I told you that watch companies were going to trying and see if we will take to timepiece shrinkage. The reasons for this, and my rebuttal are located here
. Now, one of the last companies that I would expect to "go little," is going little. Panerai
pretty much set the standard for the 44mm wide watch being as popular as it is, and their timepieces range from 44mm to about 47mm wide. Now there is news that next year they will release a 42mm wide Radiomir model which represents their classic shape. I should point out that Panerai has made even smaller movements (such as the 40mm wide Luminor range models). Though I suspect this 42mm is aimed at being something different.
It is true that in the scope of things 42mm wide is still considered big for some people. 42mm wide would even seem totally ordinary on any other watch - but for a Panerai it stands out. I knew Richemont (who owns Panerai) would try to get us into smaller watches, and what a shock it is now coming from Panerai. I've even seen plenty of 44mm wide Panerai watches on women that look great. So why all of a sudden the shrinkage?
To make the watch even more enticing, Panerai is placing in it a new in-house made movement, the quite thin manually wound P'999 caliber. This allows the entire watch to be much thinner than we expect in a Panerai. The case is classic looking and in 18 rose gold - with handsome brown accents.
If you recall, I just mentioned that Panerai has made smaller watches in the past. I don't think that these sold too well, and I have a feeling they were meant for the Asian markets where much of the time a 40mm wide and under watch model is preferred. So while Panerai has made smaller watches in the past, I suspect that instead of doing so to pacify select important markets, it is part of a larger effort to get smaller watches in again. I think that the 42mm wide 2010 Panerai Radiomir looks nice enough that many people will get it, I don't see their standard 44mm watch losing popularity any time soon - and they would be foolish to abandon it.
Via World Tempus
Ariel Adams publishes the luxury watch review