Panerai Radiomir California 3-Days, PAM 00448


Panerai’s range of modern Radiomir watches, has an undeniable appeal, taking style references from Panerai’s earliest watch offerings. And, this is oh-so-true for the Panerai Radiomir California 3-Days, PAM 00448, which is an obvious homage to the most famous of the early Panerai, the 3646 Type E!

Panerai’s first watches from the 1930s had the “Error-Proof” style dial, renowned for its mix of Arabic, Roman, and normal index numbers and the absence of any additional inscription or brand name. Originally patented by Rolex in 1942, the “Error-Proof Dial” was designed to be more easily read. The different style numerals “clearly distinguish the two halves” of the watch, and “the Roman numerals chosen are those which are the simplest to perform and the easiest to read,” so says the patent!

The term “California dial” has become synonymous with early Panerai. But why are they known as “California dials” and not “Error-Proof Dials”?

There are many theories, but the most prevalent is that it’s a relatively recent name adopted in the 1980s and has a bit of a murky past. Apparently, a California-based business was well-known for restoring (some might say “faking”) many of these dials to satisfy a high demand from Japanese collectors, in particular.

Over time, the term changed from the meaning “dial produced in California” to a generic term used to describe all “error-proof” dials. I suppose it sounds more romantic than “Error-Proof” too!

The PAM 00448 is a limited edition of only 750 pieces and is based very closely on the original 3646 Type E “Error-Proof” design. A design initially commissioned in 1936 by the Italian Navy for use in combat missions by their Frogmen.

This modern version (#639/750) has a stunning 47mm polished stainless steel case, which does show a few scratches here and there. It’s funny, but they always look wonderful when they start to show patina, and this California has been broken in beautifully.

The dial with the printed minute track and the “blued” hour and minute hands, is in great shape. The Super Luminova in-filled hands and printed dial really do “zing” after a short exposure to sunlight.

Another nice touch, and one that signifies this watch’s “limited edition” status, is that the rehaut is engraved with the word “California” above the noon position and the word “Vintage”, on the case, between the lugs at 6.

Subtle sure, but it lifts the watch above the norm.

The thick Perspex crystal shows a few marks and scratches, commensurate with being lightly worn in rotation with other watches. Again, we like these, but you may not, so if these are of concern, worry ye not, they are easily polished away and there is an original replacement crystal included within the presentation boxes’ accessories compartment.

Panerai’s hand-wound mechanical P.3000 calibre movement is housed within the traditional stainless-steel casing. This is only 5.3 mm thick, so despite its overall dimensions, it feels neat on the wrist. It features a Glucydur balance and twenty-one jewels and boasts an astounding three-day power reserve, thanks in essence to two barrels, an Incabloc antishock mechanism, and a beating speed of 21,600 alternations per hour.

All of this is visible via the display back, which is made from sapphire crystal. Some have said it’s not the prettiest movement in the world, but it’s streets ahead in looks, reliability, and timekeeping over the 3646’s Rolex 618 movement, that’s for sure!

This example was bought new in 2013 and is presented on its original Panerai leather strap utilising the original Panerai buckle. It has been lightly used and shows desk scratches and slight staining but again, it just looks right.

The watch comes with all its packaging and accessories. The outer brown shipping box, the outer black cardboard box, the pear wood inner box, the Special Editions Instruction booklets, the Special Edition Warranty Certificate dated March 19, 2013, and stamped by the Paris Boutique, and the hand-signed and numbered (#639/750) Limited-Edition parchment scroll. The buckle tag is also present and correct.

So, here you have overtones of one of Panerai’s most iconic watches, a modern movement and limited-edition status, all housed in one! … What’s not to like?



We work hard to ensure you are pleased with your purchase, both before and after the sale. Contact us to request any additional information.


We aim to dispatch items within 1-2 days receipt of payment.

The delivery method can vary depending on the value of the watch. All watches are sent fully insured usually using UPS.

All watches sold without an original box will still be dispatched with a high quality presentation box.


All timepieces purchased from us come with a guarantee of authenticity and our 12-month time-keeping warranty. Please note that accidental damage or damage to the item resulting from third-party repairs, improper handling, or liquid damage will void our warranty. We do not guarantee any of our watches to be waterproof.