Panerai, or Officine Panerai, is a brand whose success is based on making relatively small numbers of watches that all look fairly similar, because they are based on the company’s historical precedents. These watches have a retro style design – they are deliberately made to look old-fashioned. The modern Panerai brand intends to emulate the Panerai watches manufactured in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s.
You won’t find too many retailers around the world offering Panerai. Best replica Panerai watches remind you, has a very small and limited volume of production. At the trade fair SIHH, retailers place orders knowing that they will get less than what they ask for. Panerai’s marketing includes the sponsorship of vintage yacht events, with the brand’s own 1936 ketch Eilean. An important part in their communications is played by the various independent online forums run by Panerai enthusiasts, “paneristi,” who write about historical and contemporary Panerai watches in meticulous, obsessive detail.
The Panerai timepieces that are being referred to are its famous timepieces of historical importance – the Radiomir and Luminor Collections – dating back to the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. These collections have a historical importance both to the Panerai brand itself, and to the Italian Navy which utilised their watches during several decades of the 20th century. A Panerai timepiece is the one that represents the brand’s unique history and expresses that gorgeous-but-utilitarian ruggedness.
So you decide on shopping for your first Panerai, or perhaps you are looking for the next Panerai. In either case, you may be asking yourself which model is the ultimate and perfect. Buying Luminor or Radiomir? This is a difficult choose. It’s true that Panerai Luminor are more famous and prestigious than Radiomir, but it’s really the Panerai Radiomir that is the real action hero of the Panerai brand. The frogmen of the Italian navy of the 1930s and 1940s used the Panerai Radiomir on their underwater missions. While Luminor models get all the fame, the Radiomir was really the original Panerai case.
What sets Panerai Radiomir apart from Panerai Luminor, is that Panerai Radiomir lack’s Panerai’s characteristic crown protector, and has a more delicate build. The original Panerais that were used by the Italian frogmen, had no crown protector. Like most people, I would choose a Luminor if I had to choose just one. I want my perfect Panerai to be obvious and I need that iconic crown guard. I need my Panerai to be instantly recognizable to anyone who sees it. So it’s gotta be a Luminor. And what’s your favourite? Welcome to leave your comments.