Panerai Watch Reviews - The Luminor Marina

Published: 25th September 2007
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I've been a fan of Panerai watches for years. I like just about the entire collection from Panerai but there's one that, for me, that is special - the Panerai Luminor Marina PAM00104.

Panerai started making watches for the Italian navy. The company is now Swiss based. The overall look and design of Panerai watches hasn't changed that much since they were first manufactured. Some technical advances have been made to the movements of course along with the appearance of the lugs that can be easily removed to replace the strap - in the old days the leather straps were not really designed to be replaced. And talking of straps, like most diving watches, Panerai now come with rubber straps. Titanium casings are now also available. But, essentially when you buy a Panerai watch you'll be buying something that your grand parents would feel comfortable wearing.

However, I should stress that not everyone will feel comfortable wearing a Panerai diving watch. The Luminor Marina is 44 mm in diameter and many might feel that this watch was rather too large for their wrist. There is a 40 mm model available for those who prefer a somewhat smaller watch.

The Panerai Luminor Marina is heavy and feels as though it's solidly built. If you're going to wear a large watch, you want it to feel robust and tough enough to withstand whatever you throw at it. For such a large watch, the crown of the Luminor is thin; however it has a large crown-guard with the Panerai patented open/close-system to keep it water-resistant.

The slightly rounded sapphire crystal really does complement the rounded lugs and soft curves of the case. In fact, the casing has a definite 'soft' look to it, which helps to 'lighten' the appearance of the large case as well as remind you of the workmanship that goes into the making of the case and watch overall.

The dial of the Panerai Luminor Marina PAM00104 is black. The dial can also be had in white, though I like my watch faces to be black on sports watches. A small point: the dial is black; there is no patterning or any other 'effects'. This is something I really appreciate about the Luminor from Panerai; the dial has a simple understatement that will stand the test of time. The minute and hour hands are simple in design; straight with triangular points, they are luminescent with a black rim. Another fine detail is the length of the minute hand; it stops short of the indices - I don't like arms that actually seem to touch or fall on the indices. Oddly, the second hand - which is contained in a subsidiary dial - is of a different shape; it is an ellipse with a small ball-shape as a counterweight on the other side of the pinion. I can't make up my mind if I like the shape of the second hand or would prefer it to have matched that of the other two. Finally, the indices are large Arabic numerals, the numerals at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock being slightly larger. Overall, the dial of the Panerai Luminor Marina PAM00104 is clear, easy to read with an understated elegance.

The Panerai Luminor comes with automatic mechanical movement - the exclusive Panerai OP III caliber that is 13¼ lignes and comes with 21 jewels. There is Côtes de Genève decoration on the bridges. The movement comes with PANERAI personalized oscillating weight and Glucydur balance with 28,800 alternations/hour. The watch has an Incabloc anti-shock device. The movement is rated COSC. The Luminor has a power reserve of 42 hours.

The black leather straps of the Panerai Luminor are good. You also get a rubber strap with this model. The buckle is brushed metal and comes with the Panerai logo. Unlike most watches, the straps are attached to the case by screws rather than springbars - you use the screwdriver that comes with the watch to remove the screws from the case and strap. I like this feature; you feel the straps are properly secured to the casing. To be really safe, Panerai has put a small steel cylinder in the pinholes of the strap which you have to remove and put in the holes of the rubber strap.

Despite Panerai watches originally being made for diving, I find myself wearing this watch for all occasions. Its simple, elegant dial and the rounded contours of the casing allow me to wear the watch on formal occasions, while its chunkiness and obvious outdoor pedigree also make it ideal for sports activities. The Panerai Luminor Marina PAM00104 is a watch I now I shall wear for many years without feeling the need to replace it.

Follow the links for more swiss watch reviews on leading brands like Panerai watches, Tissot watches, Oris and Longines among others.

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