Why Is Panerai So Expensive? – [Top 5 Reasons]

Have you ever searched for a Panerai watch and got shocked by how expensive it was? We’ve all been there. But the question is, why is Panerai so expensive?

Panerai is not only extremely durable but features timeless designs and premium-quality materials in its products. The brand value also contributes to this luxury brand’s pricing. In addition, the brand launches limited editions which are not always available.

These are the basic reasons for the brand’s expensive products. In this article, you will get a closer look at the reasons that made this luxury brand so pricy.

The History Of Panerai

The early Panerai storefront.

The brand has been around since the 19th century. The history of Panerai started back in 1980 when Giovanni Panerai opened the first shop. The shop was located at “Ponte alle Grazie” in Florence.

It was not only a watch shop but also the first school for watchmaking in the city. Panerai initially was a brand that supplied accessories to the Italian navy during Second World War. That’s another reason why the products from the brand are so expensive.

For better international access, the brand headquarter moved to its current location in Switzerland. Now, Panerai has its bases all over the world. The brand manufactures its products for resale locally and internationally.

Why Is Panerai So Expensive?

Why Is Panerai So Expensive

You may think that the price Panerai asks for its products is unnecessarily high. There are some significant reasons behind this. One reason people simply assume is that as long as customers are willing to pay that kind of money for a watch, there is no reason for the brand to reduce its price.

However, that’s not the actual reason for the brand to be so expensive. Let’s take a look at a few of the significant reasons.

  • Uniqueness

The brand designs timeless pieces that survive through generations. One of many reasons for the brand’s expensiveness is the unique designs. Users pay thousands of dollars on a Panerai watch because of its designs.

  • Durable

You can expect a Panerai watch to last longer than most. The materials and structures of these accessories are so premium that they can survive through generations.

Panerai watches have records of lasting decades. Besides, they don’t lose much value when you resell them. That’s another reason why these watches are so expensive.

  • Historical Value

As I have mentioned before, the brand launched its early models for the Italian Navy. The watches glowed in dark, which allowed the military to use them in dark with ease. This historical value makes the watches precious to many people, especially collectors.

  • Brand Value

Panerai has created its position in the market of luxury watches with a distinctive strategy. They continue to be one of the most favorite brands of luxury watches. The name Panerai has a significant value on its own, which contributes to its expensiveness.

  • Limited Editions

Panerai makes their watches as limited editions so they’re not very easy to come by. People who really want to own a Panerai are willing to spend thousands of dollars to collect a limited edition watch.

As you can guess, this feature also impacts the brand’s price.

4 Exotic Panerai Models

4 Exotic Panerai Models

There are four categories of Panerai watches. Take a look below to get details about these categories:

1. Radiomir

The earliest model of the brand is this one. This series was made for the navy, using radium to make the watches glow in the dark. If you’re thinking from a historical point of view, this is the best model to consider.

Radiomir models come with detachable straps and a standard crown. These are simple-looking watches. They are large as well as classic in design.

The original watches that were made using radium still exist, and collectors find and collect them for their originality.

2. Luminor

The brand started using a tritium-based mixture at the end of the 1940s. This substance replaced the dangerous and radioactive element to make the watches luminous.

Panerai launched its crown lock in 1950 in the Luminor line. Luminor features a cushion case shape and integrated lugs. The line has some of the most popular models of this brand.

3. Luminor Due

Luminor Due was launched in 2018. This model features comparatively smaller and thinner watches. These accessories come with more unique details. The reason for releasing this line was to create models suitable for females.

This line is water-resistant, but only to 30 meters. Even though the snap-on caseback wasn’t loved by many fans of the brand, the line has some of the most fashionable designs from Panerai.

4. Submersible

This line from Panerai is rather recent. It was launched in 2019 to separate the brand’s diver’s watches from the other. This simplifies the brand’s catalog for the customers.  These watches can stretch from 42mm up to 47mm.

The line features some of the most popular models. For instance, the PAM00986 is one of the most desired ones.

The Toxic Side Of Panerai

Panerai patented Radiomir in 1916. It’s a radium-based paint that was used in Panerai watches to make them glow in the dark. This feature made the watches suitable for the military and allowed them to read underwater.

However, it wasn’t known back then that the paint contained radium, even though they were precautious. Now everyone knows that radium is a dangerous and radioactive element.

The bad news is, that the radium used to make the watches are still radioactive to the day. And unfortunately, it’ll be radioactive for a really long time because the half-life of radium is more than 1600 years.  

The watches that were made using radium have ironically lost their ability to glow in the dark. The reason is that the zinc sulfide that was in the paint wore out with time. Even though the watches lost their ability to glow in the dark and contain a radioactive element, collectors still collect the watches because of their historical value.

Gradually, Panerai stopped using radium and switched to another substance in 1949. It was a self-luminous tritium-based substance.

How Much Does A Panerai Watch Cost?

The lowest possible price you can expect to pay for a Panerai watch is around $2000. However, you won’t get any popular or high-end model at this price point. It’s only possible if the watch is second-hand or less popular.

The price can go higher up to $100,000. So, if you’re searching for a lower-end watch from the brand, you can get one for anything between $2000 and $4000. On the contrary, even if you increase your budget up to $15000 won’t get you a popular mode.

The most expensive watch from Panerai is PAM700, which sells for $100,000. Luminor Marina, on the other hand, is the cheapest option from Panerai, which costs approximately $2000.

Panerai Watch Maintenance

It’s essential that you maintain your Panerai watch if you want to keep it in its best form. Take a look at the tips below that can help facilitate the process.

  • For the case and the band, regularly wipe it down using a soft cloth
  • Keep the watch away from water
  • Avoid extreme temperatures
  • Make sure that you remove the strap and the band before you clean the watch
  • To tune up the watch, don’t forget to take it to a professional every few years

Panerai Maintenance Cost

Panerai offers some services for their customers. However, these services come at a cost. If you’re servicing your watch from the brand, you can expect to pay anywhere between $539 and $750.  

If you want to cut down the cost of maintenance, you can visit a local shop to get servicing. In addition, make sure to use the watch with care if you want it to last longer.

As for setting the time and date, you can do it yourself. If you find it difficult to do, any local shop will do it for you at a reasonable price. Getting the watch serviced from Panerai will cost you a lot more than other options.

Related: Watch Battery Replacement Cost

Is Panerai Watch Worth Buying?

A lot of people think about whether Panerai watches are worth spending the money on or not. For the same reason, people ask if the watches are overpriced. The thing is, there is no specific answer to this question.

Panerai is a luxury brand. So, the first thing I would like to say is that luxury is not necessary. So, the amount of money you are willing to spend on a luxury watch will determine whether a Panerai watch is worth it or not.

No matter how much money you’re spending, it’s still just a watch. So, as a luxury item, there is no such thing as overpriced.

Celebrities use luxury watches as a symbol of wealth and status. For instance, celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Daniel Craig, Jason Statham, Sylvester Stallone, and Dwayne Johnson have been mentioned to wear Panerai watches. In short, if someone can afford a Panerai watch and is willing to collect one, it’s worth buying.

To sum up, it entirely depends on the user who is buying the watch. Some other luxury brands offer watches at lower prices. But if you want the name Panerai, you’ll have to pay the asking price.

Some Popular Alternatives

If for some reason, you do not like Panerai but want to get a luxury watch, I’ve included some other brands below. They’re also leading in the luxury watch industry.

Some Interesting Facts About Panerai

  • The brand was founded in Florence, Italy, in 1860
  • Panerai was founded by Giovanni Panerai
  • The initial models launched by Panerai were toxic
  • The brand created watches for the German and Italian Navy
  • Plexiglass was first used in Radiomir watches
  • The brand uses both off-the-shelf and in-house movements
  • Richemont S.A. owns Panerai
  • It wasn’t until 1993 that Panerai launched its product to the public market
  • A special machine is used by Panerai to test how the watches manage seawater
  • In 1949, radium was replaced by Luminor in Panerai watches
  • In 1970, Panerai stopped making watches for the Marina Military
  • Panerai was positioned as a luxury watch brand after Richmond acquired the brand

What warranty services does Panerai offer?

The standard warranty offered by Panerai is two years. This is applicable for manufacturing defects. However, they also offer another service where you can extend the warranty for up to eight years. This benefit covers all watches.

How to authenticate a Panerai watch?

When you’re spending a handsome amount of money on a luxury watch, you want to be 100% certain that the watch is authentic. There are a few ways to authenticate a Panerai watch.

The first thing to do is to locate the serial number on the watch and match it against the Panerai database. If you can’t do it for some reason, visit a professional to authenticate the watch for you.

What is the resell value of Panerai watches?

One great thing about luxury watches is that they don’t lose much value even after prolonged use. If you can find the right person, you can resell the watch without much difference. However, it depends on the model and the watch’s condition.

Does Rolex own Panerai?

Rolex does not own Panerai, even though many people have a misconception about it. These are two separate luxury brands with their unique set of features and price points.

Final Verdict

As you can see, several reasons contribute to the price of a Panerai accessory. There isn’t a single answer to the question of why is Panerai so expensive. The combination of quality, durability, materials, uniqueness, brand value and historic value make the accessories pricey.  If you’re eager to get a luxury watch from this brand, make sure that you’re getting it from an authentic source. If it’s a second-hand accessory, authenticate the watch before paying a huge amount of money.

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