Walter Shillington is an avid collector of mechanical watches. His reviews focus on inexpensive but often intriguing Chinese timepieces.
Parnis Marina Militare Watch
For a number of years, Parnis manufactured the Marina Militare, a homage version of Paneria’s highly coveted luxury watch.
Compagnie Financière Richemont SA., Paneria’s owner, disagreed with that designation. They felt the Parnis line was composed of a series of outright replicas. They had a point, and, in 2017, all Parnis Marina Militare watches were removed from Amazon, eBay, and other large e-commerce sites.
Parnis Marina Militare timepieces are now being heavily discounted on some websites, and further production has ceased.
These timepieces are being sold for $74.00 (including shipping), and that’s a lot of money for an orphaned watch. Is it worth it? I decided to purchase one and find out.
At 192 grams (6.8 ounces), this automatic owns the record as the heaviest watch in my collection. The Marina Militare spans 47 millimeters, and if you include the crown protector, its diameter increases to 52. This timepiece is 19 millimeters thick.
The watch’s Seagull 2555 automatic movement is encased within a hefty case composed of 316L grade, brushed stainless steel. Its black-colored dial is surrounded by a massive and rotatable bezel and protected by a hardened mineral glass crystal.
A tiny window at the three o’clock position allows the wearer to view the date. The second-hand subdial is located at the nine o’clock position.
Hour indications are white and trimmed with silver. Luminous paint coats the hands, and a generous dollop is applied to the twelve o’clock position of the timepiece’s bezel.
A large, Panerai style, crown protector juts from the timepiece’s right edge. On the left, a button is engraved with the symbol He.
Most modern mechanical watches incorporate a window as part of the caseback. For this timepiece, Parnis went old-school, providing a traditional stainless-steel caseback.
Heavy watches necessitate the use of high-quality straps. This one includes a thick brown leather band with white stitching and a brushed stainless steel buckle.
Parnis is a small Chinese watch company, trademarked by Xiao Jian Hong of Guangzhou.
Parnis designs their own timepieces and assembles them at their manufacturing facility at Tong De Wei, Guangzhou. The various components are contracted out from companies such as Seagull, Miyota, and Dixmount. Fu Yuan Xin manufacturers their cases.
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Parnis produces both mechanical and quartz driven timepieces. Some of these watches, such as the Marina Militare, closely resemble their Swiss competitors’ more expensive luxury timepieces. Other designs are fresh and original.
Parnis has acquired a good reputation due to its use of superior components and respectable quality control.
Because they offer excellent buyer protection, I usually confine my internet purchases to Amazon, eBay, DhGate, and AliExpress. Before buying this timepiece on mywatchcode, I conducted some research.
Mywatchcode is registered to HiChina Zhicheng Technology Ltd. HiChina is a China-based web hosting company. HiChina Zhicheng Technology Limited is a wholesale supplier of electronics, apparel, and home and garden supplies. This vendor also runs watch stores on eBay, Amazon, and AliExpress.
Mywatchcode accepts Paypal. This is good because I am loath to provide credit card information to obscure Chinese websites.
My purchase went smoothly and my new watch arrived on schedule.
Model: Marina Militare Automatic
Condition: New (clearance item)
Place of Origin: Guangzhou, China
Movement: Seagull 2555 Automatic
Features: Second-hand subdial, date indicator, rotatable bezel, and crown protector
Band material: Leather
Band color: Brown with white stitching
Band width: 26 millimeters
Clasp type: Brushed stainless-steel buckle
Dial color: Black
Dial window material: Hardened mineral glass
Case material: 316L Stainless steel
Case diameter: 47 millimeters (not including crown protector)
Case thickness: 19 millimeters
Weight: 192 grams (6.8 ounces)
Water resistance: 3 ATM (splash resistant only)
The Marina Militare’s huge brushed stainless-steel case, combined with its massive rotatable bezel is sure to attract attention. The Panerai styled crown protector also contributes to this effect.
Parnis, however, added a touch of simplicity, choosing to provide a black dial marked with white indicators and a second-hand subdial. A date indicator at the three o’clock position works well but is difficult to see in low light.
While I would prefer a window at the back, displaying this timepiece’s movement, the hefty stainless-steel caseback certainly suggests ruggedness and durability.
The thick brown leather strap goes well with the overall design of this watch.
Is It Accurate?
I tested the Parnis Marina Militare for one week. Over this time, it gained an average of 7.5 seconds per day. This is excellent accuracy for an automatic watch in the one-hundred-dollar price range.
After I removed the timepiece from my wrist, it continued to keep time for a further 47 hours. I consider this exceptional.
A solid stainless-steel case and hardened mineral glass crystal provide the movement with good physical protection.
This watch incorporates a well-designed crown protector. The end of the lever, which pushes against the crown is fitted with a roller, ensuring the mechanism enjoys a lengthy lifespan.
Parnis matched this watch with a Seagull 2555 automatic movement. Seagull has established and maintained a good reputation for quality control.
The attached strap is composed of thick leather and should provide yeomen service for several years.
The case of this watch is fitted with a button inscribed He; the symbol for the chemical element helium. When commercial divers operate at great depths, they spend periods of time crouched inside diving bells breathing a mixture of gases in which helium is included. Helium atoms are very small natural gas particles that can seep past a timepiece’s O-rings. While this will cause no immediate effect, when the diver rises to the surface, these gas particles will expand, possibly damaging the timepiece. Several brands of diver’s watches are equipped with a Helium release valve, which allows the gas to dissipate as pressure decreases.
I assume the helium release valve fitted to this watch is decorative in nature. Also, while the crown protector does secure the timepiece’s crown properly, the Parnis Marina Militare should not be considered a diver’s watch. Timepieces from this manufacturer are normally rated 3 ATM and are not suitable for swimming.
The Parnis Marina Militare is an impressive watch with a strong air of machismo. It is coupled to an accurate Seagull movement and equipped with a quality leather strap. This watch is highly recommended.
Watch manufacturers often include functions that are purely decorative in nature. Some people like these additions, and others hate them.
© 2018 Walter Shillington
Jeremiah Dimetrio on June 05, 2019:
Parnis PAM watches are nice and classy. The designs may be inspired by a more popular brand but they would modfy it a bit to avoid being called as replicas.
Walter Shillington (author) from Windsor, Nova Scotia, Canada on April 07, 2018:
These Seagull movements are very accurate. I was disappointed with a similarly priced Miyota movement I tested recently. I am now testing a William Gregor with a Seiko NH35A 24 jewel movement. I hope it is accurate because I really like this watch.
Jim Rees on April 07, 2018:
Parnis watches are very popular with me because they use Seagull movements, one of the most accurate movements made in any price range in my opinion. Another great review my friend, please keep them coming!