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The new face of Officine Panerai

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We finally had the chance to review the Luminor Due in detail.  A watch that has been in the firing line since right after its release. Thinness is the prominent feature of Luminor Due, which is the latest and newest case design that was added to the brand’s current product line after the Radiomir 1940’s launch a few years ago.

Yes, as I mentioned in the headline, Luminor Due has been in the line of fire by many. The complaints were mostly about the reduced thickness of the case causing a poor WR rating of 30M. After Luminor Due’s release, I have shared the opinions of my fellow watch collector friends around the world through Horobox.

So, who were the ones criticizing the new Luminor Due? What were their criteria and most of all did Luminor Due really deserve to get all the flak? Frankly speaking, the ones that we heard those negative comments from were the watch enthusiasts who were following Panerai for years, owned more than one Panerai n his/her collection, and strongly connected to the brand’s heritage. In other words, a real “Panerista”. Considering the profile explained above, I (as Serdar OAL) perfectly fit the Paneristi description. As an owner with multiple Panerai’s in his safe, and a considerable knowledge about the brand’s history, I cannot help myself agreeing with those comments.

What is this group I consider myself a member of? How many of us are there? It is not easy to give accurate answers to those questions, however, it is not that hard to say that the rising value of such a big organization like Richemont Group does not have a particular mission of pleasing those group members. Quite the contrary, in fact, maybe it became compulsory to do something for the ones who could not buy a Panerai in the past due to the size or thickness issues. 

When we heard the news about the arrival of the first Luminor Due batch, we got to the Panerai Boutique Istanbul in no time flat and performed the detailed review of two Luminor Due collection models: PAM00676 and PAM00674.

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Both models feature the trending “Sun-Brushed” pattern dials. PAM674 is offered in a 45mm case with a black dial and the PAM676 housed with a 42mm case is offered with a dark gray dial. Both timepieces create a positive atmosphere at first glance thanks to the striking dials.

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When you strap the watches to your wrist, the positivity goes up. Besides the thinness factor, the light-weight factor of the watches also helps significantly with wearing them comfortably. The glossy leather straps, which suit the overall concept with their thinner form, make the models match nicely with a suit. The 45mm PAM674 is offered with a 24/22mm strap while the 42mm PAM676 is designed with a 22/18mm strap. 

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When you design watches with a reduced thickness you surely require suitable movements. We know that Panerai has been investing in manufacturing their own movements for a long time. The Caliber Ref. P.4000 featured in the PAM674 offers a sophisticated appeal with its micro-rotor. Being allowed to wear PAM674, which was reduced to 10.7mm thickness (40% less when compared to previous versions), is a privilege.

The PAM676, reduced with the same ratio, features the manual winding Caliber Ref. P.1000. Both movements offer a power reserve up to 3 days when fully wound, and can be seen through the sapphire crystal casebacks.

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I think we are safe to say that the Panerai engineers successfully accomplished a hard task by looking at the Luminor Due collection. They have successfully transformed the brand’s iconic appearance to a new dimension while preserving the functionality. The unique crown guard, which is a DNA symbol for the brand, is integrated into the new case flawlessly. Glossy dials make the sandwich feature more apparent and attract greater attention. In the meantime, I believe many watch enthusiasts would be happier if that “Automatic” stamp on the dial of the PAM674 was not there.

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Shortly, Luminor Due will be a new era for Panerai. They are the new models engineered for different markets and new customer profiles. I did not spot a single Luminor Due timepiece on any participant’s wrist while I was attending the traditional P-Day, hosting a group of nearly 200 Panerai fans. I am sure I will not be seeing any Luminor Due at next year’s event either. There’s a number of present and upcoming models that are able to satisfy those types of Panerai fans. I believe the Italian-origin brand finally had the opportunity to enable different types of watch aficionados to wear Panerai watches.

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PAM674 retails for 10.400 EUR and PAM676 has a MSRP of 7.900 EUR. Both models are versatile enough to be worn by a suit or casual wear and can be used by men and women. I strongly suggest the watch enthusiasts leave the polarized comments aside and see the watches in person.

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