We chose to break down the features and the legend behind what makes Panerai our favorite watch brand.
The Casing design: Panerai is known to have many different watches but they all look the same and it is very hard for non watch connoisseurs to spot out the difference between the various models. There are two designs that exist to the casing, crown protector and exposed crown (black seal line). Panerai has trade marked the crown protector and therefore keeps imitations of this innovative design at bay. The casing is always squared with a round bezel overlapping giving it a rounded square look and differentiating it from the rectangular watches out there. Panerai has a mens collection of 44mm watches and a woman’s collection of 40mm watches. Both types are considered big for each type of wrist and create a very noticeable look. The casing is available in polished, flat, titanium or black depending on the model selected.
The Dial Design: The dials is where each Panerai is unique, since the casing doesn’t change the dial does with every model and the glass does too depending on if yours has the date feature or not. The dials each unique with their own markers, numerals and chrono features (when applicable) share different markings and types of black backgrounds. The most common collections are the Marina, the GMT followed by the 1950 collection.
The History: IWC, the world’s best timepiece maker makes the movement for Panerai, which makes it a Swiss mechanical or automatic movement and puts it in the top league for quality but the design and casing come from Italy. Back in the day, the government needed a watch for special Military special ops units that would not only be durable but would also be easy to read under water. IWC commissioned a new division “Officine Panerai” who then created the Panerai watches, with large numerals (that could be read under water) and outstanding durability including the famous crown protector that helped ensure the movement would never be damaged in a mission. The watches were at first mechanical and ran for 8-10 hours without needing winding, and then moved to the famous automatic movement which held power for 44 hours. All watches had illuminated dials which made it easy to see in the dark.
The Exclusivity: All Panerai watches are made with series letters and serial numbers. The series letter usually tells you the date of production and the the serial number tells of the amount produced each year. Most markings will read something like this (K 1260/1500) – K series signifies the latest available as of 2009 and this watch would be 1260 of 1500 that will be produced in the K series. The earlier Panerai’s retained their value greatly and are highly sought after by all. The limited number produced in each series help keep how many you see out there very little.
So why we love them?
We love them for all the reasons above but really because it is a timepiece that demands attention but not from all, only from those that know watches and can seat back and appreciate what’s on your wrist. It gets attention and it demands respect from all.