Thursday, February 21, 2008

Luxe of the Day: Panerai Watch

Panerai is an Italian watch maker with a long and proud history dating back to the 19th century when they made precision tools and instruments for the Italian Navy. The Panarai watch is probably best known for the fact that it was worn by Italian frogmen during the first half of the last century (rumor has it that Navy SEALS wear Casio G-Shocks…I wonder if those will be coveted luxury items some day – just kidding of course). Today, the Panerai is less likely to be found on a battlefield commando but rather on a Wall Street banker as they have become one of the more popular watches among the six-figure bonus set.

Panerai has two basic models, the Luminor and Radiomir, each of which comes in a wide variety of styles. They recently came out with a few Ferrari-branded models, which are absolutely gorgeous watches. A Panerai watch is easily noticeable by its large size and distinctive face. In fact, Panerai probably helped usher in the era of larger men’s watches that started during the latter part of the last decade. For those of us who have a bigger frame and would like a stylish and sporty watch, you can’t go wrong with a Panerai (both Sly Stallone and the Governator are big fans). In fact, yours truly who is looking to buy one in the next few months as I’ve found the 40m face of my Rolex Explorer II to be just a bit small next to my ape-like hands.

The popularity of Panerai over the past decade has made the prices of these watches become a bit heady. Most models will cost between $5-$25K. If you go to a gray-market dealer, you probably can negotiate 5-10% off. However, for a watch like this which you’ll probably keep for a lifetime, an authorized dealer like Tourneau would probably be the better choice.

1 comment:

AD said...

My G-Shock would whoop your girly man watch any day~ JK, a seriously sweet Italian watch who even James Bond would be proud to wear in the likes of 'The Spy Who Loved Me'. Another caveat is that you will always have to correct the initiated on how to pronounce the Italian moniker.