Not many things age as well as the Panerai Luminor. Created for the Italian navy in 1950, its initial design featured a tough steel case, big luminescent numerals, and a unique locking crown—all of which were designed to meet the needs of Italy’s elite military divers. The Luminor was named after a new kind of self-luminous substance that helped the watch face glow brightly underwater—an essential feature for navy frogmen in the field. The Luminor replaced the Panerai Radiomir, which itself was named for the infamously radioactive lume on its dial, and made several improvements to the design, from beefier lugs to a crown secured with a mechanical lever—a patented design that immediately set the Luminor apart.
Seventy years later, the elements that made the Luminor such a groundbreaking design remain intact and, thanks to its clean lines and simple functionality, it is still one of the most recognizable watches on the planet. To mark the 70th anniversary of this icon, Panerai has released a whole new lineup of Luminors, each of which pays tribute to the watch’s legacy while embracing high-tech new materials and the latest in Swiss watchmaking technology. Here’s the lowdown on the most impressive of the new models.
Luminor Marina – 44 mm (PAM01117)
The flagship models of the new collection are a trio of limited-edition Luminor Marinas, each of which celebrates a different groundbreaking technology. Limited to just 270 pieces, these watches also come with a spectacular promise: as a testament to Panerai’s legendary toughness they are guaranteed for 70 years. Your grandchildren will thank you.
Weighing in at just 100g (including the strap,) this Luminor’s featherlight case is created out of titanium that’s 3D printed using Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS). Taking the Luminor’s legendary luminosity to the next level, this piece also glows brighter thanks to Super-LumiNova X1, a new compound that’s applied liberally to this Luminor’s case and the strap.
Panerai Luminor Marina Goldtech – 44 mm (PAM01112)
Limited-editions are catnip for collectors, but Panerai’s 70th anniversary also promises three permanent additions to the Luminor lineup in a selection of proprietary materials. Among them is Panerai’s first Luminor Marina with a 44mm Goldtech case, an alloy of copper, platinum and gold whose resilience is as attractive as its unique reddish hue. A blue sunray dial and blue alligator strap complete the elegant package.
Luminor Marina – 44 mm (PAM01662)
Blacked out for maximum visual impact, this new Luminor shows off two of Panerai’s most impressive innovations for case construction: 3D printed DMLS titanium and Carbotech, a light and tough carbon composite. The result is a watch that is as visually appealing as it is functional, as well-suited for undersea adventures as urban ones.
Luminor Marina Fibratech (PAM01663)
Panerai’s Laboratorio di Idee is the workshop where the watchmaker experiments with new technologies and materials, and they have clearly been busy in recent years. In addition to Carbotech and 3D printed DMLS titanium, Panerai recently unveiled Fibratech, a proprietary material made from basalt rock fibres that’s 70% lighter than steel, 55% lighter than titanium, and highly resistant to corrosion. This Luminor features a Fibratech case along with a 12-sided screw back in micro-sandblasted titanium, along with a blue gradient dial and matching blue strap.
Luminor Luna Rossa — 44mm (PAM01036)
The America’s Cup is one of the most intense events on water, and Panerai is on board for the next edition of the race in spring 2021 as part of Prada’s Luna Rossa sailing team. As a tribute to the 36th edition of the world’s foremost yachting race, Panerai presents its latest Luna Rossa edition, the Luminor Luna Rossa GMT. With a case made from scratch resistant DLC-coated steel, and a second time zone function displayed on a red-tipped arrow, this watch stands out with a dial covered in the same technical fabric used on the Luna Rossa’s monohull.