How to Spot a Fake Panerai Watch

Officine Panerai is a luxury Swiss watch manufacturer, which was founded in 1860, and provided watches solely to the Italian Marine forces. Come 1993, Panerai started selling their timepieces to the public and have since become one of the most sought after brands in their industry.

Like every other luxury manufacturer, the brand has a signature style. A distinctive DNA, which so many now try to replicate and, essentially, ripoff. From the shape of the case to the crown lock and the dial details, you can identify it from a distance, so we take a look into our top tips to authenticating your Panerai timepiece.

Internal Movements

On the fake model (right) you can see the simplicity of the design where it’s obvious there has been no time spent on decorating the movement. Compare it to the authentic watch (left), where the logo, movement number, and caliber are detailed and show clearly on the oscillating weight.

Spot a Fake Panerai WatchSpot a Fake Panerai Watch

Engravings and Stamps

Your original Panerai will have a clear stamp stating the name of the watch and the model number. The watch will also have a clean laser encrypted serial number and water resistance indication. As for the fake, the details will be engraved and stamped in a low quality, with the writing reaching up to 15% smaller than the real deal.

The Buckle 

A small, but equality important, detail that people tend to miss, and can be used to help spot a fake is the buckle on the strap.

On the copy watch, the word “Panerai” is in a low quality engraving, whereas the original boasts clear and quality stamping.

The rounded buckle on the Panerai is one of their signatures. The fake buckle is typically misshaped August 25-21231 (1)without smooth edges.August 25-21230 (1)

Panerai is also known for only working wih stainless steel, platinum, gold or PVD. Therefore gold-plated materials indicate an unauthentic timepiece. Panerai watches also feature a small reference mark on the buckle.

A real Panerai watch boasts genuine and high quality leather with hand stitched details, its counterfeit, on the other hand, will be machine made.

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The lugs on an original Panerai are like a trademark in many cases whereby they are slightly twisted or angled – this is ensures a better grip on the hand, and avoids any loose edges. The lug has also been designed so the leather sits less than a millimetre away from the hardware in order to avoid ware on the leather. On the fake watch, you’ll find extreme wear on the leather, as well as flat lugs with no curve.

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The Crown

The lock is a small handle that can be opened when the watch needs to be winded or have the time changed. The original watch bares a clean, smooth handle, which is identical to the curve of the crown. We can also compare how is it attached and the details of the locking system. The fake watch’s handle will be of low quality – too long or short, misaligned and generally careless in appearance,

watch or change the time and closed once we are done to prevent any accidental time change or harm to the crown; on the original watch we can check we can clearly see how clean and smooth the handle is, how the curve of the handle is identical to the curve of the crown protection, it reaches the case to complete the design, how it is attached and the details of the locking system, while the fake watch have a low quality handle that is short and misaligned with the whole case.

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On the original, the crown itself is flat in case the watch needs to be wound without changing the time and unlocking the handle, however the fake crown is almost unreachable under the crown protector.

The markings on the original watch are stamped or clearly engraved with high quality finish, but the copy watch has engravings and stamps which are barely visible. The crown protector is also noticeably detached from the watch itself.

Spot a Fake Panerai WatchSpot a Fake Panerai Watch

Panerai designs feature a mono-push button to start and stop the activity of the chronograph, which is located on the opposite side of the crown, however on the fake models, you’ll find two buttons (both of low quality) – one to start and one to reset.

It is often hard to spot fakes, which is why we offer the best expertise in order to avoid this. All our items are 100% genuine and checked by our team of professional authenticators.

Shop Panerai Watches at The Luxury Closet

Milli Midwood

Freelance Blogger

Milli is a fashion blogger, tea drinker and sun worshiper, who has called Dubai her home for the last 24 years. Likes dog videos, free WiFi, Gucci and hashtags because they look like waffles.

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