Panerai Case Types and Shapes
Article for the Beginner
Panerai Case Types
At first glance, there appears to only be two case shapes of Panerai, though this is not really the case (no pun intended). I write this article because I think that many beginners to the Panerai brand (as I was initially) may not be aware of the variations available.
In reality there are four basic case styles, and several sizes of each: Luminor, Luminor 1950, Radiomir and Ferrari.
Probably the most popular of the case styles, the Panerai Luminor case is also the most contemporary looking of all the Panerai watches. With relatively speaking more straight edges the Luminor case style is found in two sizes: 40mm and 44mm.
The Luminor case has the Device Protecting the Crown which has become one of the most recognizable Panerai trademarks.
My personal favourite. The Luminor 1950 case style is similar to the standard Luminor from the front, but when viewed from the side and the back, the differences are apparent. The case side sweep back gracefully giving it a vintage look, but a little more contemporary looking than say a Radiomir.
The Luminor 1950 style case can also have a uniquely shaped crystal that is domed in an unusual way, very much like the old vintage acrylic crystals. Not all 1950's cases share this heavily domed crystal. Some feature a more gentle curve resembling the standard Luminor case. This case style also has the Device Protecting the Crown.
The models with the 1950's style case are available in two sizes: 44mm and 47mm. The models in this case style also tend to be a bit more expensive as they are not available in base models or even minor complications.
The Radiomir model has perhaps the richest history and comes in the most varieties of case sizes: 42mm, 43mm, 45mm, 46mm and 47mm. Most of the more obscure sizes were used only a handful of times in special editions. The case is rounded and curved with a very vintage look to it.
The Radiomir models do not have a Device Protecting the Crown like the Luminors do, and have "wire lugs" which connect the strap to the case quite differently than most watches nowadays do.
The Ferrari line of watches from Panerai have their own cases, which are quite beautiful in my opinion. They are designed for a different audience and because of this they are not typically as popular amongst Panerai collectors. They come in two sizes: 40mm and 45mm.
These watches also do not have a Device Protecting the Crown but have a very large, textured crown.