You may have heard of Panerai, the luxury brand of watch. Let’s be honest, most of us are probably not going to be able to afford the hefty pricetags these watches carry, but we can dream. I certainly don’t mean this article to be an endorsement for these watches, since I don’t have one and I can’t really vouch for the company. I just think it’s interesting to take a look at how the other half lives — when it comes to time pieces. In these times of economic difficulty and insane income disparity, can you blame me for a little bit of wrist wear escapism? No, you can’t.
A Little about Panerai
Panerai watches have a long tradition in Italy (and the world beyond) and currently enjoy the status as one of Italy’s finest watch companies and one of the most popular brand of watches in the country itself–which is no small feat. (Source material found at Wikipedia)
Panerai, which is known for its technically acute, high quality, high durability, high precision watches got its start making special watches for the Italian navy. The watches contained luminous faces (which you can imagine would be useful to the military) and Rolex mechanical movement. (Source material found at official Panerai site.)
The Luminor Watch Put Panerai on the Map
The Luminor watch also was useful to the military since the watch body itself could withstand pressure at up to 200 meters of water (Wikipedia – Panerai History). As a result of its storied history, Panerai has a lot of mystique and a sense of class, which is something that a lot of men are looking for in a watch. In other words, Panerai is very “name brand” in the world of fine watches.
Today Panerai has shops in major cities around the world including Los Angeles, Shanghai, Portofino, and Las Vegas. I actually visited the Las Vegas store, which is located in the Bellagio hotel. A friend of mine was purchasing a new leather wristband for a used Panerai Luminor watch he purchased. It cost him about $200, which should give you some indication as to how much the watch itself cost him. Panerai stores are one of the first stops for people who seek high quality, distinctive watches.
In the year 2000, Panerai released the Luminor Submersible 1000 meters for professional divers, which was a definite step forward in the evolution of its watches. While impressive, most people won’t need a watch with this technical ability. (official site)
There are many more models that can be considered more of a day to day watch. And they’re all pretty darn expensive. The Radiomir collection “8 Days Model” was given new life in 2004, built on a Jaeger-LeCoultre watch base. It is as accurate, stylish, and tasteful a watch as you can find from any Italian watch maker.
Ferrari Panerai Watches: Does it Get More Italian?
A more modern take on the Panerai watch comes in the Ferrari Scuderia Rattrapante Men’s model, which capitalizes on the classic aesthetic of the watchmaker, while adding some new, yet classy, flare to the timepiece. Rounded out with a stainless steel case and a leather band, the Panerai Ferrari watch model has a youthful, distinctive, sporty, and somehow timeless feel. If I was going to spend thousands of dollars on a watch, however, I don’t think I would want to cheese it up by having the Ferrari logo emblazoned boldly on the watch. I’d prefer to keep it a little more classy.
The Radiomir Black Seal Men’s watch, water resistant at 100 meters, is another venture that carries with it an understated look marked by a Sapphire crystal face back, a stainless steel bezel, and a brown leather strap with contrast stitching. It is slightly playful, but definitely means business. It’s an eye catching watch and one that will not go unnoticed.
Panerai is one of Italy’s finest creators and purveyors of watches. I don’t know if I would purchase one even if I had the money. I might prefer to buy a new car. Besides, I already have an expensive timepiece: my iPhone.