Robb Recommends: The Panerai Luminor Blu Mare

Is this the Italian-Swiss brand’s watch most suited to the life aquatic to date?

To say that Panerai has a connection with the sea would be a tepid understatement: it’s hard to think of a manufacture with stronger connotations of aquatic adventure than one which, in the 1940s, became supplier to Italian Navy Commandos.

The Naval connection has dictated the Swiss-Italian brand’s aesthetic from the start – Google, when you get the chance, the Panerai Radiomir Type A that belonged to Rear Admiral Amedeo Vesco in the 1950s, which fetched €226,000 at French Auction House Artcurial last year, and compare it to the timepiece you see before you: a stunning, 44mm watch in AISI 316L steel (a high-performance low-carbon metal characterised by resistance to corrosion) whose angular lines and ultra-legible, functional aesthetic make it unmistakably a Panerai piece at first glance.

The first Luminor Blu Mare in the collection to feature a blue dial, the manual-winding piece has satiné soleil decoration along with hour and minute hands with a legibility-enhancing rhodium finish and – another nod to Panerai tradition – a strap connected to the lugs with the brand’s unique Screw System.

Elsewhere, smaller details reference design cues from various points in the brand’s more recent history: the typeface applied to the numerals at the cardinal points of the dial, for example, are a nod to models from the end of the 20th century; the stylised representation of the Officine Panerai’s initials, meanwhile, dates back to the 1980s.

The aesthetic whole is completed by a blue calfskin strap with beige stitching, all secured with a pin buckle in brushed steel, while the beating heart between the  sapphire crystal and the dodecagonal pressure-fit case-back in brushed steel is an in-house movement with a power reserve of three days.

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