Panerai Authenticity-Check Guide (REPLICA vs ORIGINAL)

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Ch Alex
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Last Updated on June 2, 2024 by Ch David

Looking to learn how to spot fake Panerai Luminor watches? This is the official authentication guide you’ve been looking for.

How to spot a fake Panerai

To tell if your Panerai is real, look at the dial’s text. An authentic watch should have the same font-weight for all prints.

1. Dial

Authentic vs fake Panerai Luminor comparison of the dial
  • Authentic: The dial text is thin and refined.
  • Fake: The dial text is noticeably thicker.

The fake above has overly thick text for “PANERAI SUBMERSIBLE” and “AUTOMATIC 300m/1000ft.”

The authentic watch features a thinner, more refined font for these inscriptions.


Want the expert's opinion? Let our Panerai authenticators check your watch:

2. Crown guard

The crown guard is a very specific piece and Panerai Luminor trademark and it actually protects the crown, as its name mentions it.

Authentic vs fake Panerai Luminor comparison of the crown guard
  • Authentic: Features a prominent, well-crafted crown.
  • Fake: May lack a crown entirely or have a noticeably thinner one.

Lower-quality fake Panerai watches may not even have a crown guard.

Even if a crown is present on a replica, it’s often thinner than the one found on authentic models.

Keep an eye out for these discrepancies.

3. Power reserve

The power reserve indicator on a genuine Panerai Luminor PAM watch is a useful tool that accurately shows the remaining power for the automatic mechanism.

To test its functionality:

  • Unscrew the crown
  • Wind the watch while watching the indicator.
  • Authentic: The power reserve indicator accurately displays the remaining power for the automatic mechanism.
  • Fake: The power indicator is often frozen and non-functional.

If the hand on the indicator moves in sync with your winding action, it’s likely a genuine piece.

4. Crystal

When tilted at an angle, the genuine Panerai Luminor’s dial remains clearly visible and easy to read.

Authentic vs fake Panerai Luminor comparison of the crystal
  • Authentic: From a side profile, the dial remains visible and readable when the watch is tilted at an angle.
  • Fake: The dial becomes illegible due to the presence of curvy lines known as the “fisheye effect.”

The fake Panerai Luminor suffers from what’s known as the “fisheye effect” which distorts the window and makes the dial hard to read.

A quick mention:

  • The steps we’ve written so far are the BEST ways to authenticate this item
  • The next few steps are still reliable methods…
  • … but they apply to non-top-versions of replicas available for this item

If in doubt, we recommend double-checking the steps we’ve explained above this line.

5. Sandwich dial

Authentic vs fake Panerai Luminor comparison of the sub-dials
  • Authentic: At the 12 and 6 o’clock positions, the sandwich dial should appear as if the main dial is layered on top of a lower dial.
  • Fake: The numbers may be incorrectly designed and appear to be applied, painted, or glued directly onto the dial.

Genuine models will show the main dial as a layer applied over a lower dial.

Fakes often miss this detail, with numbers that appear to be painted or glued directly onto the dial.

Tip: Look at the 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock areas to spot this easiest.

6. Clasp

Authentic vs fake Panerai Luminor comparison of the clasp
  • Authentic: The leather or rubber straps on genuine Panerai Luminor watches are of the highest quality.
  • Fake: Any inconsistencies in look or feel could indicate a replica strap, even if the material appears to be good quality.

7. Bezel

Authentic vs fake Panerai Luminor comparison of the bezel
  • Authentic: Lighter bezel shade, thicker lines between 12 and 3 o’clock, and a deep-set pearl at 12 o’clock.
  • Fake: Darker bezel, thinner lines between 12 and 3 o’clock, and a bulkier, darker pearl at 12 o’clock.

8. Case-back

Authentic vs fake Panerai Luminor comparison of the back engravings
  • Authentic: The inscriptions on the steel parts are thicker, and the engraving is deeper and of higher quality.
  • Fake: The text appears too thin because the engravings are shallow.

9. Lume

The lume effect can be inspected after your watch was charged in direct light for at least 30 seconds, before proceeding to look at the dial in a dark environment.

Authentic vs fake Panerai Luminor comparison of the lume
  • Authentic: Dial elements and lume are clearly visible.
  • Fake: Dial elements and the lume are less visible, especially when compared side-by-side with an authentic piece.

Shortlist for Panerai Authentication

  1. Examine the dial text of your watch; counterfeits often display incorrect text thickness.
  2. Inspect the crown guard. Replicas frequently lack this feature.
  3. Observe the power reserve indicator. Many fakes have malfunctioning or broken indicators.
  4. Study the Luminor’s crystal; fake watches often reflect excessive light.
  5. Check the sandwich dial. Counterfeits typically show poorly attached numbers.
  6. Assess the watch’s strap and clasp; replicas tend to use inferior leather materials.
  7. Verify the bezel color. Many fakes have an incorrect shade.
  8. Review the case-back engravings; fake watches often use the wrong font weight.
  9. Check the lume effect; counterfeit watches may glow in a different shade compared to genuine pieces.

The comprehensive 9 steps for distinguishing genuine vs. fake Panerai Luminor may be challenging when pressed for time or shopping online.

To assist, we’ve created a fast 60-second guide.


Panerai FAQs

1. What years are the Panerai models?

The specific years of Panerai models vary depending on their production and release dates, spanning from the 1930s to the present day. Here’s a chronological list of notable Panerai models:

  1. Radiomir (1936-present)
  2. Luminor (1950-present)
  3. Submersible (1998-present)
  4. Luminor Marina (1993-present)
  5. Radiomir 1940 (2012-present)
  6. Luminor Due (2016-present)

These are some of the key model lines, each with various iterations and special editions released over the years.

2. How to check Panerai serial number?

To check the serial number of a Panerai watch:

  1. Look on the back of the watch case or on the caseback.
  2. You may find the serial number engraved or printed there.
  3. If not on the caseback, check the paperwork or warranty card that came with the watch.
  4. The serial number is often listed on these documents as well.

If you’re having trouble locating the serial number, you can contact Panerai customer support for assistance.

3. Where can I authenticate my Panerai?

You can authenticate your Panerai at Legit Check By Ch — we are the top-rated online Panerai authenticators for all models.

  • Simply send us clear photos of your Panerai Luminor.
  • We’ll provide feedback within 48 hours, accompanied by a report explaining our assessment.

Need our opinion in regards to the authenticity of your watch? It’s a service we provide.

Have your watch authenticated

Alternatively, we have free authentication resources for watches: written guides and video tutorials.

Thank you for reading this,

Ch Alex

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About the Author

Ch Alex is the co-founder and COO of Legit Check By Ch. Ch Alex is in charge of the "Watch Guides" section of our Legit Check By Ch Library. Alex is also the main host of our YouTube channel where our guides have helped people save millions of dollars in scams. Make sure you subscribe to our channel and check out the videos hosted by Alex!
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