Greetings, dear readers! Queries poured in ever since the last post went up and more are asking me to be more elaborate about the differences that Radiomir and Luminor bear. Well; but how about relating the Luminor to the Radiomir instead? Those who have read Gonzo’s posts so far are no stranger to the fact that Gonzo does just the opposite of what’s being asked for and that’s a proven, widespread fact. So, I know there won’t be any offences taken.
Disclaimer: AFAIK, I don’t have Asperger’s; it’s just that I like to do things otherwise.
So, to the story as I understood it! Maybe, there are accuracy issues with the facts and maybe a bit of myth that remains associated, but there’s no qualms regarding the Panerai been the choice of Italian Navy Frogmen. That was because Panerai had already been making and supplying a large array of marine instruments to the Italian Navy, finally landing with underwater watches. That time, it’s said that they used Rolex movements of 47mm diameter and the name Acciaio was the name of the Italian submarine. It was a ship of class; a submarine built for the Royal Italian Navy. The Regia Marina was pretty strong during World War II.
The luminescent material, in those days, was Radium; not so quite harmless. But around the year 1950, Panerai patented Luminor as a substitute. The Luminor line of watches with the patented crown-protector device (later phases) are now readily distinguishable from Radiomir!
Panerai opened itself to the public in the mid-1990, in very limited numbers. Stallone wore one in Daylight. Panerai watches gained a cult status, with a few limited or historic models emerging due to that.
The visible difference noticed right away is in the case. The Luminor’s thicker case and signature crown-protector is unlike the Radiomir’s slimmer dimensions, with an exposed crown. Maybe the transformation is a little muddled, but the very early Radiomir has morphed into the more recent Luminor!
The Radiomir is a reincarnation of its vintage and retro cousins, many of whom remain unnamed. More plainly, their cases are different, but dials and movements are identical. Panerai’s hand-wound P.3000 and automatic caliber P.9000 movements power most of the Luminor 1950 series.
The Radiomir is also a bit dressier. The larger Luminor is fabulous when outdoors; its signature crown-protector is a no-no to the corporate or formal domains. The C.O.S.C. certified caliber OP II (housed also in the Luminor) can store power for 56 hours. It’s a mechanical, manually-wound movement, beating at 21,600 oscillations per hour. As well as hours and minutes, the OP II also shows small seconds at the 9 o’clock position.
So really, the Radiomir and Luminor are very much the same! With the same rich history and Panerai DNA; now it’s about the style that appeals to you!
Watch(es) mentioned in this post are listed below. Click to see details and buy them: