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If you post a question on the forum, asking advice about which one is suitable for buying, pam005 or 111 ? You may get the following reply: it's better to buy 111, as it's much adorable with the Sandwich Dial; panerai with the Sandwich Dial is surely preferable and historically significant. The guy who posts such a reply much have thought that pam 005 has no Sandwich Dial and thus not worth recommending.
Then what is actually Sandwich Dial in your mind ? We can clearly see two layers on the dial of this Pam 183 watch. The upper one is hollow, through which we can see the luminous paint on the lower layer clearly. It's the typical Sandwich Dial of panerai in people's mind.
PAM 183
The following picture can show the upper and lower layer of Sandwich Dial more clearly.
Panerai Sandwich Dial Structure
The lower Luminous layer is slightly wider than the upper one. These two layers fit perfectly together.
But the design of Sandwich Dial of panerai in the military age is not the case; the above design is but a modified version of the past decade. Now let's probe into the origin of Sandwich Dial design through 5218-201A, the first military transformed civil watch.
Luminor Panerai 201A
Do you consider it a Sandwich Dial watch, judging from the 201A dial only?
Then let's take a look at the pam 004 and 009 in the pre-A times.
PreA PAM 004 and 009
A close look of the pre-V 202A pam 009
pre-V 202A pam 009
Can you figure out that the upper layer of the hollow 201A is filled with a layer of luminous paint ?
201A Dial
We can see that the space of the hollow layer is filled perfectly by Tritium when examining from another angle of pre-A pam 009.
pre-A pam 009
These are two pieces of a detached dial of the military model 3646, showing the basic structure of the Sandwich Dial. This type of watch came into existence when the Italian Navy asked panerai to design a high-brightness diving watch. This epoch-making special design makes it possible to inlay the maximum dose of luminous paint. The early Radiomir luminous material was powdered, stored in glass tubes. But the then dial can by no means set a glass tube (Modern Ball watch successfully set the glass tube as its dial scale). This hollow space can stably fill luminous Radiomir Tritium powder in, enabling the wrist watch to give strong luminous light at night, meeting the navy's demand.
Dial Structure of 3646
This profile sectional picture shows several luminous filling shapes of the dial, ranging from pre-V, including the concave-shaped, shallow concave-shaped, flat, and convex-shaped. All these types, despite their shapes, have only one purpose - to maximize its brightness.
Officine Panerai Tritium Dials From 1993 to 1998
A-series: Its feature is been fully filled and slightly convex, like print dial.
A-series Dial
Pre-A pam 001: just been fully filled.
Pre-A PAM 001
This one is a PAM 002 of the A-series, having a kind of filled Sandwich Dial loyal to history and now extinct.
A-series PAM 002
Among current versions, pam 000 and 005 still retain the authentic military Sandwich Dial design, and are the models of Panerai that have the biggest historical significance. they are never simply entry-level models. It turns out that pam 000 and 005 are the authentic Panerai Luminor.
Tritium has strong luminescence, no need to absorb light and can be self-luminous, it is most suitable for military use, but this material is highly radioactive and has short life. All the T-dials that past for ten years will be yellow, not just 201A, pre-A and A-series are al T-dial models and have yellow dial.
PAM 000 and 005 adopt Luminous, Luminous doesn't glow, it needs to absorb light first. In the dark, its brightness will gradually darken and finally no light. This material was not suitable for military use and prolonged use in mined or holes in the ground work. However, it doesn't have radiation.
The modern military watches use Tritium that can be self-luminous for a long time, the senescence phase of the Tritium is up to 25 years and it is the strongest luminescent material. Ball and Tissot military watches have widely used this material.
The senescence of Luminous is very slow, so it is impossible for you to see a L-dial to turn yellow.

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