From purely utilitarian beginnings as a supplier of timing instruments for military divers in the 1930s, Italian watchmaker Panerai’s transformation into a luxury icon has been nothing short of dramatic. And a major part of this success can be attributed to the characteristically brawny proportions of its watches and the unmistakably masculine positioning of the brand. This image was further bolstered by quintessential Hollywood musclemen Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger who famously wore Panerai Luminors in their 1990s movies Daylight and Eraser respectively. This also meant Panerai never appealed much to collectors who preferred watches with smaller cases and to those who had relatively smaller wrists. It was to address this issue that the Richemont-owned Florentine brand came up with the Luminor Due model range in 2016. Essentially a scaled-down version of the military-inspired original, this opened the brand up to a wider section of watch collectors, especially women. While the initial models in Luminor Due line-up were all minimalist, with no complications except for a date display, Panerai has now introduced a set of watches that feature a small seconds and moon phase display with a solid-gold moon disc.
Dubbed the Luminor Due Luna, this relatively more elaborate watch dial is cased in a compact 38mm case, lending it a dose of elegance and delicateness that the original Luminor does not have. References PAM01179, PAM01180 and PAM01301 come with a polished steel bezel and sun-brushed dials, while Reference PAM01181 features an all-gold Panerai Goldtech case and a mother of pearl dial. The dial design is typical Panerai, and oversized hour markers and twin sub-dials add to its character. The best part of the dial though is the moon phase at three o’clock, with the semi-circular aperture displaying a gold moon against a night-sky. The moon is a disc of solid 24 karat gold, beautifully engraved with ‘craters’ mimicking the actual lunar surface.
All the watches in the series are powered by the watchmaker’s P.900 calibre automatic movement that beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour and boasts an impressive three-day power reserve. Although three of the new watches come with solid casebacks, the movement can be seen through the Goldtech edition’s transparent back.
While the base model is offered in steel with the option of a steel bracelet in the PAM01301, Panerai is also offering two alligator straps, in dark pink and blue, attached to models PAM01179, PAM01180 and PAM01181.
References PAM1179 and PAM1180 are expected to retail for $9,300 each, Reference PAM1301, with the matching steel bracelet will sell for $10,100, and the top spec Goldtech iteration will retail at a premium $20,600.