Can You Dress Up a Panerai?

When it comes to style, few do it better than the Italians. Whether we’re talking about clothing, wine, or in this case watches, Italy is in a class of their own. Panerai originally created their iconic line of tool watches for the Italian Navy, not with more formal settings in mind. So can this military-inspired watch rise to the occasion for business-formal or casual dress? In a word, yes. After a few weeks on the wrist, I found the PAM 513 in rose gold to be an outstanding everyday watch. What started as a government-commissioned diving piece gets a new life for the modern gentleman’s needs.



When answering the question, can you dress up a Panerai, there are a few variables we need to address. To clarify, not all of Panerai’s offerings are fit to be dressed up. In their model line, only watches such as the PAM 513 Radiomir are ideal for settings that are more formal. I love the classic styling cues indicative of Panerai’s DNA that I find in this watch. However, this piece offers those cues in rose gold, with an elegant dark brown leather strap. With a thickness of only 11.5mm, it also fits easily under dress-shirt sleeves. In addition, the lack of their iconic crown guard helps this watch take on a more subdued role.

In contrast, a watch from their Submersible line on a black rubber strap would be less stylistically appropriate. The thicker, larger case is more ideal for summer adventures than the office. Think of the Submersible line as your favorite pair of running shoes. They’re comfortable and shine brightest in their element, but you wouldn’t wear your favorite Nikes at a wedding, would you?

Now make no mistake, the PAM 513 is still very much a Panerai. With a water resistance of 100 meters, you can still throw this watch on a rubber or NATO strap when it’s time for a swim. Flip the watch over, and you’ll note the display back. It elegantly frames the Calibre P.999 hand-winding mechanical movement (base Piaget 838P), which contains 19 jewels and has an approximate 60-hour power reserve.


So, how do you wear a rose gold Panerai? Well for starters, the warmth of the rose gold goes well with brown and navy tones. I’ve paired it here with a classic brown check blazer and a crisp white button-down. If you’re looking for a little more versatility, you could also throw this watch on a variety of NATO straps. It’d be the perfect way to change up the look for the warmer months of the year. I found it worked great on a classic military-green NATO, maybe because of its military past.


It isn’t the best watch from Panerai to take to the beach. However, I certainly wouldn’t let that deter anyone from dressing it down. It looks awesome when paired with a sweater and some chinos.

Closing Thoughts

In closing, I think this PAM 513 brings something refreshingly different to the table. Panerai’s one-of-a-kind, signature case shape shines in a new light with this watch. For the guy looking for something a little unique and that will stand out, I think this watch offers just about everything you need. What do you think of this particular Panerai? Leave your thoughts below, and tell us if you’d ever pick one up!


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