Panerai Watch Review for Beginners - Which One to Buy?
So you're ready to buy your first Panerai watch, but can't decide which one to get?
You're not alone. Even though Panerai watches are very popular, they have many variations that make the brand a trickier purchase for a first time buyer.
In this video review, Eric Rivera provides invaluable advice for new Panerai collectors.
He starts the video by highlighting the target audience for his review:
“This video is meant more for the first-time consumer and not the cycle collector.”
[NOTE: If you're an advanced Panerai collector, don't despair. Eric plans on recording a lot of other videos on Panerais going forward; each covering different aspects of this well known luxury watch brand.]
Panerai Luminor Marina – The Most Popular Model
Panerai is a great brand that attracts a type of customer that's looking for a high end timepiece that is a bit out of the ordinary.
The most popular Panerai model is the Panerai Luminor Marina. The Luminor Marinas usually feature a 44-mm wide case and the recognizable trademark crown guard that makes Panerais stand out in the horological crowd.
Since there are many different variations of the Marina, Eric provides a list of his favorite versions to help the first time buyer determine which one to buy. Here's a bullet list to break down Eric's favorites:
- PAM 104 Automatic
- PAM 005 Logo
- PAM 441 Ceramica
- PAM 289 GMT (the “Top Gun” on the list according to Eric)
The Importance of the PAM Number When it Comes to a Panerai
Right before giving the viewer his favorite list of Luminor Marina models above, Eric highlights the importance of focusing on the a model's exact PAM number before pulling the trigger.
“With Panerai it's very tricky. There's a lot of different models of each variation. So the PAM number is what's going to specifically identify which is the one you like.”
So instead of buying any PAM Luminor or Marina model, the new collector has to research exactly what the desired model is equipped with. Each model variation will have different features (sub-seconds, clear case back, date, etc.). The client can confirm these exact feature by looking at the watch's unique PAM number when doing their research.
40-mm and 42-mm Panerais – A Warning for Men!
Watch fans who are up to date with our Watch Your Style series know that Eric is all about the “watch game.” This involves making sure that the watch on your wrist makes a positive statement in the watch universe. Based on this, he provides a dire warning to men who are considering their first Panerai purchase:
“Guys, stay away from the 40mm's and the 42-mm case. Those watches look like girls' watches and the resale is terrible.”
There are two important pieces of advice here.
The first is that the smaller version of the Luminor Marina watches will look a bit too feminine when strapped to a guy's wrist. That's why the 44-mm's are the way to go for men, as Eric bluntly puts it.
The second point Eric makes above belongs relates to the investment merit of the watch (yes, watches can be good or bad investments too!). As he explains in his previous Pre Owned vs New Watches video, watch collectors like him who trade in their watches frequently need to minimize any loss they might encounter when realizing a trade-in. The fact that the smaller Panerai models tend to experience wider price drops relative to their bigger cousins makes them less attractive from a resale perspective.
Panerai's Strap Flexibility
Panerai watches offer first time buyers the flexibility to interchange different straps with the same watch.
This allows watch lovers to get pretty creative and combine different, and sometimes exotic, strap materials (plastics, leathers, etc.) with one or a few of their favorite Panerai models.
As Eric explains...
“You could have one watch with five different straps and it's almost like you have five watches.”
Even though there are many Panerai model combinations that frequently confuse the beginner, following the advice and recommendations provided in Eric's video review will help you cut through the clutter and find the right first Panerai for you.
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