Even though I could wear my Panerai PAM112 Luminor base model for almost any occasion in my life as a creative freelancer, it may not be the best choice for someone who needs to appear a bit more refined. After all, the Luminor model is a bit too chunky looking even when paired with an elegant crocodile strap.
If I needed a more dressed up look I’d choose the Radiomir Black Seal 8 Day PAM00609 at $4,800. At 45mm, it’s still, of course, a large watch, but the case shape is very elegant. The onion crown without a crown guard (like the Luminor has) and wire lugs add to the overall refinement. Personally, I enjoy the ritual of winding a manually wound watch, so this Radiomir suits me as a daily driver.
Photo by @mywatchuniverse
The Radiomir has very deep roots. It was worn by Italian military divers during World War II and in modern times became wristwear for those seeking a bold style statement. Even though it has a large case size, the Radiomir has excellent proportions. In a meeting full of Datejusts, the proud wearer of a Panerai Radiomir is making a statement.
A slimmer controversial Luminor
Photo by @aweekonthewrist
When the Everest crew was in Lucerne we stopped by the Panerai boutique and strapped on the Luminor Due PAM00926 priced at $6,900. At 38mm and a relatively slim 11.2mm thick, this model seems like the antithesis of the Panerai ethos of big and bold. The Due felt downright svelte on the wrist, not an adjective one would commonly associate with the brand.
Detractors of the Due point to its measly 30m water resistance rating. This criticism seems justified as a shrunken version of the traditional Luminor (a dive watch) should be able to handle a dip in the pool in the very least.
That said, the reality is that if you are in and out of a body of water on a regular basis, the Due, with its automatic movement, on every practical level should hold up for daily wear. The handsome sunburst dial made for a compelling reason for watch lovers with smaller wrists to get into their first Panerai.
A happy medium
Photo by @n_kleibz
For those who want a more traditional lug design in a Radiomir style case, the PAM574 in 42mm at $7,600 is a solid choice. With its sandwich dial (a full disc lume plate behind a dial with cut out markers) and standard crown, the 574 is a sport watch that can pass in dressier environments.
Because the lugs are short, at 42mm Panerai will still be comfortable for those with smaller wrists.
Check out our line of straps for Panerai watches here.
Cover photo by Monochrome Watches