I’ve loved the Panerai aesthetic all the time. From the slim lines of the Radiomir to the boyish charm of the Luminary and the dive-themed Submersible, I have a soft spot for that instantly recognizable replica Panerai vibe. Unfortunately for me, Pieria fake watches are, generally speaking, quite big in size. True to both form and legacy, many of the Panerai’s most interesting designs are 44mm or larger, which is simply too much fake watch for my wrist.
For example, the Luminary Submersible is readily found in both 44mm and 47mm sizes, and while I have to say they are extremely cool watches, I’ve tried them on and found them far too large for my tastes and wrist. In an unexpected turn at SIHH earlier this year, the Panerai announced a new 42mm Submersible, providing the same lovely and fatter shape but with less bulk on the wrist. Its full name is the Luminary Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic Acciaio 42mm, aka the 42mm Submersible. Man, what a difference 2mm makes.
As a previously benched fan of the Submersible design, the appeal of a smaller version was undeniable and I still recall picking it up off the desk in Geneva, the smile growing on my face – it’s a Submersible, and it fits! Diehard Panerai fans may not care for this more casual expression of their beloved rough and tumble Submersible, but I was on board from the moment I tried it on.
Put simply, the model is a more accessible expression of the Panerai dive watch design and the major selling point here is, unsurprisingly, the smaller size. When swapping in a new strap, one can use a pusher tool to depress this button and another pusher to apply light pressure to the bar via the drilled lug hole, easily launching the bar with minimal force.
My favorite feature for the replica watch is that the hours are jump set, so whether you’re traveling or just want to change 12:10 to 10:10 for a quick Instagram photo, you can adjust the hour in either direction easily, without stopping the movement. This may seem like a trivial feature, but every time I have a fake watch with jump set hours, I really appreciate the extra practicality and flexibility. Much like the bezel and the crown guard, crown functionality feels great, with a large wheel-shaped crown offering a strong interface for time setting and easy access to hand-winding.
All cards on the table, I love these replica watches and for me, it’s all about the size. While the idea of a smaller version of a watch known for its large size is a bit odd and certainly niche in its appeal, I think it works so well on the wrist. What’s more, I think a small Submersible is a wise move on Panerai’s part, as the audience likeliest to find the model appealing, are those in the same situation as me.