Panerai Serial Numbers: A Complete Guide


Panerai Serial Numbers: A Complete Guide

All watches have serial numbers. The only thing is that different brands use different types of serial numbers, and use different formats to come up with their serial numbers. Serial numbers are not to be confused with reference numbers, which is a way to refer to specific watch models, and similar to serial numbers, reference numbers are created using different formats across different brands.

Serial numbers are a unique number that each watch has, and each watch follows a specific serial number format depending on the production year. Panerai uses one format of creating serial numbers, and parts of these serial numbers can be used to identify the year of which the watch was produced.

Panerai serial numbers

As such, serial numbers are used to identify a specific timepiece and can be viewed as a personal security number that no other watch than one specific piece has. Therefore, serial numbers have different usage areas, but they come specifically handy when leaving a watch to service, but they can also be helpful when a watch has been stolen, so you can know whether a watch is your specific piece.


In this article, we’ll present Panerai serial numbers, talk a little about the format that Panerai serial numbers, in particular, are structured, and maybe most importantly, list Panerai serial numbers to help you identify the year of which your Panerai watch was manufactured.

Do note that the serial numbers can only give an estimate of when your Panerai watch was made, and it can, of course, be a bit more difficult to identify the specific year your Panerai watch was made if it’s an older (vintage) piece.

Panerai serial numbers

Panerai serial numbers consist of a letter, and with the help of this letter, you can match the letter with the years listed in this article. For example, letter ”C” in the Panerai serial number indicates that the watch was made in the year 2000.

Where can Panerai serial numbers be found?

Like on most timepieces, most Panerai serial numbers can be found on the case back of the watch. Part of the reason that the serial numbers are engraved on the case back is to make them ”hidden” from other people, thus making it more difficult for people who should not have your serial number to get access to them.

Panerai Luminor Marina 8 Days PAM590

Panerai started with serial numbers in 1997 with the serial BB970001.

Panerai case numbers normally start with ”OP’” and are then followed by 4 digits. The case number identifies the case used on the watch. Different Panerai models may share the same case and so have the same case number. Small changes in a case design over the years can see the case number change for its model. Since 1997, they have been ascending.

Panerai Serial Numbers by Year: Serial Letter Production Year

  • No letter: 1997
  • A: 1998
  • B: 1999
  • C: 2000
  • D: 2001
  • E: 2002
  • F: 2003
  • G: 2004
  • H: 2005
  • I: 2006
  • J: 2007
  • K: 2008
  • L: 2009
  • M: 2010
  • N: 2011
  • O: 2012
  • P: 2013
  • Q: 2014
  • R: 2015
  • S: 2016
  • T: 2017

Serial Number

The second number is the individual watch number that started in 1997 with BB970001, and is steadily increasing. For the year 2000, numbers of 101xxxx are not uncommon.

Production Number: Panerai serial numbers

The final letter in a Panerai serial number is the watch’s number out of the total product for the year.

For example, if a Panerai has the number ”150/1000, it indicates that your Panerai is number 150 out of a total production run of 1000 pieces.

These numbers are true for all Panerai watches, no matter the model or style. This can also be referred to as the edition number, even though these are technically part of your serial numbers.

Panerai PAM 590

Panerai Serial number changes in 2002

In the middle of the year 2002, Some Panerai watches started appearing with serial numbers of PB50xxxx.

The serial number is equivalent to the identity card number. For each different watch, this number will be different.

Most Panerai serial numbers start with the letters ‘BB’ but ‘PB’ has also been used. The numbers following the letters increment with production. The newer the watch, the higher the number.

How to date my Panerai?

As mentioned, with the help of the serial number of your Panerai, you can date it and the year of which it was manufactured. To date your Panerai, look at the case back of your watch to identify the serial number, identify the first letter in this serial number, and then compare the letter with the list above. So if you are uncertain when your watch was made, this method can prove very helpful.

The serial numbers can also be helpful for deciding the provenance of the watch. These numbers started in 1997 and have been ascending since.

Please note that it is not uncommon that the year of your watch is different from the year it says on the warranty card as the watch can sit at an authorized retailer for a longer period of time before it is sold (and the warranty card is dated).

Do you have any additional specific questions regarding Panerai serial numbers? Consult one of our watch experts here!

Read all our articles about Panerai.

16 thoughts on “Panerai Serial Numbers: A Complete Guide

  1. Hi, when you say the some serial no’s on on the BACK of the watch. Does that mean it is on the INSIDE BACK? I have aquired a Panerai watch that has no visible serial no?


    1. Hi Debbie!
      We refer to the backside of the case, not the inside of the caseback.

      Kind regards,
      Millenary Watches

  2. I am trying to verify a Panerai model and authenticity

  3. Hi Millenary Watches,
    My name is Wan, my Luminor Panerai Automatic Firenze 1860 serial number is OP 6541 and PB 100000. Is it originally Panerai?

    1. Hi!
      Thank you for your message. Unfortunately, it is not possible to authenticate it solely based on the serial number. The best is to take it to a watchmaker and have them look at it.

      Kind regards,
      Millenary Watches

  4. Good morning:

    I am trying to verify a Panerai prices and authenticity

    1. Hi!
      Thank you for your comment.
      Unfortunately, it is not possible to very a Panerai only with its serial number.
      The best is always to take it to a watchmaker.

      Best regards,
      Millenary Watches

  5. Hello, I’ve recently acquired a Panerai Luminor, and am having difficulty identifying it. If you could help me I’d be very grateful
    O.P. 6567
    BB 108230
    Thanks in advance

    1. Hi Cliff,
      E serial would mean manufactured in 2002.

      Hope it helps.

      Kind regards,
      Millenary Watches

  6. Good afternoon MW,

    Thanks for the informative article which I have read & re-read a couple of times.

    I’m still struggling with differentiating between MOVEMENT number (numbers only), the SEQUENTIAL number (BB + numbers), and the MILLESIMATION number (U0100/0800), on my lovely new Panerai GMT. I quizzed the young man in the Panerai Boutique prior to purchase but his response was ‘hesitant’. Any advice?

    Thanks in advance,


  7. Hello,

    thank you for this guide. However I’m still a bit confused.

    You state :

    “The final letter in a Panerai serial number is the watch’s number out of the total product for the year.

    if a Panerai has the number 150/1000, it indicates that your Panerai is number 150 out of a total production run of 1000 pieces.”

    So is it the total production per year or is it the TOTAL production run?
    1000/y or 1000 in total?

    I’m asssuming the latter, but still…

    1. Hello David,
      Thank you for your comment. Only limited edition timepieces have the production number indicated on the caseback. The production numbers for non-limited edition timepieces remain unknown and only Panerai knows these numbers and does not disclose them to the public.

      Kind regards,
      Millenary Watches

  8. Hello, thank you . This is a great guide. However, how do you identify pieces prior to 1997? I found a watch for sale online. I have been communicating with the seller but he does not have much information. He says it was passed down to him from a family member. I have pictures. There doesn’t appear to be any numbers and I am having a very hard time even finding a watch similar to it anywhere online. Do you have any suggestions where I can find more info? Or is there someone I can forward the pictures to to find out more? Thank you.

    1. Hi Kyle,
      This serial number format begins at 1997.
      For detailed questions about vintage Panerai watches, I would advise you to consult one of our watch experts here:

      Kind regards,
      Millenary Watches

  9. I have recieved a Luminor watch dont no what kind.

    1. Hi,
      Our watch experts will be able to help you. You can order a consultation here:

      Kind regards,
      Millenary Watches

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