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Panerai Radiomir California 3 Days PAM00424

Panerai prices: how much do they cost?

Watches from Italian horologists Panerai are instantly-recognizable by their oversized faces and easy-to-read dials. Giovanni Panerai founded the company in Florence in 1860, but it was his grandson that expanded the business, and before long, Panerai was the official watch supplier to the Royal Italian Navy. The Italian military still uses them to this very day, but they have also been available in the civilian market since 1993. Now renowned as one of the world’s most luxurious watch brands, Panerai prices vary between $3,900 and $340,000.

Panerai prices by collection

Unlike its competitors, Panerai only has a handful of collections, with several submodels in each. Each collection has built up a cult following, but none are as popular as the Luminor. Hailed as one of the best watches in the world, it is defined by its unusual crown-protecting bridge, which pushes the crown down tightly onto the case so that the watch is waterproof. Its namesake is due to the luminous materials — patented by Panerai — that give it its bright glow. They were originally used as service watches by elite combat divers in the Italian Marines, and are renowned for their reliability and indestructible construction. The Luminor Base is the brand’s least expensive model, coming in at around $3,800. It boasts the unique crown bridge, has a stainless steel casing, and an eye-catching ‘sandwich dial’, in which two disks rest against each other. The prices of a Panerai Luminor base start to climb when they are made with the in-house P.5000 caliber and boast an 8-day reserve. These cost over $5,000. Another popular Luminor submodel is the Marina, well-known for being the watch Arnold Schwarzenegger wore in the the film Eraser. One of the most notable features is the small seconds at nine o’clock. Choose between automatic or manual models, as well as 44 mm and 40 mm faces. A manual Marina with the coveted PAM 00111 reference number retails at around $5,800. Apre-owned version is a little less, at $4,500. Luminor aside, Panerai’s first ever wristwatch, the Radiomir, is also a sought-after timepiece. Initially designed specifically for the Italian military, it was first brought to market in the 1930s, and the style has barely changed since. Unlike Luminor, it doesn’t have a crown protector, but it does boast the classically oversized face and easy-to-read numbers. The most similar to the original is the Radiomir California (PAM00424). It gets its name from the so-called California dial, which has roman numbers as hour markers, and Arabic numbers along the bottom half. Grab one pre-owned for $5,400, or buy for a new one for $6,000.

Panerai prices: are they a good investment?

Panerai has always had a large fan base, but one thing that sets them from its competitors is that each model has a limited run. This makes every watch a ‘limited edition’, so whatever Panerai you buy, it will eventually become a collectible. The cost of a Panerai watch reflects this smaller production, and also makes your choice of timepiece feel more special to you!