Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is known for his impressive muscular physique, his high-octane performance in various action movies, and his amazing transformation from WWE Wrestler to Hollywood Superstar. According to Forbes in 2019, Dwayne Johnson was the highest-paid actor in the world, having earned $89.4 million before taxes. In 2020, he still ranks in the top 10 highest paid celebrities in the world! In addition to this, his instagram handle @therock, boasts 188 million followers. He also seems like one of the nicest guys in all of Hollywood.
What’s On His Wrist?
So what kind of watch does a highly successful real-life action figure wear on his wrist? While I’m sure he admires Rolex watches for their ingenuity and timelessness, a 40mm or even 42mm Rolex watch would completely disappear on the massive wrist of a man dubbed ‘The Rock.’ A colossal man of his stature needs something much larger, much more robust, and with more presence than a standard Rolex. It should come as no surprise that time and time again, Dwayne Johnson has been seen wearing the notoriously large and fashion-forward Italian watch brand, Panerai.
Panerai’s Fascinating History
Panerai has a super fascinating history, but how the brand made its way to America will surprise you even more. Panerai was founded in 1836, in the iconic city of Florence, Italy. In its initial years, Panerai designed models for the Royal Italian Navy and made the watches worn by frogmen (predecessors to the modern Navy Seals) during the Second World War. According to The Watch Box, between 1936 and 1938, the Panerai, Rolex, and Italian authorities collaborated to refine the model that would become the definitive Panerai military tool watch (the 3646). Between 1938 and 1956, these watches formed the backbone of Panerai’s deliveries to the Italian Navy. All of the Panerai watches were assembled by Rolex, and Panerai’s Italian office modified them to suit military requirements.
How Panerai was Introduced to America and Hollywood
Amazingly, it wasn’t until 1993 that the brand started to sell its watches to civilians in limited batches. In 1995 Sylvester Stallone discovered the brand in Florence while preparing for the movie Daylight. He loved it so much that he brought a few back for his friends. One famous friend and fellow beefy action star, Arnold Schwarzenegger still wears a Panerai today!
(image source) Sylvester Stallone is known among the watch community as the man who discovered Panerai in Florence in 1995.
(image source) Stallone gifted Arnold a Panerai watch in 1995 after returning from Italy. Recently Schwarzenegger has been seen wearing the PAM00341 60mm on leather strap. This larger than life timepiece retails for around $26,200.
Shortly after Panerai really took off, The Richemont Group (the second largest watch group in the world, second to Swatch Group) bought Panerai. By 2002, Panerai had a huge watch-making facility in the picturesque town of Neuchatel, Switzerland. Since then, Panerai has been very successful and the brand is synonymous with strength, masculinity, military history, and style.
In today's world, Panerai is absolutely the watch of choice for colossal action men like Jason Statham, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and of course, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. Stallone certainly helped kick-start the trend for huge wristwatches and that trend continues today. Let’s take a look at some Panerai watches in ‘The Rock’s’ collection.
Here on the cover of the Wall Street Journal, The Rock is wearing the Panerai PAM 625.
The PAM 625 (technically called Radiomir 1940 10 Days GMT Oro Rosso) features Panerai’s classic sandwich dial, with a GMT function and an impressive 10 day power reserve! It also has a super cool display caseback with a skeletonized movement. This gargantuan 47mm dial is the perfect sized watch to complement The Rock’s massive wrist. The strap is fashioned with a simple, but tough black alligator strap which gives the watch muscle, while still being flexible. You can wear it in the ocean or dress it up with a suit. Despite the fact that it only comes on an alligator strap, Paneristi’s are known for having a strap culture, and wearers switch out their Panerai watch straps quite often for other high-quality aftermarket straps. The PAM 625 is also super exclusive, as Panerai only made it in a limited batch of 150 pieces.
The Rock has also been seen wearing Panerai’s Ceramic Luminor GMT (full name: Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days Tuttonero GMT Ceramic Mens Watch PAM00438), which is sized at 44mm and has a matte black ceramic case, bezel, and bracelet with deployant buckle. Tuttonero in Italian translates to “all black.” The caseback is made of titanium with a DLC coating. The dial is black with luminous Arabic numerals, with the date at the 3:00 marker. It is water-resistant to 100 meters. This watch has a power reserve of 3 days and retails for $13,300 on Panerai’s website.
(image source) Dwayne Johnson wears a Panerai Luminor 1950 Submersible 3 Days Automatic Titanio PAM001305 with a black rubber strap. In San Andreas (2015)
The PAM 001305 self-winding automatic watch, features a 47mm titanium case surrounding a black dial on a black rubber strap with a titanium tang buckle. For an extra fee Panerai also offers other colors of rubber watch straps (blue and gray). Functions include hours, minutes, small-seconds and date. It has a 72 hour power reserve and is water resistant to 300 meters!
(image source) Dwayne Johnson wears a Panerai Luminor Submersible PAM 0025 in Fast and the Furious Five (2011). This Panerai watch perfectly fits his character in both form and function!
Today, Panerai offers a full line of watches based in varying degrees on its historic models. While the “Luminor” and “Radiomir” remain the core genus of each variant, Panerai has expanded its product scope to encompass precious metals, high horology complications, and case sizes that have ranged from 40mm all the way to 60mm! No one can deny that Panerai watches are both iconic and instantly recognizable by those in the watch community.
And much like Johnson himself, Panerai watches have a strong presence that can’t help but win you over.
Want to see more of The Rock’s impressive watch collection? Check out the video below for more Panerai looks and also a few gorgeous Rolex, IWC, and Breitling watches, plus a Rose Gold Audemars Piguet Royal Oak (swoon)!
If you have a Panerai of your own, customize your Panerai watch with an Everest Band and live that swole life of a beefy celebrity action hero!
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