Panerai’s strap culture began when the brand made its public debut in 1993. Panerai is one of the first brands to include extra straps and strap changing tools with their watches to illustrate the ease of interchangeability as well as the versatility of their models.
As the popularity of the brand increased, so did its ideology of customization and versatility. This led to an emergence of countless aftermarket strap makers who were dedicated solely to the customization of Panerai watches. Many of these strap makers paid homage to Panerai's military history by creating straps from leather WWII ammunition pouches, military jackets, and even military inspired buckles. After being acquired by Vendome Group/Richemont, Panerai solidified its strap culture by adding a wide array of OEM strap offerings to its portfolio. This created a more immersive buying experience as Paneristi could now purchase (or negotiate for) straps of various materials (calf, alligator, rubber) and colors.
Panerai has also been very in-tune with its enthusiasts. After years of following the loyal Paneristi and their affinity for straps, Panerai created the Interchangeable Strap System in 2006. This new system made strap changing easier, did not require a screwdriver, and it virtually eliminated the risk of scratches. Using the supplied tool, a strap change was done by pressing a release button and pushing the lug bar through the watch. Later, Panerai created an even easier strap changing system for their Due collection. The new Quick Release System requires no tools for the removal or installation of a strap. The owner simply needs to apply pressure on the back of the strap close to the case attachment, and is installed just as easily.
credit to panerai.com
Personally, I think the biggest reason why Panerai has developed a strap culture is due to the hassle free experience. With the included screwdriver/strap tool and extra strap, a different look can be accomplished in a matter of seconds. Unlike most watches, Panerai has a variety of strap mounting technologies and each one is user friendly. This eliminates the owner from having to travel to the nearest watchmaker or authorized dealer for something as simple as a strap change. It’s the main reason why myself and many other Panerai owners have a drawer filled with custom made straps just waiting for their turn.
If you haven't already, please check out our curved end rubber and leather strap options for the 44mm Luminorhere!
Written by Patrick Bernardez