In the year 2010, Officine Panerai honored its Chinese-language “Paneristi” with a special tribute: the 1,500-piece Panerai Luminor Marina PAM 366. Better known to collectors globally as the Panerai 福 (“Fu”), this 44mm stainless steel Panerai Luminor Marina derives its name from the signature character – an auspicious symbol – on the classic Panerai “sandwich” dial.
In Chinese culture, 福 (“Fu”) is a broad notion of a life well-lived, a fortunate existence, a virtuous value system, and good times to come. While it may not carry an immediate relevance to Western Paneristi, the positive overtone of “Fu” is universally appealing. After all, who couldn’t use a little 福 now and then?
Panerai outfits the Luminor Marina PAM 366 with a refined black calf leather strap and a polished Panerai pin buckle. The strap gains definition and visual presence by means of tapering bolstered shoulders and a contrasting off-white stitching.
The 44mm polished stainless steel case and bezel frame the PAM 366’s centerpiece: the “Fu” dial. Colloquially, this dial could be described as a “Fu sandwich” due to its traditional Panerai construction method. A stenciled disc bearing the indices, numerals, and character of the dial is superimposed overs a fully-painted luminescent disc. The result is brilliant nighttime luminescence of all dial features.
For good measure, the Super LumiNova luminescent paint of the dial has been tinted an off-white color that matches the stitching of the strap. Both elements evoke the aged radium tones characteristic of vintage Italian Navy Panerai combat watches from the mid-twentieth century. Black oxidized hour and minute hands minimize the visual obstruction of these elements without impeding the legibility of the time.
Within the 44mm Panerai Luminor case, the PAM 366 福 employs Panerai’s tried-and-true Caliber OP II based on the Unitas 6497 manual-wind movement. In the spirit of the original Panerai amphibious warfare watches, which were built by Rolex and fitted with third-party pocket watch movements, the Unitas 6497/OP II is a true pocket watch caliber. Its 56-hour power reserve offers substantially more autonomy than the 42-hour industry standard.
The OP II is a COSC-certified Swiss Chronometer, features hacking seconds for precise synchronization to a reference time, and it employs a swan’s neck fine regulator to prevent shock-induced timing error.
See this unique and 福-inspired Panerai Luminor Marina PAM 366 福 (“Fu”) in high-resolution images on www.watchuwant.com.