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Panerai is an Italian watch brand and is one of the most luxurious in the world. During World War II, Panerai watches accompanied Italian Navy divers on classified underwater flights. These action-packed Italian luxury watches have a long history way back to the 1860s. Panerai watches have captivated their fans since their introduction, thrilling them with new designs each year.
These watches use a combination of traditional artistry and modern technology. Signature models have been produced from standard collections such as Luminor and Radiomir. Want to know more about this vintage yet versatile timepiece? Keep reading to learn more about how exquisite Panerai is.
The Panerai Radiomir is based on a concept created in 1936 for the Royal Italian Navy. The name Radiomir comes from the radium-based luminescent technology that the company invented and used on its first watches. They’re available in various case materials and dial colors, and their sizes range to 42, 45, and 47mm.
A large cushion-shaped case, a winding crown without crown guards, a pair of large hands in the middle of the dial pointing to oversized hour markers, and its strap are all distinguishing features of the Radiomir today. Some Radiomir watches have features such as GMT or Power Reserve indicators.
There are two major variants of the Radiomir: Radiomir and Radiomir 1940. Wire lugs and flared crowns distinguish Radiomir watches, while thicker lugs and conical-shaped crowns distinguish Radiomir 1940 watches. The Radiomir made its debut in 1997, followed by the Radiomir 1940 in 2012.
The Luminor name is derived from a Panerai-patented luminous paint that is tritium-based. The Luminor silhouette was influenced by a vintage Panerai from the 1950s and is the most famous and influential Panerai watch shape.
A wide cushion-shaped case with a semi-circular piece on the case side to cover the winding crown is the Luminor’s key design feature. A lever controls this bridge crown guards operation, which presses the crown firmly into the case for maximum water resistance.
The Luminor comes in various case materials and sizes, with 44mm and 47mm being the most common.
Though Luminor watches are primarily timepieces, there are more complicated versions available, including GMT, chronograph, and other features. The hour and minute hands are only on the Luminor Base models, while the Luminor Marina versions have a working seconds indicator at 9 o’clock.
The Luminor was first introduced to the public in 1993 as part of the brand’s first collection. Shorter lugs, a flatter crystal, and a straighter case middle distinguish the Luminor. Its case is a solid case back known as the “Bettarini case” after the designer.
The company introduced the Luminor 1950 version in 2012, which differed slightly from the original Luminor. It features more extended lugs, a domed crystal, and a u-shaped case middle. Furthermore, the crown guard of the Luminor 1950 has a “R.E.G. T.M” marking, while the Luminor does not.
It also comes with a sapphire case back that allows you to see its movement.
Panerai launched the Luminor Due in 2016, which is a slimmer and dressier version of the Luminor. Although there are many sizes available, the Luminor Due collection houses the smallest watches the company ever produced, measuring 38mm. The Luminor Due is also not as water-resistant as other Luminor versions, with a 30-meter water resistance rating.
The Submersible is Panerai’s modern dive watch, with a revolving timing bezel, a diver-style dial, and a water-resistance rating of at least 100 meters. Some of them are with 1000-meter water resistance levels, earning the nickname “La Bomba.”In 1998, Panerai introduced the PAM 24 as the first Luminor Submersible.
The Submersible has the requisite rotating bezel graduated to 60 minutes to enable divers to monitor elapsed immersion times. The Luminor style case with the clever crown guard is still present, but the Luminor name is no longer visible on the dial. Luminor Submersible watches have 44mm or 47mm cases, while existing Submersible watches have 42mm or 47mm cases.
4. Mare Nostrum
The Mare Nostrum chronograph has a style influenced by the very first Panerai timepiece created in the 1940s. Unlike other watch models with cushion-shaped cases, it has a circular case design. While its original had a massive 52mm case, the new versions have 42mm more wearable cases. It is not as popular as other Panerai models, but they are a favorite among Panerists.
Throughout the brand’s history, only three versions of the Mare Nostrum have been produced:
- 1943 version – only two or three were made
- 1993 version – which was in development until 1997
- 2017 version – limited edition of 1,000 pieces
Panerai has grown from manufacturing military equipment to become one of the world’s leading luxury watch brands. Watch enthusiasts have been captivated by the identifiable designs of Panerai. Today, not only those collectors were allured but also celebrities.
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