If you are not well-versed from the intricacies of Panerai watches, then you won’t be faulted for believing that they all look exactly the same. It’s correct that the Florentine brand depends heavily on a few signature design characteristics and applies them to almost all their pieces. However, there are key differences between the various Panerai timepieces. Therefore, in case you’d like to learn a bit more about the watchmaker that the Royal Italian Navy once relied upon, then read our quick guide to understanding the various Panerai watch ranges. The title”Radiomir” identifies some luminous radium-based powder which Panerai improved in 1916. That powder (that is currently known as being highly toxic) was turned into a paste and used on Panerai tools to allow them to shine in the dark.
The defining features of the first Radiomir dive watches include a massive 47mm watertight cushion-shaped situation with cable lugs welded to them, a very simple dial with luminous hands and indexes, a manually-wound movement, an extra-long watch strap (to fit over wetsuits), along with an oversized winding crown that may be manipulated while wearing gloves. The majority of these design characteristics continue to be used on the current Radiomir watches.
In the 1940s, Panerai modified their view cases. Rather than having slender wire lugs welded onto the case, Panerai chose to create the whole case, such as the broader lugs, from a single block of steel. The corners of this case were also marginally sharper than those on previous versions, and the winding crown has been cylindrical instead of flared and cone-shaped.
Now’s Radiomir 1940 watches are tributes to all those classic Panerai models.
In 1949, Panerai patented another luminous material, which they called”Luminor.” Rather than being radium-based, the Luminor substance was tritium-based.
A year after, Panerai creates a whole new case design with the now-iconic, lever-operated, crown-protecting bridge. This mechanism ensures greater water resistance for those watches. Similar to the preceding Radiomir watches made in the 1940s, the then-new 1950s Panerai watches additionally had the situation and lugs fashioned from a single block of steel; however the bezels were thinner and wider.
This situation design serves as the inspiration for the Panerai Luminor 1950s watches (which were initially released in 2002, almost a decade after the debut of the modern Luminor).
Panerai watches only became available for sale to the general public from the 1990s, and it was Alessandro Bettarini (Panerai’s chief of mechanical technology in that time), who after being motivated by Panerai divers in the 1950s, designed the modern Panerai Luminor in 1993. He brought back the crown-protector bridge in the writings and embraced the Luminor name from the old Panerai patents.
Actually, Alessandro Bettarini had developed dive watch prototypes for the Diver Corps of the Italian Navy during the 1980s that utilized the crown-protector bridge. Those prototypes never moved to production, but thankfully, some of those design elements reappeared on the future Luminor watch collection.
Today, the Luminor is Panerai’s flagship watch version and comes in a slew of sizes, fabrics, and complications. The watches retain the iconic cushion-shape case, crown-protector bridge (without”REG T.M.” engravings), and extremely luminous dials.
In 2016, Panerai unveiled the brand new Luminor Due collection, including the Italian term for”2″ to its title. With slimmer cases and smaller dimensions options, the Luminor Due is positioned as a tasteful alternative to the oversized and robust Luminor versions.
However, water resistance is much lower (30 meters), which has upset some Panerai purists who state that the Because watches stray too far from the organization’s origins of making dive watches. However, the more controlled proportions of this Luminor Due have opened up the brand to a whole new audience (for example more women!) Who love the more reasonable situation measurements.
2019 was the year of the Submersible in Panerai, with a whole plethora of new versions presented in SIHH. In the past, the Submersibles belonged to the Luminor group and have been labeled as Luminor Submersible watches.
However, this year Panerai dropped the Luminor label, and has now established the Submersible because its own set. This is appropriate because the Submersible is really a dive watch rather than a luxury watch inspired by diving.
There you have it; that’s our quick rundown of the main Panerai collections. So, next time you’re out buying a brand new Panerai watch, you’ll be able to rapidly differentiate between all of the versions like a Paneristi specialist.