PANERAI: RELIABILITY BUILT ON HISTORY
Published on 11 September 2020
Exploring the core collections that define a legend
One of the quintessential dive watch brands, Panerai was founded in Florence in the 1860 by Giovanni Panerai, Officine Panerai draws inspiration from diving, thanks to its naval history and military focus. At the turn of the 20th century, Panerai was an official supplier to the Royal Italian Navy supplying high precision instruments, such as contract triggers for mines, mechanical computer devices, and navigation tools, before moving into timekeeping.
Now famous for large legible dive watches, Panerai was pivotal in pioneering the introduction of self-illuminating material on watch dials, which is now standard. The adhesive paste-like material initially used was a radium compound, with excellent visibility in low light, and was trademarked ‘Radiomir’ by Panerai.
Today Panerai is inspired by this rich marine tradition, which directly inform the four main collections. The Submersible, the Luminor, the Luminor Due and the Radiomir. These families feature a large array of designs, materials, sizes, and limited editions, suited for modern adventurers looking to explore new waters.
Panerai’s most action-ready line is the Submersible range, their distinctive deep dive watch collection. Offered in cutting edge materials like bronze, Carbotech, ceramic, titanium – the Submersible collection is forward-thinking, energetic, and sporty.
In 2019, Panerai separated the Submersible into a standalone category, specifically for their dive watches. The Submersible is a serious diver’s watch, featuring 300m water resistance, and a unidirectional bezel. Currently, the Submersible is available in either 42mm or 47mm, in an extensive range of materials, colours, and complications.
The Luminor range is unmistakably Panerai, and thanks to the iconic crown guard it’s arguably the model that springs to mind when one thinks of the Florentine brand. It’s also the brands largest range of timepieces, with plenty of options available in five different case sizes, ranging from 40mm to 50mm. The case materials range from the dependable such as steel and titanium, through to the innovative like FibraTech, GoldTech and CarboTech.
Demonstrating Panerai’s technical prowess and playfulness, the Luminor collection offers an abundance of variety, like left-handed ‘Destro’ watches, special editions, and a range of high-end complications, such as the tourbillon, regatta timers, and even the equation of time!
THE LUMINOR DUE
Making its debut in 2016, the Luminor Due is Panerai’s most elegant collection, offering a dressier take on the iconic Luminor. It includes the brand’s smallest timepiece – the Luminor Due 38mm. Notably, you’ll see more refined proportions, which are perfect for those who love the Luminor look, but not the larger case size.
These dressier Due’s have slimmer profiles, and are available in three sizes, 38mm, 42mm, and 45mm. A mixture of manual and automatic movements are seen through the Due range, with case materials available including polished steel, brushed titanium, and polished ‘Goldtech’, with plenty of variety in the dials on offer.
Panerai’s Radiomir collection is the brand’s earliest reference to military watches. Within the Radiomir collection, Panerai offers an array of ‘time only’ watches – with or without ‘small seconds’ display. There’s also more adventurous dual-time watches with their GMT range – featuring AM/PM indicators, all the way up to top end tourbillons.
Aesthetically, the Radiomir features Panerai’s iconic wire lugs, a loop system used to secure the strap. Design-wise, Arabic Numerals, and ‘sandwich’ dials play a strong role within the Radiomir line, as do ‘California’ dials. Recent highlights within the Radiomir collection include a series of strong Military Green dials, and boutique-only sunburst blue dials – representing the colours and depths of the ocean.
Traditionally, the Radiomir comes in a large cushion shaped polished steel case, however more exotic materials like brushed titanium, and even black ceramic are also available.
Whether you’re looking for a practical diver or something more dressy, Panerai offers extensive variety – with watches well suited for every adventure. These distinctive, sporty and modern watches must be tried on to be fully appreciated – so why not explore the collection today.
This article is written by our content contributor Felix Scholz and Andy Green