If you want to buy a beautiful dive watch, but don’t want to buy the custom Tag Heuer, Rolex, or Seconda, perhaps you should consider Panerai watch. What follows is a review of Panerai watches – especially contemporary Panerai men’s watches owned by my wife.
Panerai has long been known for producing exceptional quality dive watches. The company was founded in Florence in 1860 and became an official supplier to the Italian Navy in 1900. In 1938 Panerai began supplying Radiomir watches to the Italian Naval for diving. The Panerai family tree in the production of hourglasses is as good as any other watch maker.
Despite its name, the Panerai Historical Collection has a contemporary style. This collection includes the Panerai Luminor Foundation, Panerai Luminor Marina, and Panerai Radiomir. The watches are mechanical, hand wound with standard Panerai OP XI with gooseneck. The reserve power of all watches in the collection is 56 hours, ideal for hand wound viewing. The case and bevel are made of stainless steel or titanium and the glass of sapphire, corundum, 3.5 mm thick, and anti-reflective coating. The watches are water resistant to 300 meters. The nice thing about Historic Panerai watches is that the back is also made of transparent sapphire glass. The Marina and Radiomir have chronograph mechanisms. After all, leather or crocodile wristbands come with all watches in the Panerai Historical Collection – a reminder of the time when oily leather wristbands supplied diving watches. My favorite watch in this collection is the Panerai Marina. I like the little second hand at nine o’clock.
The Panerai Contemporary Collection is fantastic, and in my opinion, the Luminor submersible pump is the crown jewel. My wife has one right now. The Luminor Marina Automatic is supplied with steel, titanium or steel housing. The watch is automatic, so no hassle, but you lose the power reserve – 42 hours. The rear is not transparent like the Panerai Historic. Like the contemporary and historical Marina watch, the Marina collection is presented at nine o’clock with second hand. There is also a date display at three o’clock. A small point: but the date window is more rounded than the usual rectangle, a very lovely feature. The Marina watch is supplied with leather, alligator, or steel straps. The Luminor GMT is very similar to the Marina, except you get an extra time zone hand at the nine o’clock position – the second hand is the more conventional type.
But my favorite Panerai watch is the Luminor Submersible from the contemporary collection. The Panerai Luminor Submersible is a real dive watch. By default, it is waterproof up to 300 meters, a special version is waterproof up to 100 meters and has a helium valve for decompression on the left side of the house. My wife’s watch is the Luminor Submersible PAM 00025. The case is made of brushed titanium; the dial is black with a Parisian hobnails decoration – very striking, and the bracelet is made of black rubber with a PANERAI personalized steel buckle. The watch comes with a steel screwdriver and a second interchangeable strap suitable for plumbing. If you’re looking for the ultimate diving watch, the Panerai Luminor Submersible is the one for you.
One last note: No matter what Panerai watch you buy, every watch has a lockable crown arm, the Panerai brand, and makes the Panerai watch a distinctive product. Panerai are high quality watches that look and feel modern and industrial – watches that can take on anything you can find. In my opinion, a Panerai watch offers better value for money than an expensive Rolex. It is a watch for the connoisseur and not for those who follow the crowd.