Cultural Perspectives • 27 Nov 2018

Panerai’s Gruelling QC Standards

Officine Panerai takes durability seriously.The testing of each Panerai watch is rigorous to say the least, going over and beyond international standards to guarantee the survival of any situation from shock and extreme temperatures to UV radiation. As an example, water resistance, a fairly standard feature, is required to be 25 percent higher in Panerai pieces than the official limits. These self-imposed levels of quality guarantee that all Panerai timepieces live up to their history of reliability under testing conditions. And is part and parcel of their efforts to move manufacturing in-house.

The Testing Process

When a Panerai watch leaves the factory, it has survived the equivalent of watch hell, subject to conditions that you would hope not to find yourself in, let alone while wearing a watch on your wrist. Panerai watches are subject to a two-month accelerated age test which simulates thirty years of wear after enduring temperatures ranging from -40° to +90° C. A gas penetration machine is also used to measure the durability of the glass and casings. A variety of water-based tests are run on on both the case and the leather straps testing everything from seawater and human perspiration. A decompression test simulating the various cycles of scuba diving is thrown into the mix as well.

Shocks & Magnets

If you were wondering to which level the Panerai shock tests push, it’s extreme. To the point where the whole room which houses the shock testing equipment is mounted on shock absorbers. The watches endure shocks up to 5,000g and are dropped onto both wood and steel from just over one metre to make sure they don’t dent.

The ISO 764 international standard for anti-magnetic properties for a watch is laughed at by the Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 Amagnetic, for example, which has a limit of more than eight times the standard.

All movements are tested to their full power reserve while on the production line with each movement being accompanied by an RFID chip. Each watch has the results of its precision testing printed in its accompanying booklet, and they do not leave the factory if the required precision is not achieved.

Laboratorio di Idee

At this point, you could argue that Panerai watches couldn’t raise their standard any higher, but the brand would disagree. Laboratorio di Idee is the name of the research and development department which is committed to finding innovative technical solutions to make even more durable, high-performing watches.Over fifty specialist workers, in collaboration with the brand’s design department in Italy, continuously build on previous models and experiment with high-performance materials and in-house movements to find new ways to push the already stellar design and build quality.

A Sustainable Future

As admirable Panerai’s commitment to quality is, they also put a large focus on environmental sustainability. The brand’s manufacturing complex in Neuchâtel ensures the highest international standards are met to produce zero carbon dioxide emissions by energy saving and reusing waste materials. The building features a 50,000-litre rainwater tank that irrigates the outdoor green areas outside and the hot waste liquid from machine cooling systems is reused to heat the building. All wastewater is cleansed of detergents, soaps, and dust to then provide 100 percent green hydro-electric power for manufacture. It is refreshing to see a brand so committed to the evolution of quality and technology that places such significant importance on environmental sustainability.

In the Collection

The two main staples of the Panerai collection are the Radiomir, the first watch the brand ever designed, and the Luminor. Both models are extended by the 1940 and 1950 series respectively as well as the Luminor Due, the latest addition to the group.Luxury sport watches at their core; the Radiomir S.L.C is a sleek design that could accompany a suit with no issue, whereas the Luminor Due Oro Rosso is a bit more eccentric with its blue band and vintage gold casing.The special edition models stray a little bit further from the minimalist design of the core collection. The Luminor 1950 Sealand, for example, features a brushed steel pop casing with a floral dog motif. With a collection that is minimalistic and faithful to its history, mixed with the highest quality of Swiss watchmaking expertise, Panerai is one of the finer options in sports watchmaking.

Subscribe to The Hour Glass

And stay up to date with the watchmaking world

Sign in

We’re here to help

Change Country

Select your country:


Share via:

Collector’s Guide

Select your collectors guide:

Step 1 of 2