This page has answers to questions on
Q There was a message on the forum a few weeks ago that I can't find now. Do you keep forum archives?
A I'm afraid I don't (can't) keep any archives due to limited (expensive) server space. In general I keep about 3 weeks worth of messages, or about 1000, whichever is the greater.
Q I want to show people a scan that I have taken.
A There is some help for posting scans here.
Q I want to use a scan from the Paneristi site elsewhere.
A Please read this document first.
Q I have an automatic model. When I wear it I feel strange heavy vibrations on my wrist, is this normal?
A Yes, it is a well known characteristic of the Valjoux movements used, commonly known as the "Valjoux rotor wobble".
Q When, how often, and how much should I wind my manual - wind Panerai? Is it possible to overwind it?
A To ensure reasonable accuracy a manual wind movement should be kepy relatively fully wound. It may have a power reserve of over 40 hours, but winding every 24 will ensure good time-keeping. Most people wind their watches every morning. Wind it carefully until you encounter significant resistance to the winding motion. It is not possible to overwind the movement (at least not without extreme force).
Q Can I, or should I, wind my Panerai with the crown-lock closed?
A Probably, and no. The instructions with your watch advise against winding with the crown-lock closed.
Q How do I wind my manual wind Destro?
A The destro is simply a normal watch with the movement "upside down". The crown should be rotated towards you when winding. Alternatively you could turn the watch over so the crown is on the right, and 6 is facing up/north, and wind it like any other watch, away from you.
Straps / Bands
There is an extensive section on straps / band here.
Q I have a 40mm automatic model, can I interchange between the bracelet and the strap?
A Yes, both are easy as wink to put on and take off.
Q I've read the answer above, but I didn't get a screwdriver with my watch. Have I been ripped off?
A No, for no reason I can fathom Panerai don't ship a screwdriver with the 40mm models.
Q I'm trying to change the strap on my 44mm strap model, but the buckle has a screw head at either end. It's almost impossible to change.
A You have an "A series" (1998) buckle, which needs two screwdrivers, three hands and a great sense of humour to change. Later buckles only have one screw head (like the pins on the lugs). The best idea is to take your watch to an authorised dealer and get him to change the buckle for a new one.
Q Can the steel / titanium bands from more recent 44mm models be retrofitted onto 44mm strap models?
A No. The fitting at the lug ends is completely different, as this comparison scan hopefully shows. However it is possible to put a strap onto a bracelet model.
Q Where can I get such-and-such type of strap
A From your local authorised Panerai dealer.
Q What does PVD mean?
A I've heard it explained as Physical, Powder and Particle Vapor Deposition. It is basically a means of depositing a layer of one metal onto another. Panerai PVD watches are steel, coated with titanium nitride (nitrate? don't know, I'm no chemist!). The end result is a kind of "gun metal" dark grey finish. There is an article on PVD coating here.
Q How durable is the PVD coating on PVD models?
A In general if treated with the care that an expensive watch merits, it will last well because the coating is comparatively thick. If you scratch it, it will scratch, just like a normal steel watch. If you scratch it really badly (like, fall off a bicycle and land watch-first) then you can scratch right through the coating, revealing shiny steel underneath.
Q If I scratch my PVD model badly, can Panerai refinish it?
A The word from the Panerai service centre in the US is that they do not replate PVD, but for US$150.00 they would strip the PVD and leave the SS with a brushed finish.
Q Can I get a replacement COSC certificate for my Panerai.
A Yes, your local authorised dealer can furnish you with a new certificate at a nominal cost. However I understand that in order to get the new certificate the dealer will need the movement number. This should be on a sticker on the side of the outer cardboard box. Unfortunately the sticker frequently gets left in with the papers, so if the papers get lost, so does the sticker. I guess in extremis you could open up the watch to see if the movement is numbered.
Q My Panerai that I bought three days ago gains / loses x seconds a day. Is this normal?
A Yes and no. Despite the fact that it's soooo tempting, don't bother to try to measure the accuracy of your watch in it's first month of wear. Movements get their chronometer certificates early in their lives, then then get bashed about a lot, it will take a while to settle in.
After this period anything between -5 and +7 seconds a day is within chronometer ratings.
If you have a watch that gains / loses exactly x seconds a day then you're a lucky puppy. It is a very accurate watch, it just needs to be regulated. If it gains 10 minutes one day and then loses 20 minutes the next then either it needs a service or you went bungee jumping the first day and slept all the next.
Personally I never try to measure the accuracy of a watch. I don't run my life to tolerances of 5 seconds.
Q I live in xyz, where is my local authorised dealer?
A I live in the UK and I don't know. Try asking on the Public Forum, a local might see your question. Alternatively you might find the answer on the Panerai web site. I have asked authorised dealers to list their contact details on Paneristi, but most are reluctant to do so.
Q I want to buy a Panerai. Should I expect discount? How much discount should I expect? Where can I get the best discount? Which country has the lowest retail prices? Which grey market dealer really cuts those prices to the bone?
A Prices and discounts differ from country to country and dealer to dealer. The main thing to bear in mind is that Panerai are relatively uncommon, and hence discounts will be less forthcoming than on more common watches. Remember that the immediate price you pay is not the only factor in the equation. You're also paying for a warranty and the experience and backup of an authorised dealer. If you buy from overseas there will probably be tax/duty implications, and returning a watch for a repair under warranty will be very difficult.
Q I paid xyz for an abc Panerai. Is this a good price?
A If you're happy with the watch, yes. If you don't like the watch, then no price is a good price.
Q Is the xyz model Panerai a good investment?
A No. It has been frequently said that the only way to make a small fortune from collecting watches is to start with a large fortune. Watches are for fun, they are not a good investment, you can almost guarantee to lose money on every watch. If you're thinking of selling it even before you buy it, then you can't really be that into it. One or two models may appreciate in value, but if you could predict which ones it would be then you'd also know who was going to win the next Superbowl.
Q I have seen this watch [picture, auction number] on [a well known auction site], the price looks good. What do you think of it?
A It is a piece of junk fake. A counterfeit. Please, screw on your thinking head, and let's take a close look at this "watch".
Tell tale signs that it is a fake
and finally and most damning
You will not buy a Panerai for $100, $150, $200, $400 or $800 (unless it is seriously, seriously, trashed). Anything under $1000 is almost certainly a fake, unless you happen to have bumped into the opening minutes of an auction. Even then you're unlikely to get much change out of $2000.
The bargains in the watch world are very few and far between. There's no such thing as a free lunch. If it looks too good to be true then it's not true.
The majority of fakes are automatic and have centre seconds. This combination only exists in genuine Panerai for the GMT and Power Reserve models.
Panerai do not make, and have never made, quartz watches.
Q I have been given a Panerai as a gift, and I'm now starting to suspect that it might be a counterfeit. Can you assess it for me?
A Before we actually look at your watch, let's look at your benefactor. Unless they are very rich, very generous, or very stupid, your watch is likely to be a counterfeit.