Panerai Watch Overview for Beginners – Which One to Buy?

Posted by Daniel Luczak on 29th Aug 2019

So, you have finally decided to purchase a Panerai, but you don’t know which one. Well, you are not alone. Despite the popularity of Panerai watches, it can be quite tricky for a first-time customer to find the perfect Panerai watch. Sometimes a little friendly guidance can go a long way.

For a first timer, there will almost certainly be many questions that arise before the actual purchase occurs. With so many issues, what is someone to do? Look no further, this short concise guide should do just the trick! What model are you supposed to purchase? New? Or pre-owned? Radiomir or Luminor? Manual or automatic? What does all of this even mean?! Let's look at these issues. Let’s take a look at the different options from the house of Panerai, and find you your perfect Panerai companion!

Luminor Marina

Panerai is an excellent brand that draws a kind of clientele searching for a high-end timepiece that is somewhat out of the norm.

The Luminor Marina is probably the most famous style of Panerai. Usually, this style displays a small seconds subdial at the 9 o'clock position, which is a unique trait of this style of Panerai watch as well as a boxier, larger height vs the Radiomir style below. These are better, in general, for a more casual look, but they can be dressed up with a different watch strap, of course. This along with their easily identifiable crown guard protector helps each Panerai stick out within the wide world of watches.

If you are interested in going right for the top Panerai selections, here is a list of some of the best Panerai Luminor Marina watch models to choose from:

  • PAM 104 Automatic
  • PAM 005 Logo
  • PAM 441 Ceramica
  • PAM 289 GMT

Radiomir

Panerai's Radiomir style is another great option, especially if you are looking to have a watch you can dress up with. It generally features a slimmer case, not as tall as the Luminor style and they do not have the trademarked crown guard protector either. Most have wired lugs and look very good when wearing a suit and a handmade Alligator watch strap.

Below are a few good Radiomir models to choose from:

  • PAM 424
  • PAM 425
  • PAM 577 Ceramica
  • PAM 572

Automatic vs Manual Movements

Automatic movements are wound while wearing and moving the watch. When your wrist or the watch moves, it spins an off centered weight on the inside of the watch that spins and winds the watch. To get the watch to initially move you can swirl the watch around in the palm of your hands for a while to get it wound enough for it to start working. You can also use watches with this movement on a watch winder which continuously spins the watch, keeping it wound and allowing you to never need to set the time, each time you pull your Panerai out, wanting to wear it.

Manual movements, on the other hand, require a manual winding each time you want to use it, once the reserve drops to 0. No matter how much you spin it, wear it or move it, it will never wind itself up. A lot of purists like this movement type as it allows you to have a very nice intimate encounter with your watch, having to manually wind it on a regular basis. Some people value these movements for this purist aspects as well as the intimacy they get to have with their watch vs just pulling it out of the winder and slapping it on their wrist.

There is no wrong choice here, it is mostly a personal choice that you can make for yourself. To each his own they say and that cannot be more true in this case.

New or Pre-owned?

The most important step before buying a Panerai watch is to decide whether you want to purchase a new or a pre-owned Panerai.

A pre-owned Panerai watch retains its value over time, but some people are always skeptical regarding pre-owned products. Panerai, however, doesn’t corrode with time, and can maintain its functionality for years to come, due to their impeccable Swiss manufacturing standards.

So, if you are the kind of a person who worries about value with a pre-owned Panerai, you have got nothing to worry about. If you decide to buy a pre-owned Panerai, make sure that the watch is complete, with it's box, papers and hopefully a warranty in case there are any issues that arise soon after your purchase.

Buying new will give you a brand new, complete watch with a manufacturer's warranty but you will most likely be paying a top, premium price. Generally buying new is best for building relationships with the ADs (Authorized Dealers) which can lead to having opportunities to purchase limited edition watches or for receiving discounts on future watch purchases, not to mention you will receive top notch customer service while inside of their boutique or store and a new experience. Sometimes you cannot put a price on the experience itself and many people will pay a premium for that overall experience, which can be a lot of fun!

What Do We Have to Say?

Buying something new for the first time is always a huge step. Buying a Panerai for the first time is nothing less of a milestone. The watch exudes status and helps you steal the show, on a daily basis. However, a watch is a long and a faithful companion, so you should research before settling down for a Panerai.

Make sure that you understand which movement type best suits you and also decide if you want a new or a pre-owned watch. You should also research about the difference between a Radiomir or a Luminor, as this is a pretty big difference in the overall look and feel of the watch.

Once you have found your soulmate Panerai, the next step is to accessorize it with the latest and the most gorgeous watch straps. Head over to DaLuca Straps and find the perfect pair of watch straps for your Panerai.

You can choose from a wide range of hand-made leather straps, vintage French ammo straps and Shell Cordovan straps. The choice is all yours.