WATCHES THAT STAND THE TEST OF TIME
http://www.thewatchbox.com To true believers, the legend of the PAM 203 requires no introduction. But new arrivals to the Paneristi ranks deserve to know the score; within the PAM 203 beats the heart of a true champion, the Angelus SF 240. An honest-to-God vintage eight-day movement from the heyday of Panerai combat divers in the 1950s, the Angelus is the centerpiece of the PAM 203. During the early NATO era, postwar Panerai was looking for a successor to its long-running Rolex/Cortebert pocket watch movements. In the interests of minimizing wear on the winding stem and its critical water seals, Panerai selected the Swiss Angelus SF 240 eight-day desk clock movement as the anchor of its new "6152" case, ancestor of the modern day Luminor. The combination of the new case and long-legged movement created an instant icon. While few were produced, the rarity of the case/movement combo only amplified the watch's allure to future collectors. In the mid-90s, as Panerai emerged from Cold War obscurity to test the waters of the luxury watch market, the firm purchase 200 new-old-stock vintage Angelus movements. And in 2005, 150 of those scarce gems were restored, updated, finished, and housed in as many Luminor Marina 1950 PAM 203 limited edition timepieces. While the price was relatively high - about $19,000 - the true barrier to entry was scarcity and standing. And by standing, we mean personal standing with Angelo Bonati, CEO of Officine Panerai. With only 150 PAM 203s available, only "friends" of the brand had a realistic shot at the reborn Angelus. And then the aftermarket took charge. By the end of 2005, PAM 203 prices hit six figures, and they've never fallen below the high five-figure range. This Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 PAM 203 represents one of the most complete and factory-fresh examples on the market today. While these watches rarely reach the open market and tend to trade between collectors. thewatchbox.com's status as a recognized authority in collectible Panerai has allowed us to offer this example from a connoisseur's collection. Available with all Panerai limited edition accessories, boxes, papers, books, manuals, alternate strap, and jeweler's tool, the boxed set associated with this watch is bigger and packed with more goodies than a Costco. Video and content by Tim Mosso.