An Ultimate Guide to Buying Your First Panerai Watch


Panerai is one of the most admired luxury watch brands. Its origins can be traced back to 1860, when Giovanni Panerai opened a watchmaking shop in Florence, Italy. The distinguished company enjoys a long history of manufacturing military diving watches and other precision timekeeping instruments. It was a major supplier of the Royal Italian Navy.

The Florentine watch company had been managed by the founding family until the death of Giuseppe Panerai in the early 70s. In 1972, Italian engineer Dino Zei took over the management and registered the “Officine Panerai”. Until the 1990s, the supply of panerai watches was limited to armed forces only.

In 1993, the iconic brand introduced its first commercial watch collection in limited editions. In the American action thriller movie Daylight (released in 1996), Sylvester Stallone wore a luminor wristwatch. This film has catapulted the popularity of Panerai watches. In 1997, Richemont Group acquired the brand and launched it in the international market.

In 2002, the company opened its production facility in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. The manufacture has launched various in-house movements for ensuring its independence. In 2014, it opened a larger manufacturing facility in its premises. Within the Manufacture in Neuchâtel, the Laboratorio di Idee of the company undertakes research and experimental works to develop innovative materials and advanced technologies. Some examples for pioneering materials developed by Panerai are BMG-TECH™, Carbotech™, CERAMICA and COMPOSITE.

Presently, the brand is offering timepieces from four flagship collections: SUBMERSIBLE, LUMINOR, LUMINOR DUE and RADIOMIR. These exceptional timekeepers proudly merge Italian design with Swiss watchmaking excellence.

Special features of watches

(1) Case

PANERAI Radiomir PAM00662

A striking feature of all Panerai watches is the case design. The company has been known for large size wristwatches. For example, the case of the first Radiomir watch (reference 3646) had a diameter of 47mm. It also featured wired lugs. Its military watches were always over-sized. Introduced in 1956, the GPF-2/56 Panerai dive watch made for the Egyptian Navy measured 60mm! The brand is now offering men’s wristwatches with case sizes like 42mm, 44mm, 45mm, 47mm, 48mm, 49mm, 50mm and 52mm.

The cushion-shape is another distinctive trait of Panerai watches. Every modern timepiece from the company features this characteristic design attribute. A few models from the Radiomir series come with the historic wire lug design. Submersible models feature diving bezels mounted on the case.

(2) Crown protection device

PANERAI Submersible PAM00683

The crown protection device is an emblematic feature of Panerai watches from the Submersible, Luminor and Luminor Due collections. This patented innovation was introduced in 1956 with the GPF-2/56 diving watch made for the Egyptian Navy. It protects the crown from external damages. The panerai radiomir watches do not have the crown protection system.

(3) Dial

PANERAI Luminor Due PAM00755

The dial design of Panerai watches stands out with several distinct features. For military diving watches, dial legibility is a must. The brand is still maintaining its rich heritage as a supplier of diving instruments for the Italian Navy. For the same reason, the dials of Panerai watches proudly carry the signature features of the company’s iconic creations.

The watches from the Radiomir, Luminor and luminor due collections feature sandwich style dials with large hour markers and generous luminescent coating for providing exceptional legibility even in the darkness. Some models come with large Arabic numeral hour-markers at the cardinal points (3, 6, 9 and 12). In other models, depending upon the position of additional complications, two or three Arabic hour-markers have been used. The watches from these collections are also available without Arabic numerals.

In the submersible series, you will find dotted hour-markers and rectangular indices instead of Arabic numerals. In spite of differences in designs, all the dials ensure excellent visibility and easy reading.

(4) Lume

PANERAI Luminor PAM01316

Initially, Panerai used to produce diving instruments and timekeepers for the divers of the Royal Italian Navy. To meet the specific demands of the submarine troops, the brand introduced several innovations and new design features. One such invention was Radiomir. Developed in 1916 and patented by Guido Panerai, this radium-based powder was used for making sighting instruments and dials luminous. Introduced in the 1940s, the radiomir watch is named after this material.

Later on, the company introduced Luminor, a tritium based luminescent technology as the replacement of radio-active powder. The adaption this lume material resulted in the birth of a new timepiece named Luminor. Both of these luminescent materials have been now replaced with modern phosphorescent pigments. In the modern Radiomir watches, the brand uses a special Super-LumiNova® pigment with the color of the historic radium luminescent elements.

(5) Long power reserve

PANERAI Radiomir PAM00292

It is a pioneer in the production of mechanical wristwatches with extended power reserve. The GPF-2/56 model developed in 1956 had an incredible autonomy of eight days. Today, most of the Panerai watches are rated for a minimum power reserve of 72 hours (3 days). The brand also offers timepieces with operational autonomy of more than a week. The notable examples are the Radiomir 8 Days 45mm and the luminor GMT 10 Days 44mm.


Panerai is a cult brand, admired by enthusiasts from all over the world. It has been renowned for distinctive luxury tool watches that combine military style with luxurious details. Its timepieces boast some special characteristics to appeal the brand’s passionate followers, especially the members of the famous Paneristi community. The company also makes several in-house movements.

The brand also displays a considerable expertise in producing complication watches. In addition to regular models, Panerai makes complicated timepieces by combining horological mechanisms like Chronograph, Equation of Time, GMT, Minute Repeater, Perpetual Calendar and Tourbillon.

The brand makes use of various types of materials for manufacturing its timepieces. The traditional materials used with its watches are stainless steel, 18K gold, titanium and platinum. In addition, the company employs innovative materials like ceramic, eSteel, Goldtech, Carbotech and Composite.

Panerai watches are recognized for their excellent water-proof standards. The typical water resistance range is 100m to 300m. They are usually available with strap choices like metal bracelet, leather, rubber and Recycled PET.The watches price singapore typically starts at S$ 6,500. The cost of high complication timepieces can go above S$ 200,000.

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