Panerai Luminor Due 3 Days Automatic Acciaio: Good Things Do Come In Smaller Packages
One of the big surprises for me at the 2018 SIHH was Panerai’s new releases of some – I guess I would call them – small watches.
I’m not talking about delicate models under 35 millimeters in diameter when I say small, but a respectable 38 millimeters for the smallest model.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Panerai, a pioneer in oversized, really bold, masculine watches designed in a much-loved vintage instrument style inspired by and committed to its rich maritime heritage has “downsized” quite a bit – which becomes apparent when you look at the new Due collection.
The new sizes may not be everyone’s cup of tea, particularly not that of hardcore Paneristi, but I think they are genius as the new Luminor Due 3 Days Automatic Acciaio models really are suitable for smaller women’s wrists, and make a fabulous option for men who prefer their timepieces on the less oversized side.
On top of that, the new lineup proves the old designer’s adage that a good basic design works in any size.
And how we love the Panerai basic design! From its famed crown-protecting bridge to the unique sandwich-style dials and the characteristic semi-cushion case design, these timepieces exude modernized vintage styling at its best.
Combined with collection names that roll off the tongue in smooth Italian, containing words such as “oro rosso” for pink gold and “acciaio” for stainless steel, these watches sound like music to our ears while making a statement on our wrists.
As a side note, before the word “retro” and its associated hype came along, finally reaching the world of watches a few years ago. Panerai’s arrival at the dawn of the new millennium introduced the essence of real vintage style in luxury timepieces and might well be a good reason for the brand’s unique standing among collectors.
As a result, we can thank this company not only for the beautiful, old-style tool watches inspired by the brand’s distant past but also for many watches from other brands that successfully revive the past in their own way with much taste.
The future of Panerai catches up to the past
Today, Panerai is not only a full-blown manufactory with its own movement production facility in Neuchâtel, but also plays a somewhat of pioneering role in the field of materials research, thus fulfilling the historical requirement of producing highly functional precision instruments for the toughest situations (see Prediction Comes True: Panerai Lo Scienziato Luminor 1950 Tourbillon GMT Titanium With DMLS 3D-Printed Titanium Case and The Panerai Lab-ID Luminor 1950 Carbotech 3 Days With 50-Year Guarantee!).
Size plays a major role in this because the larger the case, the more rugged its design, which brings us back to the smaller sizes introduced this year.
Panerai presented new Luminor Due 3 Days Automatic models, available in both stainless steel and red gold cases and in a diameter of 45, 42, and – for the first time – 38 mm. Additionally, a new set of colors for the dials and straps come with the new sizes.
As another side note: the word “color” seems like a contradiction here because no watch brand is as hesitant as Panerai when it comes to color. In keeping with its traditions, the lion’s share of this brand’s dials is black.
A Panerai with a white or blue dial, such as the Luminor 1950 Equation of Time 8 Days GMT Titanio, is a real rarity and can become quite sought-after in collector circles. The same applies to the brand’s straps: these are usually either made of black rubber or black/dark leather.
The Luminor Due 3 Days Automatics are big, but not too big
I find it hard to decide which one is more beautiful, so I’ll start with what they share aside from their size: their inner values. Both timepieces are powered by Caliber OP XXXIV with a power reserve of 72 hours despite being equipped with just one spring barrel. The automatic movement comprises 171 components and beats at a modern 4 Hz.
This timepiece displays the date at 3 o’clock and the subsidiary seconds at 9 o’clock. Both watches are clad in Panerai’s signature stainless steel AISI 316L alloy and feature the pronounced signature crown-protection device.
They differ in their styles, though, which can be traced primarily to their dials.
While PAM00904 boasts an anthracite-colored sunray-brushed dial in brand-typical sandwich style with luminous Arabic numerals and baton hour markers in a greenish hue, PAM00906 has one of the rare light-colored dials with an ivory-colored tinge and blue numerals.
PAM00906 also foregoes Panerai’s signature baton markers to display all 12 Arabic numerals. These go tone for tone with the skeletonized hands and the leather strap. The luminous dots above the numerals (with a double dot at 12 o’clock) make for a nice design detail.
All in all, it is very classy in appearance. So I might be inclined to say that in this particular case I prefer the light dial over the black one.
Wait, did I really say that?
Maybe I will give it some more consideration . . . no, I am good. I like the off-white dial a tiny bit better after all!
For more information, please go to www.panerainovelties.com/en/luminor-due.
Quick Facts Luminor Due 3 Days Automatic Acciaio smaller sizes
Case: 42 x 10.5 mm or 38 x 11.2, polished stainless AISI 316L steel
Dial: anthracite-colored sunray-brushed or off-white with blue numerals
Movement: automatic manufacture Caliber OP XXXIV with 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency, power reserve 72 hours
Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds; date
Remark: 38 mm size with interchangeable straps
Price: $6,400 (42 mm), $6,000 (38 mm)