She has arrived and here is my quick review on this Parnis homage to Panerai.
The watch arrived in a decent black pleather long box with white stitching. Not too bad as I was expecting to see a ziplock bag and that would be about it. Opening the long box, there was a small Parnis user manual (how to set the time and date on all the combinations of faces they sell) and the ziplock bag with the watch. The watch was protected by cellophane here and there. Overall a better experience than I was expecting.
I promptly set the time on the watch and advanced until I knew the dial was in AM. I moved the lever (not loose, yet) and wound the watch about 20 turns. That got the power reserve up to about 1/2 way (20 hours). I figured movement on my wrist would wind it the rest of the way during the day – and it almost has. So I feel the power reserve is accurate and not just a decoration for a completely unknown power reserve value.
The crystal is quite nice, the crown guard solid, it’s lever nice. So far so good. The sweep hand for the seconds hand is nice. The date is quite difficult to read. It’s set using a push button on the bottom left side of the case. Easy enough to use – I was worried it might get hung up and stop working as I had to advance it quite a number of dates to set it correctly. Still works well on that front. The lume? Well… forget about the lume as it’s decently visible for a few minutes – nothing like a Seiko or Rolex.
The black faux-crocodile band with deployment clasp… a let down. I have small wrists and there was barely enough strap for me to wear this. So little strap left after closing the clasp that the second “leather” cuff wouldn’t cover the end of the band. Just too short. I was thinking of cutting that cuff off to make it more aesthetically pleasing, but I wore it for a while as is. Uncomfortable. The black band with the black face, etc. was too much. And it didn’t wear correctly. I was always aware I was wearing it.
I got out my watch screwdriver and pliers and removed one of the strap pins. It’s not spring-loaded like traditional watches. The other side wouldn’t unscrew… so I replaced the one pin I had removed and without hesitation cut the band on the other side off the pin that wouldn’t come out. I threw the cheap deployment clasp band in the trash since it was now cut apart and I was left with the strap bars.
I threaded a Zulu strap in there and WOW did it improve the looks of the watch as well as the feel. Like you might expect, I couldn’t even really tell I was wearing it anymore. Perfect. Changing that strap did wonders for the watch and for wearability.