Back in December, we told you about the release of the delightfully compact (for the brand) Panerai Luminor Quarenta. Once word came out about it, we dropped our name in the queue to spend some time with a review loaner. Late last month, our number came up, and we got to spend some time with the example in blue you see here. On to the review!

The main thing about the Panerai Luminor Quarenta that will likely attract a number of customers is its compact sizing. At 40mm, this is a much more wearable choice than, say, a 44mm Panerai Submersible. On my wrist, this more compact case just felt right, with one exception. Actually, the exception is in the proportions side of things. Here, we have the iconic crown protector, as you would expect and want for your first Panerai. To my eye, it felt like this guard was taken from one of the larger versions, and slapped onto this case.

To put it another way, the crown protector of the Panerai Luminor Quarenta looks visually out of place on the watch. I mean, I like the look – in general – but here it throws things off just a touch. Perhaps it’s an engineering concern, but if that guard could be shaved down a bit, then the watch would get an unqualified endorsement from us here. Are we picking nits? Perhaps, but at these price brackets, we expect things to be done just right.

That quibble aside, the Panerai Luminor Quarenta is very much the Panerai look that has been consistent, and draws so many folks in. I mean, the very first mechanical watch I bought (long since passed on to someone else now) was a Panerai homage. There’s just something about the rugged simplicity of the design, as well as the bright sandwich dial, that just works. Here, with a polished bezel and an alligator strap, you’ve got a watch that’s a bit more ready to head to a more formal setting. Still, swap in a rubber or simpler leather strap, and you’re off to your weekends with the watch.

The size of the buckle on Panerai watches is another thing that could get some people hung up. And sure, if you’ve got that Pre-V buckle on a 22mm or 24mm strap, yeah, that’s a large slice of metal. Here, the strap tapers to 20mm, so again sizing is a bit more restrained (and, if you really wanted to, you could probably fit a standard thumbnail buckle on as well). Actually, that’s something I wouldn’t mind seeing the brand offer as well. Give us the option for a signed thumbnail buckle, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see those sell. Sure, the Pre-V buckle is an icon of sorts, but if you’re going to give us a smaller watch, why not expand the focus to include the buckle?

It sounds like I’m kicking the Panerai Luminor Quarenta around a bit, but that’s far from the case. I applaud them for putting the classic design into a smaller look, and overall came away liking the watch. If I were thinking of buying one myself, though, the crown guard and buckle would give me pause, particularly at the $7,100 price point. Still, that’s my personal tastes influencing that, and you no doubt could check out the range at your local AD. Prefer things remote, well, that’s all available as well over at panerai.com.

Tech Specs from Panerai

  • Reference: PAM01270 (blue dial / blue strap), PAM01271 (white dial / black strap), PAM01272 (black dial / black strap)
  • MOVEMENT: Automatic mechanical, P.900 calibre, 12 1?2 lignes, 4.2mm thick, 23 jewels, 28,800 alternations/hour. IncablocTM anti-shock device. One barrel. 171 components
  • FUNCTIONS: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date
  • POWER RESERVE: Three days
  • CASE: 40mm brushed steel case, polished steel bezel, brushed steel caseback. Safety Lock crown protection device in brushed steel.
  • DIAL: Blue sun-brushed with luminous Arabic numerals and hour markers. Date at 3 o’clock and small seconds at 9 o’clock
  • STRAP: Quick release alligator dark blue strap, blue, 22/20, BA, STD. Quick release system buckle patented by Panerai
  • WATER-RESISTANCE: 10 bar (~100 meters)

By Patrick Kansa

A big data developer and leader with a penchant for gadgets, books, watches and beverages. You can find my work on WristWatchReview, Knapsack.News, and Slushpile. If you're on Twitter and/or Instagram, you'll find me there as @PatrickWatches.

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