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Watch 101

Panerai Watch Terminology: A Lesson in Italian

Paul Altieri

Born in Florence and now manufactured in the heart of Switzerland’s watchmaking region, Panerai has never strayed far from its Italian roots. In fact, many of the terms used to describe various Panerai watch models are still in Italian, which can cause a little confusion for non-Italian speakers.

So, if you’d like to learn a little more about Panerai watch terminology, then dig into our guide as we translate some of the Italian words frequently used by the brand. 

Panerai Watch Terminology A Lesson in Italian Words Luminor

Translation of Panerai Watch Materials

Panerai typically uses Italian words to describe the materials of its watches and straps

Acciaio: Steel

  • For example: Panerai Radiomir 1940 Acciaio – Panerai Radiomir 1940 in stainless steel

Bronzo: Bronze

  • For example: Panerai Submersible Bronzo – Panerai Submersible in bronze

Oro Bianco: White Gold

  • For example: Panerai Radiomir 3 Days Oro Bianco – Panerai Radiomir 3 Days in white gold

Oro Rosso: Red Gold

  • For example: Panerai Luminor Marina 8 Days Oro Rosso – Panerai Luminor Marina 8 Days in red gold

Panerai Watch Terminology What do the Italian Words mean? Radiomir California Dial

Titanio: Titanium

  • For example: Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 2500M 3 Days Automatic Titanio – Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 2500M 3 Days Automatic in titanium 

Assolutamente: Absolutely

  • A type of Panerai calf leather (suede) strap processed using traditional Italian tanning artistry. This type of strap features the so-called “pull-up” effect where the color can change where the material is bent. Not suitable for water activities. Scamosciato is the Italian word for suede.

Firenze: Florence

  • A type of Panerai calf leather strap infused with plant extracts, characterized by a prominent surface grain. 

Ponte Vecchio: Old Bridge

  • A type of Panerai calf leather strap processed using traditional Italian tanning artistry. This type of strap also features the so-called “pull-up” effect where the color can change where the material is bent.

Panerai Watch Terminology Italian Word Meaning Luminor Marina

Other Panerai Watch Terms

In addition to materials, Panerai uses a handful of Italian words for specific models, collections, and design details. 

Brevettato: Patented

  • In the 1930s, Panerai developed some watches with 12-sided bezels, engraved with the words “OFFICINE PANERAI – BREVETTATO” where ‘Brevettato’ means “patented” in Italian in reference to the patented luminous material used on the dial. In 2016, Panerai released a pair of models (PAM685 & PAM687) inspired by this vintage model.  

8 Giorni Brevettato: 8 Days Patented

  • Panerai has made a few watches where the 3 hour marker is replaced by a circular symbol with the inscription “8 Giorni Brevettato.” That translates to “8 Days Patented” in reference to the eight-day power reserve of the manual winding movement – a technical feat that dates back to Panerai watches from the 1950s. 

Luminor Due: Luminor Two

  • In 2016, Panerai introduced a slim-down version of its famed Luminor model called the Luminor Due or Luminor Two. 

L’Astronomo: The Astronomer

  • In 2010, Panerai introduced the special edition L’Astronomo Luminor 1950 Tourbillon Equation of Time in honor of the 2019’s 400th Anniversary of Galileo’s astronomical discoveries. In 2018, Panerai followed it up with the L’Astronomo Luminor 1950 Tourbillon Moon Phases Equation of Time GMT. Unlike most Panerai watches, these models are high-complication timepieces. 

Panerai Watch Terminology Italian Word Definition Luminor Marina

Lo Scienziato: The Scientist

  • In addition to the L’Astronomo, Panerai also unveiled the special edition Lo Scienziato Radiomir Tourbillon GMT Ceramica in 2010 as a tribute to Galileo. Other ‘The Scientist’ models have since joined the collection including Lo Scienziato Radiomir 1940 Tourbillon GMT and Lo Scienziato Luminor 1950 Tourbillon GMT in a range of materials and colors. Unlike most Panerai watches, these models are high-complication timepieces.

Marina Militare: Navy

  • The origins of Panerai wristwatches began in the 1930s when the Florentine watchmaker presented prototypes to the Royal Italian Navy also known as the Regia Marina. Shortly thereafter, Panerai became an official supplier of dive watches to the Regia Marina. Post-World War II, the Kingdom of Italy became the Italian Republic and the Regia Marina subsequently changed its name to Marina Militare. Panerai watches with Marina Militare on the dial are a tribute to the company’s historic links with the Italian Navy. 

Officine: Workshops

  • While it is simply known as Panerai, the official name of the brand is Officine Panerai, which translates to “Panerai Workshops.” Although the words ‘Officine Panerai’ was used on some watch models starting in the 1950s, the original name of the company was G. Panerai & Figlio (Giovanni Panerai & Sons). However, after Giuseppe Panerai died in 1972, Dino Zei took over the company and changed the name to Officine Panerai.

Laboratorio di Idee: Ideas Workshop

  • Another Italian term you may hear Panerai reference is the concept of “Laboratorio di Idee” or “ideas workshop,” used to emphasize the company’s commitment to researching and developing innovative materials and technical solutions.

From exclusively serving the Regia Marina to becoming one of the world’s leading names in luxury watches, it’s clear that Panerai is proud to infuse its Italian heritage in its collection of Swiss-made watches.  

Panerai Watch Italian word meaning define radiomir luminor

Paul Altieri