Sep 6, 2018 12:40 am
Panerai started out providing watches for the Italian military manufactured by Rolex SA, and had very humble beginnings – until it burst into popularity in the early 2000s in significant part thanks to Sylvester Stallone’s endorsement of its watches. Panerai has also partnered with major brands such as Ferrari.
Italian Design Meets Swiss Craftsmanship
Giovanni Panerai (1825–1897) founded Officine Panerai in Florence, Italy in 1860. The company was taken over by his grandson Guido Panerai who also took over his wife's family business, a mechanical workshop, thus founding a new company with the name G. Panerai e Figlio. Panerai watches are very popular due to their distinctive design that causes them to stand out from the crowd – a special crown guard that immediately catches the eye.
Coming out of a divers’ watch tradition, Panerai are constantly evolving and innovating – and they have certainly done so with their newly unveiled Luminor Due 2018 collection, sporting several noteworthy differences from the traditional Luminor models. The most noticeable difference would be the changes in width, as legacy Panerai watches were 47mm thick, but the newest ones range from 45mm, 42mm and even 38mm. While this change does compromise on the watch’s underwater depth limits, dropping from 50 metres underwater resistance to a mere 30 metres, Panerai believes the new slim look will appeal to new markets. Another noticeable change is the snap-on watch strap system which makes changing straps an absolute breeze – now you can match your watch to the occasion even when you’re running late.
The Panerai Models
Panerai has created a wide range of models across four marketing lines: Historic (Radiomir 1940 and Luminor 1950), Contemporary (Radiomir, Luminor and Luminor Due), Manifattura (Luminor Marina) and Special Editions in runs of 500, 1000, 2000 or 4000 units.
The watches can be distinguished by their PAM numbers, such as PAM111 or PAM00944. This is probably the best way to keep track of such a large variety of models and designs.
The Special Edition models are each individually distinguishable by an issue number on the case back, and are issued by year. For example, in 2006 Panerai issued the 1936 California Dial Radiomir special edition, which was a reissue of the first Panerai model presented to the Italian Marina Militare, and they created only 1936 units for this special edition.
Selling Your Panerai Watch
Not all Panerai watches have resale value, as many of the especially newer pieces are very contemporary and lack the historical value to make them collectors’ pieces. However, collectors would usually go for the historical models nonetheless, such as the Radiomir 1940 models which take after the very same models originally created for the Italian navy during World War II.
Due to the wide range of products offered by Panerai, selling this timepiece is usually trickier than with other brands, and depends heavily on the PAM number of the particular model that you own. The best thing to do is to get a quote for your watch and see whether it is a model that does have resale value or not. Do remember to approach a reputable jewelry buyer such as Global Gold and Silver with experience in buying and selling luxury watches.