Panerai Luminor Submersible PAM 243

This Panerai Luminor Submersible ref PAM 243 came in recently for a service and I thought it would make a good subject to post about simply due to the fact that it uses the calibre OP III movement which is based on the venerable Valjoux 7750 chronograph.

Panerai PAM 243

The caseback is a typical Panerai 12 sided affair and looks very substantial. Note the strap bar release buttons on the crown side lugs, another Panerai feature.

Panerai PAM 243

With the back removed we get a glimpse of the OP III movement which is unmistakably a modified Valjoux 7750.

Panerai PAM 243

Remove the oscillating weight, out of harms way!

Panerai PAM 243

Here the movement is removed and turned over ready to remove the so called “sausage dial” and handset.

Panerai PAM 243

There’s a lot of perlage decoration on the plates but the differences are already apparent between this and a 7750 chronograph.

Panerai PAM 243

Compare the above picture with the 7750 below and you can see the 7750’s top plate is a lot more complicated to account for the day/date wheels and sub register pinions, this particular one is date only hence the missing day wheel finger.

Valjoux 7750

Back to the Panerai and the top plate is off in this shot and you can see a completely different date actuation system.

Panerai PAM 243

The calendar work removed here with just the keyless work left to go.

Panerai PAM 243

Again, check the differences between the 7750 and the Panerai most notably the hour register wheel, brake and reset hammer.

p1150920a

However once the Panerai has had all it components removed the mainplate isn’t a whole lot different from the 7750, I presume it was more cost effective for Panerai buy them in like this.

Panerai PAM 243

However with the movement flipped over to strip the train the differences are vast.

Panerai PAM 243

As you can see when comparing the valjoux 7750 below (which looks a bit odd as I’ve rotated the image 180 degrees to get a similar orientation) with the Panerai above this side has the greatest differences. Where the chronograph cam and start/stop lever is on the 7750 there’s just a large spacer to pack out the area on the PAM.

Valjoux 7750

With the spacer and autowind bottom plate removed it’s almost ready to have its train bridge removed, just the ratchet and driving wheel to remove first.

Panerai PAM 243

And now we’re down to this level the differences are minimal between the two, the PAM above, the 7750 below.

Panerai PAM 243

Valjoux 7750

It’s now ready for cleaning and inspection.

Panerai PAM 243

Panerai PAM 243

The parts count is a lot higher on a 7750 though 🙂

Valjoux 7750

Once cleaned and inspected the rebuild begins, a new mainspring was fitted first.

Panerai PAM 243

Panerai PAM 243

The train is refitted here….

Panerai PAM 243

….and the balance is on in this shot. The movement can now have the timing adjustments roughly set.

Panerai PAM 243

Panerai PAM 243

The movement is turned over here and the keyless work is starting to be refitted.

Panerai PAM 243

It’s ready for the dial in this shot….

Panerai PAM 243

….and has it all fitted here.

Panerai PAM 243

The movement recased….

Panerai PAM 243

….and the autowind components fitted here.

Panerai PAM 243

It’s all buttoned up and pressure tested in the final shots, I must say I do like Panerai’s Luminor Submersibles, a very substantial piece of kit! 🙂

Panerai PAM 243

Panerai PAM 243

Panerai PAM 243

2 comments

  1. Beautiful pictures and great explanation, thanks!
    I have a question if I may, I have a P243 as well I sent for service and Panerai wants to change the hands because they claim the hands will not be fitting properly after servicing hence they need to apply new ones. To me this is ridiculous. What do you think, should I insist to keep the original hands (btw this is my plan)?
    Thank you!

    Like

    1. Replacing the hands seems to be the modus operandi of the large in house service centres, however this isn’t necessary or even desirable as the lume could be mismatched between the hands and the dial after fitting new ones. If they insist on fitting new hands then insist on them returning the undamaged originals then you can always have them swapped back if necessary. A watchmaker friend of mine who has worked in numerous service centres say the techs in there just rip the old hands off as there’s no need to protect them as they will be replaced anyway! No wonder in house servicing is so expensive, they don’t even attempt to keep the costs down!

      Like

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