When I first knew the brand, the DNA I associated with was the preVs, Bettarini and Radiomir cases...the half moon crown guard and wired lugs respectively prolly because much of the discussion I have read and participated when I started out was camped heavily around that.
It was simpler back then when the ogling was targeted at the preVs and SEs that was some form of a "vintage" reincarnation. And for mere mortal like myself, the only way I can have a piece of vintage Panerai history was from the books done by Ralf & Volker.
And as times goes by, through the amount of SEs that Panerai brought out, more exposure was made available and thus discussion then shifted to the Vintage era where there's much debate, good and bad, about the vintage world of Panerai.
The DNA that started with the PreVs have now turned into emulating many designs back from the early years of Panerai.
Like Hammer said, its difficult not to see the DNA present even on new release Panerai as the basic of the design still very much says Panerai.