Sunday, January 22, 2017

Watch Quest: Watches that Look like a Panerai

Panerai is a well-respected name among serious watch collectors.  The "Charger" rectangular shape of their military watches gives their watches a unique look.  Panerai was founded in 1860 and became the official watch supplier for the Italian Navy around 1900.  They supplied watches to elite Italian frogman units during World War 2.  By 1970, the Italian Navy moved on to other watch suppliers and the firm began its shift into the civilian market.  According to Watch Magazine - Montre24, Panerai's popularity was boosted when actor and director Sylvester Stallone took a liking to the brand.

Panerai Marina Militare

The two main models of Panerai are the Luminor (above) and the Radiomir (below).

Panerai Radiomir

The Quest for a Poor Man's Panerai

Unfortunately, this is another brand that can be quite expensive for mere mortals.  But, there are several brands that provide more affordable alternatives to the Panerai.  Instead of funding criminals and buying counterfeit merchandise, there are plenty of watches that pay homage to Panerai and successfully evoke the shape and the look.

A Nixon Watch that Looks Panerai

We can start our quest for a poor man's Panerai with the Nixon brand of watches.  The Nixon "Charger" watch comes it at a far more affordable $300 to 400 price point. This is the Nixon Charger GMT.  It has a stainless steel case that subtly evokes the Panerai shape.  It has a Swiss Quartz movement.

Nixon Charger GMT

If the $300 to $400 price of the Nixon watch remains daunting, there are other less expensive alternatives that are still well known and respected brands.

A Pagani Design Watch that Looks like a Panerai

This Pagani Design 1767 watch successfully evokes the Panerai case shape and dial.  It's an automatic watch with a Chinese movement that provides a 24 hour power reserve.  It also offers 200 meters of water resistance.  Best of all, it comes in at a sub-$200 price point.  You can find the Pagani Design 1767 here on Amazon.

Pagani Design 1767 Watch

Cheap Watches that Look like a Panerai

Finally, there are extremely low cost watches that evoke the Panerai look.  Over the years, I've found several watches from Mossimo or Merona at Target department stores that have the Panerai shape.

A Watch from Target evokes Panerai

Unfortunately, when I bought one of these Target watches, it was a total fail.  The crown came off in my hand.  Still, a quick look out on Amazon shows these inexpensive Techvilla Men's watches at an almost irresistible price.  As watch departments have dwindled, it may be hard to find these watches in 2024.

In this era of the internet, people of all economic and social standing can see the watches of people with wealth and taste. Sometimes this can be a curse.  But, there is no need to succumb to envy.  While we might not be able to afford watches as a status symbol, we can emulate the watches we like as a style symbol. It's simply a matter of persistence and creativity.

[The price and link to the Nixon watch was updated and the Pagani Design watch was discovered and added in February of 2024.]

1 comment:

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