The Panerai Luminor was always a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. While the design is appealing on some hard to understand level, as a guy with skinny wrists I automatically excluded it from my mind due to its sheer size. As with many watches, your opinion may be largely affected once you actually wear a watch. To my surprise, and disregarding the expectations that one could get from the visual appearance of the watch, the Luminor wears incredibly comfortable. It undeniably, however, is chunky and you feel definitely a bit more conscious while wearing it than you would with a 36 mm Datejust. Of course, looking at the historical inspirations for this Luminor it makes sense, Panerai didn’t follow the oversize movement but actually started it. As we are spotting a reverse trend towards smaller watches again I started wondering how a smaller Luminor would fit. The gods of horology have been generous with me seeing that Panerai introduced the Luminor Due.
Why is it called Due? I am not really sure, and I don’t really care. What matters here is the fact that for watches with the same diameter as the inspiration watch (the Luminor 1950) Panerai managed to reduce the case mass by 40%. What that means is that these watches will be available in a stunningly thin 11,2 mm cases and in diameter variations ranging from 38 to 45 mm.
The watch will be available in steel, rose-gold, and titanium depending on which size you pick, and comes with a 3-day automatic movement. A cool feature to the due is that the smaller models will come with a quick-change strap, something that will be appreciated by fans of the brand who are known for switching around their straps.
One drawback that cannot be ignored is the fact that this watch has only a water resistance of 30 meters. Now Panerai says that this is a necessary drawback of the watch being so thin and shouldn’t stop owners from swimming with the Due. I doubt this will actually deter many people, but with the Luminor historically being a dive watch this is a bit disappointing but one I can live with. Regardless, the new Panerai Luminor Due is a great entry level piece to the brand and just may infect a new group of watch collections with the Panerai bug. Pricing starts at around £5,000 making this the best entry-level watch Panerai has to offer right now.