A quick overview of PANERAI novelties at the 2015 SIHH
If it’s January, it’s SIHH and if it’s SIHH, watch fans all over the world are eager to find out what will be their next grail watch. Among the brand present at SIHH, probably none has such a passionate fan base as the Swiss brand with Florentine roots. Staying faithful to its origin, the design of every new model is based on historic pieces, while taking advantage of the latest innovations in watchmaking.
Luminor Submersible 1950 Carbotech (PAM00616)
2015 has just started, but probably it will be remembered as the year when Panerai used carbon fibre for the first time.
Carbotech — as Panerai calls it — is a a composite material made of sheets of carbon fibre compressed at a controlled temperature under high pressure together with a high-end polymer, PEEK (Polyether Ether Ketone), which binds the composite material, making it even stronger and more durable. Having an uneven, matt black appearance, which varies according the cutting of the materials, there are no two watches crafted from carbotech that would look the same. Apart from its aesthetic appeal, carbotech is also a material that is lighter and more resistant than similar materials used in watchmaking, such as ceramics or titanium.
For the PAM00616, Panerai has used carbotech to build the 47 mm Luminor 1950 case, the rotating bezel and the lever bridge which protects the crown. The back is made from titanium with black treatment and it is engraved with elements characteristic of the Panerai brand: “Florence 1860”, the city and year of birth of Panerai watchmaking, and the image of a Siluro a Lenta Corsa (SLC – Slow Speed Torpedo), the notorious maiale (pig) torpedo used by the Italian Navy during WWII.
It is powered by the in-house P.9000 automatic calibre, offering a power reserve of 72 hours.
The limited edition Radiomir Mare Nostrum Titanio – 52 mm (PAM00603)
With its diameter of 52 mm, the Mare Nostrum Titanio (PAM00603) is one of those Panerais that requires not only a thick wallet, but also a hefty wrist. While in the history of the ancient Romans, following their conquest of Egypt and Spain, called the Mediterranean Sea Mare Nostrum (Our Sea), the name of this piece probably refers to that short period of WWII, when the Italian Navy controlled a wide area of the Mediterranean coast.
The new Mare Nostrum Titanio is limited to 150 pieces and it faithfully reproduces the 1943 model created for the deck officers of the Royal Italian Navy “Mare Nostrum”. Unlike the original watch that was made from steel, the tonneau-shaped case of the PAM00603 is made from titanium. The wide flat bezel, the screw back, the push buttons and the winding crown engraved with the words “Mare Nostrum” are all made of brushed titanium as well.
Under the tobacco brown dial made in two levels, we’ll find beating the hand-wound OP XXV calibre developed on a Minerva 13-22 base.
Radiomir Firenze 3 Days Acciaio – 47 mm (PAM00604)
This special edition Radiomir, limited to 99 pieces is made and sold exclusively at the Officine Panerai’s historic Florence boutique in Piazza San Giovanni.
The brushed steel case 47 mm in diameter has the same dimensions as the first watch created by Officine Panerai in 1936, and it is entirely decorated with engraving carried out by hand by expert Italian craftsmen, the designs being inspired by motifs which recur in Florentine iconography.
Each case requires more than a week of work on the part of one engraver, work that is made particularly demanding by the hardness of the AISI 316L stainless steel. Decorating a PAM00604, requires the highest level of craftsmanship, there is no place for error, the slightest mishandling of the burin would irrevocably damage the work already carried out.
FIRENZE (Florence) is inscribed at 6 o’clock on the black dial with an elegant satiné soleil finish.
Powered by the hand-wound P.3000 calibre, every Radiomir Firenze 3 Days Acciaio – 47 mm is supplied with a black alligator strap with contrasting ecru stitching.
Radiomir 1940 Equation of Time 8 Days – 48 mm (PAM00516) and Luminor 1950 Equation of Time 8 Days – 47 mm (PAM00601)
Among the Panerai novelties, here are two models featuring a very special haute horlogerie complication called equation of time. Because of the elliptical orbit or the Earth around the Sun and the axial tilt of the Earth’s rotation in relation to the equator, most of the time – except the four occasions in one year when a day measures exactly 24 hours – there is a difference between apparent time (solar time) and conventional time (mean time) which varies between being up to about 15 minutes ahead or behind, depending on the time of year.
This difference is displayed on a linear indicator on the dial of these two Panerais at 6 o’clock. The dial also contains the small seconds counter at nine o’clock, the date window at three o’clock and the circular indicator on which the month can be read.
Both of them are powered by P.2002/E hand-wound movement which can be admired through the see through back of the watch.
The Radiomir 1940 Equation of Time 8 Days – 48 mm (PAM00516) will be limited to 200 pieces, while its Luminor version will be limited 100 pieces.
Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Chrono Flyback Automatic Titanio – 47mm (PAM00614 and PAM00615)
The two new Submersibile models with their brushed titanium Luminor 1950 case are powered by Panerai’s first in-house automatic chronograph calibre, the P.9100 with flyback function. A flyback chronograph, also known as “retour en vol”, enables the chronograph hand that is already moving to be zeroed and instantly restarted by a single pressure, without it being necessary first to stop the hand and then to return it to zero. In the Luminor Submersible 1950 the push button which controls the stopping and starting of the chronograph is at ten o’clock, while the push button at eight o’clock operates the flyback function and zeros the chronograph hand after it has been stopped.
To keep the dial uncluttered, the chronograph minutes and seconds hands are both positioned centrally and distinguished from each other by being different colours: the seconds hand is blue while the minute hand is rhodium plated, advancing instantaneously with a jump every sixty seconds.
When it comes to differences between the two models, let’s start with the bezel which is made entirely from brushed titanium on the PAM00614 and titanium with ceramic disc on the PAM00615. The two models have different elements at three o’clock: the model with the titanium bezel has the date window in this position while the model with ceramic bezel has the chronograph hour counter there.
Panerai did not release pricing information yet, but as soon as we have it, we’ll update this story.
For more about Panerai, head over to www.panerai.com.