The BreitlingSource blog (and sister site, PaneraiSource), recently took a closer look at the Panerai Luminor North Pole GMT aka PAM 252. It reminded me of what a great watch the PAM 252 is. The watch is a 2006 Special Edition (only 500 units were produced) dedicated to Mike Horn & Borge Ousland’s North Pole expedition. After 61 days and 620 miles of traveling across Arctic ice on skis, Horn and Ousland completed unassisted trek to the North Pole making them the first explorers to do so in winter, during complete darkness. Along the way, they fended off polar bears, illness and frostbite, dodged holes in the ice, and swam through unspeakably frigid water. But that’s a story for another day
Being around for 6 years now the Panerai Luminor North Pole is a well know watch among Panerai aficionados. Distinguishing features include the blue dial, “NORTH POLE” notation on the dial, a special type of lubricant that ensures functionality in Arctic-like temperatures, an inner soft iron case (antimagnetic), caseback engraved with the Arctic ice cap and the signature of Mike Horn and Borge Ousland, and bezel with N/S/E/W directional markings. Speaking of which, this is a little watch trick for you: find the north direction using a watch by making the hour hand point straight at the sun. Half the angle between the hour hand and the 12 o’clock index is South — direct opposite is of course North, and so on. If you want to see more of the PAM 252 North Pole GMT, Martin Wilmsen at Panerai Wristwatch Blog gives one of the best reviews of the PAM 252, and of course his watch photography skills are unparalleled. PaneraiSpource.com also some live pics, here. Surprisingly, the watch can still be had for under $10,000 based on a quick search I did, which I think makes this a great buy for a long term collector.
Panerai Luminor GMT North Pole – SE 2006 (PAM 252)
photo: Martin Wilmsen, wristwatchphoto.com
Borge Ousland and Mike Horn
Photo: Kjell Ove Storvik