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Panerai Luminor Marina Titanium PAM 118 Luxury Watch Review

http://www.thewatchbox.com The Panerai Luminor Marina Titanium PAM 118 comes fully loaded. No, it's not a complication, and it hasn't sacrificed the storied "tool watch" simplicity of the combat-bred originals. Rather, the PAM 118 embodies every quality that has stoked enthusiast ardor for the brand: it's a poster boy for Firenze's best. As part of a short-lived 2002-2003 model run, the PAM 118 is a coveted collectible Panerai Luminor that's already being hailed by the Paneristi faithful as a modern classic of the brand. Start with the style. Panerai combines a killer combination of titanium and tobacco dial first tested on the Luminor Marina PAM 36 of 1998. Like that legendary limited edition, the PAM 118 employs the brushed variant of titanium with a bezel to match. Delightfully understated in its matte tones yet masculine in its latent strength, the titanium Panerai Luminor PAM 118 reminds us that "dude" and "subdued" are mutually inclusive. Add a rich brown alligator leather strap with contrasting white stitching, and the visual is like a Muhammad Ali upper-cut delivered in a suede lambskin glove. Panerai is known, first and foremost, as the company that spawned the famed Luminor, and the classic profile of that modern phenomenon lives in the PAM 118. The Luminor isn't so much a single model as a universe of Panerai references that are unified by the cushion case, high-viz dial in simple characters, spec war-inspired design, and the all-important crescent-shaped "device protecting the crown." That celebrated cam system and lever lock makes its presence known on the flanks of the Panerai Luminior Marina PAM 118. Its burly build sports a sky high gee-whiz factor and practicality to match. The system remains as useful today as it was upon debut in the early 1950s; go ahead, try to knock the crown off this watch. Panerai's logic will become doubly apparent when owners try to wind or set their PAM 118 wearing winter or diving gloves. Inside the 44mm case, Panerai provides classic motive force in the form of an OP XI manual-wind movement based on the pocket watch caliber 6497, originally a Unitas design. Just as the original Panerai combat watches employed Rolex and Angelus pocket watch calibers, the PAM 118 relies on the tank-like 6497 to provide its superb 56-hour power reserve. Unlike those old movements, the OP XI enjoys COSC chronometer status, Panerai-specific fine finish, and a gorgeous swan's neck regulator atop the balance cock. Naturally, a watch this sharp needs a boxed set to match, and collectors will be pleased to know that this Panerai Luminior Marina Titanium PAM 118 can be viewed with full factory boxes, manuals, documents of provenance, and accessories in high-resolution images on www.thewatchbox.com. Video and content by Tim Mosso.