This year appears to be Year of the Luminor for Panerai. Having redefined the warranty with the lavishly lumed and 3D printed PAM01117, the introduction of the Panerai Luminor Marina PAM01313 sees a bit more restraint return, with classic Luminor design cues but a similarly luscious blue sunburst dial. With its technologically impressive three-day movement, and price tag to match, this Luminor Marina straddles the line between work and play better than many previous attempts. Though, to be fair, recent years have seen the brand separate the two – granting dressier dials like this.
As far as dressy divers go, this PAM01313 strikes a slick balance between rugged tool and sculpted beauty. As typical from the Italian designers, the 44mm Luminor cushion case makes no effort to hide itself on the wrist. Long lugs may poke past wrist constraints, although their curvature — seamlessly blending with the radius of the case’s side profile — ensures a comfortable and hugging fit. With a sapphire crystal that doesn’t protrude far from the bezel, the 15.65mm thickness isn’t afraid to embrace the theme of bulk.
The beauty comes into the picture with the dial and finishing of the watch, each element being quintessentially Panerai. The silky-blue sunburst dial seems to be imbued with its steel and white-print surroundings, giving it a subtly sleek and smoky appearance. The sympathetic white-on-blue date wheel doesn’t attract too much attention from beneath the cut-out hole in the sandwich dial, which in turn gives depth to the high-performance Super-LumiNova markers. The mirror-polished bezel catches the eye, distinct from the radially brushed case and patented crown-guard. An oar-shaped sub seconds hand strengthens the Luminor Marina’s connection to water, and adds a touch of quirky charm to an otherwise sterile hand set.
As much as the sophisticated blue alligator leather strap lends itself to a classier way of living, Panerai’s Luminor Marinas are still more than capable dive watches — hence the inclusion of a rubber strap, easily installed with the supplied tool and drilled lugs. The calibre P.9010, operating at 28,800 vibrations per hour, is only 6mm thick, allowing the beefy case to reach depths of 300m safely. An impressive 72 hours of power reserve is achieved with dual mainspring barrels, wound bi-directionally from the automatic rotor-weight. With this movement you are also given some pseudo-GMT functionality, with the hour hand able to be independently set in one-hour intervals from the crown. This makes it especially convenient when travelling across time zones, without any crudely hidden push-buttons that can hamper a watch’s water resistance. An added bonus is the connection with the date wheel, which means that the date display will automatically turn over when setting the hours past midnight.
It’s safe to say that Panerai’s audience is varied, from those who understand the rich history and technical prowess, to those who just love that Italian design language and bold legibility. The new PAM01313 doesn’t quite fit the Sylvester Stallone-esque macho stereotype Panerai have been associated with by that latter group of fans. Its charm comes from a more refined era of Panerai, where it may even be expected that this watch should be worn with a suit. It demands a premium, too. At $11,400AUD, it sits among other Luminor Marina models in a firmly luxury price bracket. While the quality of finishing and the level of technological engineering certainly reflects its price, it may fill too small a niche to be a breakaway model in terms of popularity. Everything considered, in the current flood of blue-dialled sports watches, this PAM01313 could be seen as a beautiful and unique choice.