Panerai Replica Vs Original: How To Spot Fakes

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Ch Alex
how to see fake panerai luminor
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Last Updated on January 9, 2024 by Ch David

Looking to learn how to spot fake Panerai Luminor watches?

Whether you:

  • Bought a Panerai
  • Were gifted the watch
  • But you’re not sure if it’s authentic…

This is the guide you need. We’ll go in-depth on authenticating Panerai watches.

How to tell if your Panerai Luminor is real

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

Fakes are known to have different font-weights for ther inscriptions.

However, Panerai is a brand of high quality in the watch industry. Such flaws should never occur on the genunie.

1. 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Authenticate your Panerai Luminor in 30 seconds

  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.

Expert Panerai authentication service

Need assistance authenticating your Panerai Luminor watch? We’re here to help.

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

This concludes our guide on distinguishing replica vs original Panerai Luminor watches.


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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