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WOTW: Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 | The Legacy of the Luminor PAM01313

A military diving tool inspired by an original 1950 model with a huge power reserve, in-house calibre and 300-meter water-resistant steel case

The Legacy of the Luminor

Considered an industry icon by many, the Panerai Luminor watch has long been collected by sports watch enthusiasts. The Italian watch manufacturer launched its first-ever Luminor watch in 1993. It superseded the Radiomir watch, a timepiece originally featuring a radium-based powder for illuminating its indices and hands in the dark. The Radiomir watch was updated with modern luminous material after the effects of radiation exposure were discovered. Panerai Luminor watches take their name from the luminescent material later developed by the company, which was not only safe but also brighter. The tritium (hydrogen isotope)-based compound was ground-breaking for Panerai since the company soon became world-renowned for being a specialist within this field of expertise.

The Panerai Luminor watch was mostly recognised for its large crown protection system and its cushion-shaped case made from stainless steel.  The unique crown guard seen on the Luminor protects the crown from impact but also presses it down against the side of the case to prevent water from leaking into the internal section of the watch. Panerai Luminor Marina watches are highly coveted among collectors. Widely sought-after as an investment piece, the Marina, again features the same crown protection system and its instantly recognisable case shape but also features a small seconds sub-dial at 9 o’clock balanced by a date aperture at the third hour.

Key features of the Luminor Marina

Aside from the features it shares with the Luminor, the Luminor Marina has many attributes to offer the modern-day collector. If you’re new to the world of Panerai watches, there are some key areas of manufacture that the company has focussed on during its 160-year heritage. Not only did the company put itself on the map for its pioneering luminous materials, but its movements are also valued for their long power reserves – many of which display their remaining energy on the dial surface. The Luminor Marina combines Panerai’s huge power reserves with specialist diving qualities. It passed the Royal Navy’s tough tests with flying colours, adding to the cult status of the famous Luminor.

The Luminor 1950

Directly inspired by a Panerai Luminor model from the year 1950, the Luminor Marina 1950 is yet another sub-category of the Luminor family. Its case differs slightly from other Marina models in that its sapphire crystal front is slightly domed, A quality that can be admired when viewing the case from the side. It creates a vintage-inspired look in-fitting with the 1950s models from which it takes inspiration from. The crown protection device is also a little thicker than standard Luminor watches.

The Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 PAM01313

The 44mm Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 ref: PAM01313 boasts a satine soleil blue dial which compliments the different textured finishes of its steel case quite nicely. The dial is home to the familiar small second counter at 9 o’clock and a clearly visible date aperture in a matching blue background at 3 o’clock. The face of the watch is framed by a polished steel bezel attached to a brushed steel case for a matt finish. The three large Arabic numerals take up their usual residence at 12, 6 and 9 o’clock in a bright white colour. You couldn’t escape the fact that this Panerai watch belongs to the Marina collection if you tried. The large “Luminor Marina” lettering is emblazoned onto the surface of the dial under the twelfth index, balanced by the “Panerai Automatic” lettering at 6 o’clock in the same hue.

For many, the Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 watch may seem large on initial glance, but when you consider the largest of the brand’s offerings – a 47mm diameter – the width of the case suddenly seems less imposing. The steel case of this Panerai watch is sealed to help maintain its 300-meter water-resistant capability, but behind the solid steel back is a meticulously crafted in-house self-winding movement. The Calibre P.9010 is built from the ground-up in Panerai’s manufacturing facilities. It features a Glucydur® balance, a 3-day power reserve and is protected inside the brand’s Incabloc® anti-shock technology. Powering on at a total of 28,800 vibrations per hour, the movement comprises 200 individual components that work in synergy with one another for a peerless performance.

Before 1993 Panerai Luminor Marina watches were exclusively sold to military personnel, but it’s clear that the watch has now become much more than just a military tool. Sported on the wrists of celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, the watch has status in all industries, from sport to diving, to military to showbiz. Defined from the Luminor base by the presence of its legible small second dial, yet remaining true to the iconic style of the original 1950s Panerai, this Marina 1950 watch combines a rugged case for deep-sea exploration, a huge power reserve and a reliable in-house calibre.

Technical Specifications of the Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 PAM01313

Case: 44mm fine-brushed stainless steel with polished bezel – domed sapphire crystal glass treated with layers of anti-reflective technology

Dial: Satine soleil blue – small seconds counter 9 o’clock – date window at 3 o’clock – luminous hands and indexes

Movement: Calibre P.9010 – 3-day power reserve – 31 jewels – Glucydur® balance – 28,800 vibrations per hour

Strap: Blue alligator leather – white contrast stitching – steel pin buckle

The Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 ref: PAM01313 is priced at £6,800 and is available to order now at Berry’s Jewellers. The watch comes with a 2-year guarantee and a genuine Panerai presentation box complete with instructions manual and warranty. The watch is completed on a blue alligator leather strap with a polished steel “Panerai”-engraved buckle.