There are a number of possible origins for the “California” dial, a dial that mixes Arabic and Roman numerals. Some say it was a mistake, a dummy dial that was never changed out before it was sold. Others say that the first iteration was made by Rolex when they manufactured dive watches for Panerai, which then only made depth gauges and instruments. Still others insist that this was a Rolex design, patented as early as 1944, and it has been used by other brands in the past.

I don’t care where it came from, who started it or who coined the term “California” for this dial confirmation.

None of that matters to me because…I love it.

Luminor California 8 Days DLC – 44mm

Luminor California 8 Days DLC – 44mm, PAM00779
Luminor California 8 Days DLC – 44mm, PAM00779

It’s certainly true that early Panerai’s had this dial layout, so it makes sense for the brand to have a California dial. It is used to great effect in this new edition, combined with a 44mm titanium case coated with DLC and a brand-new leather cuff strap. Water resistant to 300 meters, this is a serious watch that looks fantastic.

The Luminor California is powered by the hand-wound P.5000 caliber, an in-house movement with a long power reserve of eight days (accomplished by two spring barrels in series).

I love the California dial and have to add a Panerai to my collection. Looks like I just found my next watch…