Rolex Deepsea vs Panerai Luminor 1950 8 Days GMT

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Rolex Deepsea (ref 116660) vs Panerai Luminor 1950 (PAM233)
Rolex Deepsea (ref 116660) vs Panerai Luminor 1950 (PAM233)
If you're looking for a large stainless steel dive watch priced under $15,000 US, you have most likely come across the 44mm Rolex Deepsea and the Panerai Luminor 8 Days GMT, also with a 44 mm case. These timepieces are similar in size and material, but differ in functionality and aesthetic.

The Deepsea features a self-winding 3135 movement manufactured by Rolex with a power reserve of 48 hours. The PAM233 is equipped with a manually-wound P.2002 movement manufactured by Panerai. It has a power reserve of 8 days, though it can go 10 days without being wound according to the forums.

photo of Rolex Deepsea vs Panerai PAM 233 Case Comparison
Rolex Deepsea vs Panerai PAM 233 Case Comparison
As the name indicates, the PAM233 features a GMT hand that allows the wearer to set the time in two locations at once. It has a date aperture at 3 o'clock, a power reserve display above 6 o'clock and a sub-dial at 9 o'clock with the seconds and am/pm. The case features the crown protector that this model is known for and a domed crystal visible in the photo above. The depth rating for this model is 100 meters.

The Deepsea also features a domed crystal and a date aperture at 3 o'clock. With a graduated 60-minute unidirectional Cerachrom bezel, it allows divers to monitor their time underwater. The depth rating on this model is 3,9000 meters - a significant difference for those looking to use the dive watch for its intended purpose.

Rolex Deepsea vs Panerai PAM233 Side by Side
The PAM233 comes with a calf leather strap (shown in photo with a Panerai brown/beige calf leather strap) while the Deepsea features a stainless steel Oyster bracelet. The Deepsea adheres to Rolex's classic dive watch aesthetic while the Luminor has more of an old-world flair in its design. The Luminor 1950 case in unique with its brushed and polished steel and the domed crystal.

The Rolex Deepsea retails for approximately $11,831 US and the Panerai Luminor 1950 8 Days GMT goes for $12,300. With a difference of only about $500, the purchase decision would come down to the aesthetic and functionality. The Deepsea represents the modern dive watch with all the bells and whistles and the PAM233 offers a vintage look and feel in a contemporary timepiece.

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