It may seem that only a few PANERAI watches exist, when first familiarizing oneself of the iconic brand. However, there are in fact plenty of case options to choose from, and even more variations in size for each one. Some descriptions are below:
The most popular case style in general is the Panerai Luminor, which happens to be the most contemporary style of all of the Panerai watches. Its form is sleek with straighter edges, available in two sizes: 40mm and 44mm. The Panerai Luminor case carries the brands most recognizable feature, the “device protecting the crown” which has be aptly trademarked by Officine Panerai.
PANERAI LUMINOR 1950:
The Luminor 1950 case can be considered similar to the standard Luminor from the front view, however the side and back views reveal a very different Panerai case. Most noticeable, is its uniquely domed crystal, which resembles the glass used in vintage times past. Some versions of the Luminor 1950 feature a less defined dome, with lower rounded effect, more resembling the standard Luminor. The 1950 case maintains it vintage appeal with a modern flare, while carrying the device protecting the crown which we can so easily associate with Panerai. It comes equipped well beyond other Panerai watch base models, and comes in 44mm and 47mm.
Glorious in rich history, the Radiomir offers the most choices of case size: 42mm, 43mm, 45mm, 46mm, and 47mm, several sizes being special editions. The Radiomir can be considered the most vintage looking of Panerai watches. It has a simple crown, with no protective device. Its case is minimalistic and square with softly curved edges. Giving it an even more subdued style, are wire lugs which attach the draped leather strap to its case.
Probably considered the “coolest” Panerai today, the Submersible has a virtual mix of all things Panerai… Obvious at first is the device protecting the crown, the “round and square at the same time” oversized case which comes in 44mm or 47mm, and the rugged rubber strap. This watch is water resistant to 300 meters, and comes in an array of materials such as stainless steel, titanium, ceramic, and Bronzo.
In the 1990s, the Panerai brand was coming back to the surface after many years of dormancy. They released two models: the Luminor and the very different looking Mare Nostrum. Produced from 1993-1997, the Mare Nostrum was developed in tribute to an officer’s deck watch which Panerai had designed years earlier, but never produced. Once released, it was not popular or considered greatly in the mainstream market. Ironically, it has a case shape and mechanical esthetics which vaguely resemble most other Panerai watches.
The Ferrari case is uniquely its own, and a bit less popular, although very much appreciated by a more modern minded audience. The smooth Panerai case includes a very large, rugged textured crown and comes in two sizes: 40mm and 45mm.