raven, and, yes, Nodus to choose from, among many others. At one time when suggesting a cheap diver, all you had to say was. “Just get an SKX007,” and now I feel like you need to lay out a massive road map and begin plotting a course through late capitalism itself.
I can’t think of another serious watch brand—Swiss, nonetheless—of which one can genuinely—that is, without Irony—say: Fucking brilliant, mate…really taking the piss. And it is certainly elevating my foul mood to be awash in thoughts of Moser on this shit morning. This is what I turn to watches for, exactly. I aspire to be as unlike the inhabitants of Hollywood as possible. I’m a dyed-in-the-wool East Coast Aesthete, high-minded and always a little angry at the world for not being as smart as I think I am. I enjoy the illusion that I am an independent thinker, and so when I see something like this Moser Perpetual Calendar awaiting judgment on my desk, I smile knowing that this watch is not going to insult my intelligence, and that it may even challenge it.
If you’re browsing hands-on reviews and considering this watch, I hope you’ll side with me in declaring this Oris 473 as decidedly not following a trend, but Going It’s Own Way, as the Oris creed dictates.
The reference 4073 is effectively a second generation descendant of early Calatrava-style wrist watches from Vacheron Constantin. The first generation began to appear in the 1930s as the company began to work with Jaeger LeCoultre base movements in order to serially produce more modern wrist watches for a changing market. Those earlier references that predate the 4073 include the 2871 and a few models that are not clearly specified by reference numbers. The 4073 began production sometime in the early to mid 1940s.
Has Rolex evolved into a brand that’s For Exhibition Only” And what if Rolex no longer made physical watches? Could this be the future of global luxury brands in the centuries to come?