5 Quintessential Panerai Watches Every Collector Should Know

Classic and precise, Panerai watches have developed quite a following since the company was founded in the 1860s. The brand’s unique DNA comes from having Italian roots and Swiss craftsmanship, paired with a rich heritage that includes providing navies across the globe with timepieces and underwater tools. In fact, it wasn’t until the 1990s that Panerai watches even became available to the public. Prior to this, they were exclusively sold to militaries. This has allowed the brand to focus on what matters most for more than 150 years: quality. At the same time, this dedicated focus has kept variation in models and collections relatively modest. Here’s a quick look at some of their top pieces and details on what you can expect from their collections.

Panerai Radiomir S.L.C. 3 Days PAM 425

1) Radiomir 1940 3 Days Automatic

Radiomir was the first Panerai watch ever patented and it came about in the 1930s. The brand developed new luminescent materials specifically for this line to ensure the pieces could be read under water with ease. The modern Radiomir looks very much like the iconic version; a square case with rounded corners, round dial, and art nouveau- styled numerals at the 12, 3, 6, and 9 marks. There are quite a few different models in this collection, as the brand does experiment a bit with materials and colors, though maintains the DNA.

Historically, dive watches have had black or dark blue faces, simply because those colors allowed for greater contrast between the hands and markings, thus providing greater visibility. Tue, some watchmakers have been straying from this since the 1960s, though Officine Panerai has been more of a traditionalist. So, when the Radiomir 1940 3 Days Automatic was released in 2016, it turned heads with its white dial and thin profile. The brand also made it a bit easier to change straps with this model, so it offers the perfect mix of form and function.

2) Luminor Marina (PAM111)

Initially released in 1949, the Luminor was more or less an updated version of the Radiomir. Upon the navy’s request, the brand included a seconds hand as a sub-element, developed new glow materials for it, and added a crown guard. Beyond that, it looks quite a bit like its predecessor; classic with a clean face.

There are a few pieces within the collection, all sharing the same iconic look, but as with the Radiomir, the brand has mostly experimented only with materials and colors. Uniquely, there’s a left-handed version of the Luminor, too, for any southpaws out there, but the Luminor Marina (PAM111) earns a place on the list as a fan favorite across the board. It’s incredibly clean, easy to read, durable, and is good for depths of up to 300 meters.

Panerai Luminor PAM 112

3) Luminor Base Logo 3 Days

Naturally, the Luminor Base Logo 3 Days looks and behaves quite a bit like its aforementioned cousin, right down to the crown guard, black dial, and separate seconds hand. It’s primary distinguishing feature is the brand logo just above the 6 and its 3-day power reserve. That being said, “base” also refers to it being an entry-level piece, meaning this is the brand’s attempt to put luxury within reach for a greater audience.

4) Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Day Automatic 42mm

Those who follow watchmaking trends have seen cases grow with time. That trend is still huge, which is why so many brands are moving toward lighter materials, such as titanium, ceramic, and carbon fiber. That may make a sizable piece more wearable, but for those who don’t like the added bulk or those who have smaller wrists, massive cases of any material simply don’t work. Historically, the Luminor has been offered with case sizes up to 47mm, though most came in around 44mm. With the release of the 42mm version, it became a much more practical choice for brand enthusiasts who prefer a more modest piece. This particular model is a bit different from other Luminors in that it’s somewhat busier too. It comes in brushed steel, hosts a date window, and the bezel has additional markings as well as a coin edge or gear-like teeth around it. This plays into the aspect that Submersibles are the brand’s “survival instruments.” They help divers keep better track of the time spent under water with their unidirectional rotating bezels and look more rugged than their counterparts. Plus, the seconds hand is done up in blue, giving it a touch more color and edge than other Luminors possess.

5) Luminor Due (PAM00675)

Luminor Dues are dressier versions of the model, so they’re at home on one’s wrist in the boardroom, for events, or even for daily wear for the well-dressed man. The dials all have a pearlescent sheen. With this particular piece, it is crafted in sun-brushed anthracite, a type of coal, so it looks almost metallic. The brand paired it with a 45-millimeter red gold case, which creates a striking contrast. Hands, numerals, and markings are the same hue. That being said, the piece isn’t only about presenting an air of class. It features strong anti-shock technology and is water resistant to 30 meters.

Explore Classic Panerai Watches on Value Your Watch

Whether you’re a fan of the Luminor, Radiomir, or anything in between, you’ll find your favorites on Value Your Watch. Check out our selection of Panerai watches and other fine timepieces now.

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