Panerai is one of the hottest brands on the planet. With its unique style, large case size, and undeniable wrist presence, it’s no surprise that the Paneristi can’t stop at just one Panerai. Trying to figure out where to start with Panerai can be a bit daunting. Since offering its first watches to the public back in 1993, Panerai has grown tremendously and so has their product offerings. To make things simple, we’ve created a list of four must have Panerai models for anyone looking to make the leap into the world of Panerai.
An all time favorite among Panerai fans, the PAM 111 is arguably the first watch that comes to mind when someone mentions the brand. Making its debut back in 2002, the PAM 111 features a 44mm Luminor case with an exhibition caseback to showcase its OP Calibre XI workhorse movement. Underneath the double domed sapphire, is a highly legible black sandwich dial with an hour, minute, and second hand. Throw it on an Everest rubber or leather strap, and you’ve got the look you need for any occasion.
It’s no surprise that the PAM 372 has remained one of the most popular Panerai models since its release back in 2011. A true example of the saying “a sum of all its parts,” the PAM 372’s collective details combine to create what many consider the most beautiful Panerai in the current collection. Based on the vintage PAM 6152-1, the 372 features a 47mm Luminor Marina case with stunning contours and edges. Previously made in plexiglass (now sapphire), the raised crystal gives view to the symmetrical sandwich black/brown dial with gold hands and aged lume. Thanks to its cushion case, the 372 wears amazingly comfortable for its size and warm aesthetics that make it hard not to stare. For many, this is the only base model Panerai you’ll ever need!
The PAM 233 is what many consider a modern classic in the current Panerai collection. Packed with an abundance of character and complications, the PAM 233 was the first watch to feature an in-house movement from Panerai. The 44mm Luminor Marina case is powered by the P.2002/1 which features a manual wind 8-day power reserve, power reserve indicator, 12-hour GMT, AM/PM indicator, small sub-seconds, date, jumping hour, etc etc etc… Needless to say, this watch has more complications than you’ll need. My favorite feature of this timepiece is the massive domed sapphire crystal that creates distortion when viewing the dial at certain angles. A nice way to finish off an already impressive watch!
What Panerai list would be complete without a Radiomir? The Radiomir Black Seal PAM 183 pays homage to the early Panerai 3646 from 1936. As a contemporary counterpart, the PAM 183 closely resembles the original Panerai models of the past and bears the name of the luminescent material used during that time period. Today, the Radiomir collection has greatly expanded with offerings in different sizes, materials, and lug styles. While the current Radiomirs are fantastic pieces, the PAM 183 Black Seal is the OG that paved the way for the modern line-up. For that reason, we think it’s a must have for the Panerai enthusiast.
Written by Patrick Bernardez