Yes, James Bond has primarily worn Rolex and Omega, but seriously, is there any greater, more indisputable tough-guy watch than the Panerai Luminor? Panerai made watches exclusively for the Italian Navy until 1993, when it first introduced a Luminor to the civilian market. Sylvester Stalone became an instant fan and, in 1995, Panerai created a special-edition in his honor called Slytech. Arnold Schwarzenegger also wore a Panerai, clinching its reputation as the ultimate macho time machine.
Panerai became even more mainstream in 1995 when it was acquired by the super luxury group Richemont, which has done a great job of marketing the brand. The first high-production Luminor Submersible, introduced shortly after that, featured the PAM 024A movement and, of course, the model’s now iconic crown protector. Today, Paneristas constitute the world’s most dedicated watch fan club, and even Sly has remained loyal to the brand – both he and Jason Statham wear a gorgeous DLC-coated Panerai Luminor Regatta Rattrapante 1950 in The Expendables. (By the way, does anyone else think Statham should be the next James Bond?)