Cartier Vs Panerai: French or Italian?

In this article we are going to be closely comparing the two luxury watch brands Cartier Vs Panerai. These are two high end watch brands with names that date far back in the pages of history. Each of these brands have made a name for themselves over the years.

It is quite common for people to want to compare luxury watch brands to see which one is better. This is especially true when a person plans on purchasing a luxury watch. Luxury watches can be very expensive, so it pays to know exactly what you are getting before you decide to spend thousands of dollars on a watch.

So, when comparing watch brands of any type, how would you actually determine which brand is better? While it is true that this matter can be highly subjective, there are real world factors that we can look at to help us come to a proper conclusion.

The main 3 things that you are going want to look at when comparing any two watch brands are the build quality, design, and pricing differences between the two. Watch brands that can form a good balance of these 3 factors are usually going to be a hit with customers, so those are the factors we are going to be looking at.

Before we start though, let’s get introduced to the brands!

About The Brands


The Cartier brand was originally founded in Paris, France, in 1847. In the beginning, the company focused on jewelry. Even before watches, Cartier catered to the upper class. It comes as no surprise then, that they would become known for producing watches with an elite level of craftsmanship.

The first accounts of wristwatches made by Cartier were women’s watches. Records show that women’s watches were being produced as early as 1888. The first men’s watches, however, didn’t hit the market until 1911. These watches were designed with pilots in mind, as the first one was made specifically for a pilot.

From there, the brand name began to garner recognition and prestige. They continued to develop various types of wristwatches, and have since become widely known for their fine craftsmanship.


Panerai is an Italian born brand. It was first formed in Italy way back in 1860. Like most all luxury watch brands, Panerai began as a family owned business. Eventually, by the mid 1900’s Panerai had been contracted to produce watches for the Royal Italian Navy. Their dive watches are still a hit even today.

Aside from the navy, Panerai has also produced watches for the Italian frogman special forces. One such watch, was the “Radiomir”. This watch was characterized by its luminescence. However, the radioactive element responsible for its luminescence was eventually deemed unsafe. This led to a change in material and name. The watch is now known as the “Luminor”. This watch stands as one of Panerai’s more iconic watches.

Panerai continues to stand by its name as a prolific watchmaker. It remains a popular and well known luxury brand to this day.

Now that we’ve been properly introduced to these brands, let’s start comparing their watches, starting with the build quality.

Cartier Vs Panerai: Build Quality

cartier vs panerai build


Both quartz and automatic watches are produced by Cartier. Their watches use several different movements depending on the model. They use ETA, Valfleurier, Jaeger-LeCoultre, and Audemars Piguet, as well as their own in house movements.

Cases will be stainless steel, gold, or platinum, as expected in high quality watch cases. The dial windows are going to be made of sapphire crystal. Water resistance in Cartier watches doesn’t really go that high, usually not exceeding about 100 meters of resistance.


Although Panerai is technically an Italian brand, their watches at this time are actually manufactured by Rolex. Panerai produces both quartz and mechanical analog watches powered by in house movements.

Their watch cases are going to be made of either stainless steel or carbotech. Carbotech is a proprietary material made by Panerai that consists of a processed carbon fiber. Then, of course there are watches with gold or platinum cases as well.

Dial windows are going to be sapphire crystal. Finally, water resistance among their watches can range from 30 to 300 meters of resistance depending on the model.

Verdict On Build Quality

When it comes to the overall build quality, Panerai takes the top spot.

Cartier Vs Panerai: Design & Style

cartier vs panerai style


The style found in Cartier watches is fairly modest. A lot of them have Roman numeral markers. Cartier watches have a simple approach to fashion.

Despite not being overly flashy, they still manage to include a pretty diverse array of shapes and designs to their watches.


For the most part, Panerai watches are easy to spot by their signature crown housing. Even the watches that don’t have that type of crown housing, still follow the same basic shape and form of most all Panerai watches.

For better or worse Panerai watches all have a similar look and feel to them. A minimalistic and old school luxury look. Nevertheless, they possess all of the same charm that attracts people to this style.

Verdict On Design & Style

While both brands take a more modest, minimalistic approach to fashion, Panerai watches maintain the same basic form. You will find that Cartier watches have more diverse and distinguished designs in their watches.

Now, let’s move onto the pricing differences between these two brands.

Cartier Vs Panerai: Pricing

cartier vs panerai price

When it comes to pricing, you kind of know what to expect when dealing with luxury watches. They are going to be expensive. This is absolutely the case in both Cartier and Panerai watches.

These watches are priced in the higher tier of price ranges that you will find in watches. A large budget is required here. Both brands have watches that can be purchased at different levels of these extremes, but you aren’t going to find anything cheap in either brand’s libraries.

If you are wondering if one brand is possibly cheaper than the other, know that between both Cartier and Panerai, the pricing structure is about dead even.

Check Cartier Watch Prices on Amazon

Check Panerai Watch Prices on Amazon

So, know that we have examined some of the facts, which brand would be the best choice for a purchase?

Final Conclusion

Based on the factors we have looked at today, each brand is good in their own right. Panerai, seems to have the better overall builds, while Cartier has more diversity in their styles. Ultimately which brand you like better will depend on what you are looking for in a luxury watch.

And that concludes our comparison between Cartier and Panerai. I hope that this article has been useful and informative. If you enjoyed this matchup, we have many more similar comparisons between different brands and such which you can find here

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Comment