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Introduced in 2016, the history of the Panerai Luminor Due is short-lived. But, its design is deeply rooted in its iconic predecessor, the Luminor, and oozes with the same essence of mechanical ingenuity that has propelled the Italian watch brand forward for decades. View additional models by visiting our used Panerai watches page.
Panerai has been around since the 1860's but only achieved household recognition and world-wide fame after releasing their impressive watches and complications to the public, not just the Italian Navy. Panerai’s now iconic Luminor helped ushered in this fame in the early 1990's, and the introduction of the Luminor Due in 2016 only heightened 'Paneraimania' thanks to its sheer wearability, elegance and unisex appeal.
We were first introduced to the Panerai Luminor in 1993, making it just over a quarter century young. However, the watch has been around longer than that; like many of their early creations, the timepiece was only initially available to the Itanlian navy. First patented in 1949, the watch was a solution to the toxic radium famously used in their first model, the Radiomir, before everyone knew just how dangerous the substance was. The Luminor, then, was not only safer but brighter and featured its own set of aesthetics including that iconic 'tight seal device' - the large, unmistakable crown-protector.
It took another forty-or-so years for the Luminor to hit the public market, finally being introduced alongside the Marina and the Mare Nostrum in 1993, all inspired by their historical counterparts from the 1950's.
The inaugural public model clocked in at a massive 44mm and featured a slightly reworked cushion-shaped case compared to its historical references. Other key features included the integrated lugs and the signature crown protector which kept it water resistant up to 300m (1000ft). Over the years, the Luminor has seen its own upgrades and variations, including the addition of 40mm case sizes and the introduction of the even-more vintage inspired Luminor 1950 which comes in sizes like 42, 44 and 47. It’s also seen dial upgrades and movement changes.
But while nodding to the history and intense fame of the Lumunor, the Luminor Due was certainly a new watch all its own when it was unveiled in 2016. The very essence of this watch was built around modernity — from the upgraded, 10.7mm case which is about 40% thinner than the original case, to the P1000/10, P.4000/10 in-house movements. There was also the later introduction of the and OPXXXIV in the 38mm, but that’s a “group movement," meaning it’s available to Panerai and all brands within the Richemont group.
The new size of the collection effortlessly expanded the brands fanbase, ushering in a new kind of customer who adored the aesthetics of the classic model but who wanted something that was more ‘wearable’ and versatile. The new case could both sit comfortably on a woman's wrist and slip under the cuff of a shirt.
The first instances of the watch featured a black sunburst face, accentuated with all the features we had come to know and love, like the four Arabic numerals at the cardinal points separated by baton-shaped indexes. What made this even more special was that the timepiece also featured a Sandwich-Dial, the numerals not painted on, but carved out of a second dial that sat upon the dial beneath. There's also a seconds subdial over at 9-o'clock which keeps the dial simple and functional.
In 2017, the brand introduced a white face with the Oro Roso and Anthracite (aka, gray) on the Acciaio. And, with much fanfare, the blue dial on the Titanio. In 2018, we got the even smaller 38mm with three days power reserve. Notably, the 38mm was a bit thicker with a 'group' rather than in-house movement, clocking in at 11.2mm.
The price of a Panerai Luminor Due varies and greatly depends on the size, case material and if it is some sort of special edition model. You can purchase a Panerai Luminor Due that is 38mm for as low as $6,000. But comparatively, the entry-level pricing for the larger 45mm counterpart is nearly double that. The Goldtech models of the Luminor Due also greatly increase the price because of their precious alloy difference.
The timepiece is directly inspired by the original and its aesthetics that stretch back to the 1950’s. But, it is a totally contemporary reinterpretation with a slim, streamlined case and modern movements to bring it into the 21st century. To get a closer look and better understanding of this watch, let’s break it down into different parts.
The case comes in three distinct sizes, 38mm, 42mm, 45mm. While they're mostly the same despite their size, there are some minor differences, the main being that the 42mm is 10.5mm thick, the 45 10.7mm thick and the 38mm being notably larger at 11.2mm thick. This is due to the different movements used in each, but we will circle back to that. And while it's believed Panerai introduced the 38mm model to attract more women, it's important to note that this unisex styled — and sized - case has attracted both men and women across all three sizes.
The case also comes in three alloys, stainless steel, titanium and Goldtech - Panerai’s proprietary mix of gold, copper and platinum that gives it a rose hue with added durability.
But what is most distinct about this 1950's inspired case is its construction. The famous pillow-shaped case traces its aesthetics not only all the way back to the old Luminors, but also the Radiomir. You'll also notice that while the brand has worked to slim down the case they're not trying to making this watch any less petite - keeping the oversized strap lugs and the iconic crown protector for a sturdy, sporty look. Additionally, some of the feature include a clear caseback to show off their in-house movements, but not all of them. And while this is still technically considered a sports watch, with a thinner case and 30-meter water resistance, it's clear the Luminor Due is really built for pleasure.
Since its release in 2016, this model has seen some really beautiful dial variations. We went from sun-brushed black to creamy white, gray and even blue - a cult favorite. The color variation really allows for a lot of great customization on this watch which, while available in three different alloys, you mostly see in stainless steel and Goldtech. But, there are far more defining features to the models face than the color.
While the colors have evolved, and may continue to, what will continue to distinguish this face are the numerals. You'll always see Arabic numerals at 12, 3 and 6. The rest of the hours are identified by baton-shaped indexes, the 9 being a bit smaller to accommodate the seconds subdial that is placed there.
What's special about the hour markers on the dial is that most of them aren't painted on like the numbers on most other watches. The face is what we call a 'Sandwich-Dial,' the top layer having the numerals carved into it to show the luminous 'Luminor' on a dial beneath. It is a unique feature for Panerai that gives the dial a lot of added depth and dimension. You’ll find this across many of their watches, but not the white dials which have applied hour markers.
Other notable features include the 'Luminor Panerai' which you can read out under the 12-o'clock. And on some of the newer models - like the PAM01046 - you will also see the date situated in a small window at 3-o'clock. Some watches within the collection will also display the power reserve, while the GMT Power reserve is the only that displays the date, power reserve and a second timezone alongside the traditional hour, minute and seconds.
From the outside, the company has worked tirelessly to create a real sense of distinct aesthetic and cohesion between the different sized and alloy-outfitted models. But, inside each of them ticks a different movement which directly corelates to not only its functionality but tiny aesthetic differences. Here we’re going to outline the different movements of the collection, from the in-house to the group calibres and complicated complications.
The hand-wound mechanical, P.1000 calibre is an in-house creation featuring 21 jewels, a Glucydur balance, ticks at 28,800 alternations/hour, as well as features a 3-day power reserve and a KIF Parechoc anti-shock device. With 152 components, it clocks in at 3.85mm thick and fits inside the 42mm model to accuretly display the hours and minutes. Famously, it also displays the seconds which are spotted on a separate subdial that the brand is known for integrating into its modern watches.
This in-house mechanism is a great example of pure Panerai genius. For example, look to the balance, which is not only held by two supports but is fixed by screws with threaded rings for micrometer adjustment of the height to provide maxinum stability. Additionally, the in-house P.1000 can be reset with incredible accuracy thanks to a device which stops the balance and zeroes the seconds hand.
The P.9000 calibre, created in-house by the Officine Panerai team, is an automatic movement with a three day power reserve. You’ll find this movement tucked inside the 42mm with a date functionality, like the PAM01046. But, this important and powerful calibre can also be found inside some of Panerai's Luminor 1950 and Radiomir models.
Panerai calls this movement 'instantly recognizeable' thanks to impressive features like the two barrels which guarantee 72-hours of power reserve and a single-piece rotor which, powered by anautomatic rachet device, winds up by moving in both directions. There’s also that balance wheel featuring adjusting screws, oscillating at a frequency of 4 Hz.
This automatic movement was built to be small but mighty. The in-house calibre P.4000 has a thickness of just 3.95mm thanks to an off-center router. Additionally, with a small oscillating weight that's inserted within the movement - instead of being superimposed - Panerai was able to create a sophisticated, powerful and thin calibre for their 45mm models.
Alongside the features noted above, the movement boasts 31-jewels, 207 components, a three day power reserve and a KIF Parechoc® anti-shock device, Glucydur® balance, and 28,800 alternations/hour.
It's also important to note that this calibre comes in two aesthetic variations. One is for the steel case and features blue engravings, elief decoration on the matt surface, bridges that are horozontally brushed and an oscillating weight of tungsten alloy. The other is for the Goldtech cases featuring gilded engraving, polished decorations in relief on the brushed surface, bridges with a circular brushed finish and a 22 carat gold rotor.
The automatic OP XXXIV isn't specifically Panerai, instead a movement owned and available to all the watchmakers that are part of the Richemont Group. Although it's not an in-house creation, the OP XXXIV has all the power, reliablility and sophistication to fit perfectly within the collection. Not only does it boast the same 72-hour power reserve as the in-house calibres, but it has impressive features like 23 jewels, 171 components, 28,800vph, one barrel and date functionality. You’ll find this movement used in their 38mm models, but rumor on the street is that eventually Panerai's P900 could replace this Richemont movement altogether.
Last, but certainly not least, is the impressive in-house GMT functional calibre P.4002 which you will only find this movement tucked inside the 45mm Luminor Due GMT Power Reserve. So what separates this calibre from the rest? Well it's still exceptionally thin, clocking in at 4.8mm despite boasting 31-jewels, 288 components, a Glucydur® balance and the KIF Parechoc® anti-shock device, two barrels and 3-days power reserve. Like its predecessor the P.4000, the calibre P.4002 is able to acheive this small size thanks to an off-centered oscillating weight.
All of this adds up to extreme functionality on what is an otherwise sophsticated, if not understated dial. Thanks to this calibre, the Luminor Due GMT Power Reserve features the traditional hour, minute and seconds alongisde the date, and GMT functionality for tracking a second timezone. This watch also allows the display of the power reserve, which you’ll find tucked on the dial of this watchface at 5-o'clock.
This particular model is one of the most striking examples of modern Panerai meeting vintage. The Goldtech alloy, a wonderful rose color, alongside the ‘smaller’ case size (although 36mm is what’s really considered vintage-small) makes it an instant classic. Panerai has also matched it with this beautiful creamy dial which is a stark contrast to their darker faces, but is wonderfully offset by the traditional Arabic numerals and baton hour markers outfitted in Luminor that appears subtle during the day but shines bright at night. To tie the look together, it’s been paired with a red aligator strap that will look great gracing the wrist of either a man or a woman.
The favorite. This watch is beloved for its durable, sporty stainless steel case that's been sized-down for this collection in a way that is totally elegant and versatile. The blue face keeps with the sporty, dark, and effortlessly striking aesthetic Panerai has curated over the years. Yet, the sunburst pattern one again adds a subtle hint of sophstication that elevates this watch to an entirely new level. What we, and most others, love about this watch is that this one also features the date. The rest of the face is traditional and everything you want from the Luminor Due, featuring those Luminor Arabic numerals and baton hands through a signature Sandwich-Dial.
While this watch also comes in the iconic blue, there is something so reserved about the gray sunburst face of the Luminor Due GMT Power Reserve. Not only does its darker hue contrast well against the stainless steel case, but it almost adds some robustness to this otherwise slender timepiece. But what really makes this watch worthy of the rich, famous and jetset are all the functionalities - from the date and GMT to power reserve - which you can see both displayed on the dial but ticking through the clear caseback.