The Everest/Monta crew hit up the Panerai boutique in Lucerne during one of our days off from Baselworld 2018. Two of us gravitated towards the more traditional sized 44mm-47mm models, while the other two guys with us tried on the smaller watches in the brand lineup, the newish Panerai Due line. Just this week Hodinkee posted a review of the 38mm Due, which, predictably, had most of its comments focused on the low water resistance rating of 30 meters and how that is inherently contradictory to the brand’s tool-watch heritage.
So how do we feel about these smaller Panerai watches?
The truth is: In the real world a lot of non-watch people will recognize the Panerai esthetic—simple dials with oversized cases and a signature Luminor crown guard. So for some people, the new smaller and thinner Due models offer the Panerai look without the bulk. So even with the snap on caseback and measly 30 meter water resistance, people who choose the Due get that brand recognition on the wrist when sitting in a business meeting. For men, the smaller size does allow you to fit the Due underneath a shirt cuff.
Even with the practical elements of a smaller, slimmed down Panerai, we are still in the camp of “If you’re going to get a Panerai, get a Panerai!” It’s like if you have decide to eat a chocolate chip cookie, enjoy a full-on version, not some “healthier” take with less sugar or more fiber. So if you like the Panerai look, go for the classic larger case sized models. Save it for more casual outfits and proudly rock a watch that might be too big for you in the traditional sense. We recommend getting your feet wet with one of the Panerai Base models, such as the 8 Days Acciaio.
Our colleague @chronos_1010 is also a Panerai fan and when’s he’s not spending time with his GMT II or Sub, he’s been wearing his limited edition PAM911, which features a seductive green dial. He’s also owned the PAM372, a popular 47mm case model that uses a 1950-style case and Plexiglass crystal and has a dial reminiscent of the vintage Reference 6512. Both watches are big and simple, yet have a elegant beauty in the overall package.