Sunday, May 1, 2011

Lights, Camera, Action! Panerai On the Spotlight

When we hear the name Panerai, the words luxury, exclusivity, high-end timepiece, and Italian watch making heritage come to mind. Well, here is another word to add up to that list: celebrity. No surprise there, since Panerai has been a staple accessory to the rich and famous ever since this luxury timepiece was released in the mid-1800s. If you are planning on saving up for your very own Panerai piece, here is a helpful motivation for you: a list of celebrities who have been spotted sporting this famous Italian timepiece.

In movies, Panerai is worn by renowned action stars both on and off the movies. In Eraser, Arnold Schwarzenegger saves the day while wearing a Panerai Luminor Marina. In fact, the watch even gets its own frame in the movie. Another Hollywood action heavyweight, Sylvester Stallone, showcases the durability of Panerai in the movie, Daylight. Off the camera, Stallone was spotted back in 2009 while wearing the limited edition, 60mm Panerai Egiziano which is Panerai’s largest model. In Exit Wounds starring Steven Seagal and DMX, the latter displays his own Panerai 40mm Automatic Marina at the beginning of the film. Another Panerai enthusiast is British action heartthrob Jason Statham who dons a Panerai to complement his “Transporter” look. And while he was not seen wearing one in the movie, The Italian Job, he was seen proudly wearing his Panerai in the behind-the-scenes shots for the movie. Joining the A-list Panerai team is Hugh Grant who made sure to wear his luxury watch for his movies, Two Weeks Notice and Bridget Jones’ Diary. Meanwhile, WWE Superstar turned Hollywood action star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson sports his own style of Panerai in the movie The Rundown as well as in his GQ magazine cover. Finally Josh Hartnett also joins the elite crew with his very own Marina Base in an old Velcro strap which he wears in the movie Hollywood Homicide.

For your own piece of Panerai action, check out


Monday, April 11, 2011

The SIHH 2011 Panerai Watch Collection (Part I)

The Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) is one of the most-awaited events for watch makers and collectors. It is an exclusive event where well-known brands showcase their line-up for the year. Through the annually-celebrated SIHH, watchmakers and designers have the opportunity to share their love and passion for watch making. This year, Panerai is one of the brands who participated in SIHH and the Italian brand unveiled 15 new models to be released soon. Among the watches unveiled are manufactured with the new movement designed by Panerai, the P.3000. The P.3000 movement was launched last year and is the 8th in-house movement introduced by Panerai.

The P. 3000 movement boasts of a hand-wound movement, 3-day power reserve, 21 jewels, 16.5 ligne diameter, 5.3mm thickness, 2 spring barrels, and 3 Hz Frequency Oscillation (21,600A/h). Panerai luxury watches under the P. 3000 movement are expected to fall under the US$10,000 price range. The latest additions to the Panerai family are the following watches:

1. Panerai Luminor 1950 Chrono Monopulsante Left-Handed – The Panerai Pam00345 is a flyback chronograph, having only one button to start, stop, and reset the counter. This model does not have the latest P.3000 movement though, but instead has the in-house Panerai 2004/9 calibre. Additionally, this limited edition only has 150 pieces.

2. Officine Panerai Luminor Chromo Daylight PAM00356 – The Chromo Daylight has a 44mm size which is the contemporary Luminor design. With a stainless steel case, the Chromo Daylight also boasts of water resistance of up to 100 meters. Activation of the chronograph function will produce two sub-dials at the 3 and 6 o’clock spots to measure periods of time up to 12 hours.

3. Panerai 1950 Luminor Left Handed 8 Days Titanio PAM00368 - A large Luminor watch, the Panerai 1950 Luminor Left Handed 8 Days Titanio is a limited edition watch – only 1,000 pieces are manufactured. It features the classic Panerai pancake dial, a brown dial that blends nicely with the titanium finish.
4. Panerai Radiomir Chronograph – A smaller 42mm in size, the PAM369 has a self-winding movement, the Panerai OP XXIII Calibre. Though not an in-house movement, the modified movement has a 28,000 vibrations/hour resulting in an almost imperceptible second hand.

5. Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 Regatta – The Luminor Submersible 1950 Regatta features a Titanium case and is one of the two Submersible Panerai watches unveiled at this year’s SIHH. It offers a more practical choice because it is lighter, not only because of its Titanium case, but also due to its rubber strap. Powered by the Panerai 9001 calibre, it displays a second hour hand for a second time zone.

Among the other models unveiled at this year’s SIHH are the Panerai Radiomir Black Seal Logo, new Chronographs, Submersibles, Destros and Ceramic which will be further discussed in the succeeding entries.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Changing the Straps of Panerai Luxury Watches

One of the benefits of purchasing authentic Panerai watches is that they have lifetime manufacturing warranties. This means that collectors can simply bring their Panerai watches to authorized dealers for any services they need. Changing the straps of both older and newer Panerai models is an easy task, thanks to the tools that come with the purchase of authentic timepieces. If the tools are no longer available, you can substitute it with other tools. To change the straps of a newer Panerai watch, here’s what you need to know.

1. At the back of the Panerai watch, there is a release button which you should find just at the back of the screw posts, near the base of the watch strap.
2. With a 1.4mm screwdriver, press the release button while simultaneously using an equally sharp object to push the screw button through the screw post. If the original tools that came with the Panerai watch are still available, there is a special tool you can use to do these maneuvers concurrently.
3. Remove both the watch straps once you have pulled the end of the screw out of the screw post.
4. Between the two screw posts, place the new watch strap you want to replace the old one with. In the hole located between the two screw posts, insert a screw and make sure to push it all the way through to securely fasten the strap into the hole.
5. Press the release button and simultaneously push the end of the screw through the screw post with another sharp object.
6. Repeat the procedures to replace the other Panerai watch strap.

Replacing an older Panerai model is easier. Simply remove the two straps of the timepiece with your Panerai screwdriver or any 1.4mm flat-head screwdriver if the original is not available. Remove the old straps and place the new ones between the two screw posts. Finish off by inserting a screw into the screw posts and securing it by pushing it all the way through the screw posts. Tighten with a screwdriver and repeat the same procedure for the other strap.

Panerai luxury watches are truly unique and special. Mostly manufactured in limited editions, owning one not only says a lot about your taste, it also speaks of elegance and style.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Panerai Goes to the Movies

Panerai watches are considered one of the most recognizable watches in action films produced in Hollywood. With four major lines of watches to boost (Historic, Contemporary, Manifattura, and Special Edition), Panerai watches are often manufactured in limited editions, thus making them more valuable. Produced in 500, 1000, 2000, or 4000 units, Panerai luxury watches carry an issue number on the case back. Because of the distinct features Panerai watches have, they are often featured in movies some of which include the following:

1. Eraser – Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Eraser featured a Panerai Luminor Marina even before the hero even appeared in the movie. The story behind Panerai’s appearance in the film is that Sylvester Stallone, a known celebrity who loves Panerai watches, gave the luxury watch as a gift to Schwarzenegger, who then wore it during shooting.

2. Daylight – Released in 1996, Daylight featured Sylvester Stallone as the hero who tried to save people from the collapse of a New York tunnel. It was this during the shooting of this film that Stallone first bought his Panerai Luminor in a jewelry store in Rome. Afterwards, he ordered a batch of Panerai watches with his signature on the case back which he gave to his friends as a gift. The model became known as Slytech and Schwarzenegger was among the first to receive one.

3. Transporter – Jason Statham wore a 40mm Panerai Luminor Automatic Chrono on OEM Brown Alligator Strap the features a white stitching. The Transporter 2 movie also featured Statham wearing a Panerai Luminor Chrono Daylight 196. Statham is known to be a Panerai fan and he never took his watch off during the entire film. In the movie Italian Job where Statham played a part of a gang of robbers, Panerai never appeared in the movie itself but it can be seen during the behind the scenes footage.

4. Bridget Jones’ Diary/Two Weeks Notice – Hugh Grant is also a known fan of Panerai luxury watches and in both films, he can be seen wearing his Panerai watches. Hugh Grant also wears his Panerai watch in magazines and TV interviews.

5. Trust – The latest Hollywood film that features a Panerai watch is Clive Owen’s “Trust”, a film tackling the struggle of a father whose daughter became a victim of an online sexual predator. The Panerai watch in this film is from the Luminor 1950 Collection which is most likely to be the 8 Days Chrono Monopulsante GMT. The luxury watch features a bulky 44mm diameter case brushed in steel or titanium. With a solid black dial, the markers and hands easily stand out. The timepiece also boasts of an eight-hour power reserve and 24-hour indicator.

Other notable films that should be mentioned are The Rundown featuring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Hollywood Homicide with Josh Hartnett wearing a Marina Base on an old style Velcro strap.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Panerai Watches: A Brief Stroll Down History Lane

When it comes to luxury watches, we know all about the Rolexes and the Patek Philippes but not many people know about one Italian brand that has been making top quality and exclusive timepieces since 1860. The name is Panerai and their story begins more than a century ago in Florence, Italy with a man named Giovanni Panerai. The original Panerai office in Ponte alle Grazie was the first watch making shop in the city. In 1900, under his grandson’s leadership, the company became the official supplier to the Royal Italian Navy, supplying not only watches but other precision instruments as well. At about the same time, the company also moved to Piazza San Giovanni where the flagship store stands today. The Panerai Radiomir and Panerai Luminor were designed to meet the rigorous requirements of the Italian underwater elite team. Panerai timepieces are recognizable by their understated elegance—black, large and with luminous Arabic numerals and sticks. The luminescence is achieved through a mix of zinc sulphide and radium bromide which was given the name radiomir, from which the watch takes its name. In 1949, the company was granted a patent for luminor, which is the substance that eventually replaced radiomir, which is also the origin of the name of the other marquee Panerai watch.

The Panerai Radiomir was inadvertently put in the spotlight at the height of the Second World War as Italian divers carried out bold operations whilst wearing the timepiece. Until the end of 1980, Panerai watches were reserved for military clients. It began opening its doors to the public in the early nineties but it was not until an acquisition by a company that also manages other luxury brands did Panerai gain wide, international attention. The classic Radiomir and Luminor in manual forms were re-launched, together with a collection of new, automatic Panerai watches inspired by the classics. In 2005, Panerai teamed up with Ferrari to create Panerai watches with the Ferrari trademark. The collaboration resulted in two product lines: the Granturismo and the Scuderia. Today, Panerai continues to be lined up with other luxurious watches as one of the worlds’ most coveted and respected brands.