Panerai compresses a classic
You can’t miss a Panerai. When the Italian company relaunched in 1993, it did so with three watches inspired by the designs it had once made for Italian Navy divers. And it was their sheer size that caught the attention of watch fans. The Luminor Marina was bigger and thicker than anything else out there. Early devotees had their shirt cuffs tailored to accommodate the beefy new behemoth. Many more did not, content to show off a wristwatch that became a talisman of corporate success.
If you’ve ever wondered why modern watches are so big, thank Panerai.
So, in an industry whose monumental shifts can be measured in a handful of millimetres, it’s something of a sea change that Panerai’s major news this year is the Luminor’s drastic slim-down to a not-exactly-svelte 10.5mm, which represents a 40 percent decrease in the thickness of the iconic Luminor 1950 case design. It speaks volumes about where watchmaking is going next.