Introducing the New Panerai Luminor Chronos

Introducing the New Panerai Luminor Chronos

You can feel the palpable energy and renewed interest in Panerai once again and that is very much down to its current CEO Jean-Marc Pontroué. Upon taking the helm of the brand he quickly identified that the first generation of Panerai customers who had adopted the brand in the Pre-Vendome years from 1993-1997 when the small Italian company had started to manufacture civilian watches based on their historic military timepieces, or in the early Richemont years from 1997 to 2007, was a rapidly aging population. Basically anyone that wanted a “vintage” style Panerai had already bought as many as he or she was going to buy. What Pontroué needed to do was win over the hearts and minds of the wealthy young Millennial and Generation Z audience. Already Cartier’s CEO Cryrille Vigneron had pointed out to me that, “Our customer base in these two generations is very significant and growing.” Says Audemars Piguet’s CEO Francois Bennahmias, “I realized that our customers were becoming younger and younger and we had to respond to this by engaging them on the platforms that they used.” What followed was something that should be used as a case study in how an iconic but waning brand can be turned around in two short years through the vision of one individual.

Without rejecting the past, Pontroué focused completely on the present and future. He doubled down on Panerai’s focus on material innovation, widening the use of materials like Carbotech by introducing the first Luminor Marina in this type of carbon fiber. He created an appealing, vibrantly modern design with sunray motif blue dials, and combined carbon fibre with vivid blue indexes and even played with luminous light signatures to create watches that connected with the prevailing aesthetic taste of the new generation.

CEO at Panerai, Jean-Marc Pontroué
CEO at Panerai, Jean-Marc Pontroué

He used the idea of experiences offered to watch buyers, everything from training with the Italian Navy’s special forces to sailing with the Luna Rossa America’s Cup team to bring a jolt of innovation and energy. And he used collaborations such as with the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team to connect his brand with wider lifestyle universes. As someone who was at one time an old school Panerai guy, it took me a while to wrap my head around it, but when I got it, I could clearly see how smart he was. As an example of my appreciation for Pontroué and Panerai when Revolution had the chance to open its first watch retail shop in the Maldives, the first brand I thought of was Panerai. Why? Because the watches appeal to all three of the customers I identified. Panerai appealed to the luxury athlete, someone who’s vacation consists of parasailing, diving, snorkeling and jet skiing. With a Panerai he could have an absolute water-based performance machine on his wrist but also something urgently cool to wear for drinks at the bar or to dinner with his wife. Panerai also appealed to the lifestyle customer who spends this day drinking rosé by the swimming pool or beach and is perfect for the occasional dip. And it also appeals to the connoisseur because underlying the appealing looks is genuine quality.

Pontroué has used collaborations such as the one with the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team to connect Panerai with wider lifestyle universes.
Pontroué has used collaborations such as the one with the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team to connect Panerai with wider lifestyle universes.

Panerai Luminor Chrono

Okay, so that having been said, Pontroué has focused first on the Submersible, then on the Luminor Marina refocusing them as modern horological icons. But it is clear that something dawned on him during this process. That the majority of sports watches from the Daytona to the Speedmaster, to the Richard Mille RM 11 to the Royal Oak Offshore are chronographs. In response, this year, Pontroué and Panerai unveil their take on the ultimate sports chronograph family. This consists of three models PAM 1109, 1110 and 1218. Wait you say because Panerai has always made chronographs, everything from watches with a tantalum case and a Lemania 1872 to 40mm Luminor Marina with Zenith El Primero movements, to of course chronographs such as the famous PAM 526 Regatta Chronograph with its infinitely programmable countdown function. So what’s different about these chronographs? Simple, they were designed to be iconic. Meaning spottable from across the dinner table and easily identifiable at 20 paces.

All the new Luminor Chronos are powered by calibre 9200, which is a 4 Hz automatic chronograph movement but without the flyback function of the Panerai Calibre 9100
All the new Luminor Chronos are powered by calibre 9200, which is a 4 Hz automatic chronograph movement but without the flyback function of the Panerai Calibre 9100
The Luminor Chrono PAM 1109 feature two straps, in alligator leather and rubber, equipped with a trapezoidal pin buckle in brushed steel.
The Luminor Chrono PAM 1109 feature two straps, in alligator leather and rubber, equipped with a trapezoidal pin buckle in brushed steel.
The PAM 1110 is a steel watch with a stunning blue sunray effect dial and an integrated steel bracelet with deployant clasp customized with engraved “OP” logo.
The PAM 1110 is a steel watch with a stunning blue sunray effect dial and an integrated steel bracelet with deployant clasp customized with engraved “OP” logo.

The watches are clean, pure and meaningful in design. All three use a 44mm case and are 15.65 in thickness making them all relatively wearable as opposed to the 47mm Regatta timer. They all have their pushers located to the left of the watch so as not to clutter the right side and the crown protector. Instead of nautical telemeter indications as with the 2019 Panerai Yachts Challenge chronographs these watches feature tachymeters.

The dials are all Panerai’s famous sandwich dials. PAM 1109 is a steel watch with a black dial. PAM 1218 is a steel watch with a white dial and my favorite PAM 1110 is a steel watch with a stunning blue sunray effect dial and with a Panerai crown guard motif integrated bracelet. This last watch is important because integrated bracelet sports watches are one of the most dominant categories today and while Panerai introduced this bracelet many years ago it has not realized its full potential. All these watches feature Panerai’s Calibre 9200 which is a 4 Hz automatic chronograph movement but without the flyback function of Panerai Calibre 9100, presumably to make the watches even more attractive in price.

Panerai Luminor Chrono Luna Rossa

Also being launched is a 1000 piece special edition Luminor Chrono Luna Rossa PAM 1303. This watch is identical in iconography and function. It combines a steel case with a handsome dark blue sunray dial and a red chronograph seconds hand and minute counter hand. It comes with two Luna Rossa technical straps one in dark blue and the other in navy.

The Luminor Chrono Luna Rossa comes with two bi-material bracelets with a rubber structure that makes it durable for rugged sports activities.
The Luminor Chrono Luna Rossa comes with two bi-material bracelets with a rubber structure that makes it durable for rugged sports activities.
The Luminor Chrono Luna Rossa comes with two bi-material bracelets with a rubber structure that makes it durable for rugged sports activities.

Luminor Chrono Monopulsante GMT Blu Notte

The third Panerai chronograph being launched is something of a high concept limited edition being produced in just 200 examples. PAM 1135 is a 44mm ceramic case Luminor chronograph with a monopusher function – where start, stop and reset is activated through a single pusher with a GMT function as well. While this is not the first time Panerai has issued the ceramic monopusher chronograph, it is the first time the model has been combined with a stunning dark blue sunray motif dial. The case of this watch is thicker at 19.55 cm thanks to the manual wind caliber 2004 inside.

A high concept limited edition of just 200 examples, the Luminor Chrono Monopulsante GMT Blu Notte has a 44 mm ceramic case and a stunning blue sunray motif dial
A high concept limited edition of just 200 examples, the Luminor Chrono Monopulsante GMT Blu Notte has a 44 mm ceramic case and a stunning blue sunray motif dial
A high concept limited edition of just 200 examples, the Luminor Chrono Monopulsante GMT Blu Notte has a 44 mm ceramic case and a stunning blue sunray motif dial

Tech Specs

Panerai Luminor Chrono
Panerai Luminor Chrono
Panerai Luminor Chrono

Movement: Calibre P. 9200; 6.9mm thick; 41 jewels; 28,800 vibrations/hour,GlucydurTM balance wheel; IncablocTM shock proof device; 42 hours power reserve single barrel.

Case & Dial:
Stainless steel brushed middle case; diameter 44mm;thickness 15.65mm; polished bezel; safety lock crown protection device; lever, crown and chrono pushers in brushed steel; sSapphire crystal;twelve-sided screwed caseback in brushed steel; water resistant to 100 meters.
Black/white with matte finish and blue with satiné soleil finishing; sandwich structure with arabic numerals and indexes in white Super-LumiNovaTM with green luminescence; Seconds at 9 o’clock, chronograph minutes counter at 3 o’clock, central chronograph seconds hand; tachymeter scale on the flange.

Strap:
PAM 1109 and PAM 1218: Alligator leather, black with tone-on-tone stitching,with trapezoidal pin buckle in brushed steel and additional rubber strap.
PAM 1110: Brushed and polished AISI 316L steel with deployant clasp customized with engraved “OP” logo.

Prices:
Euros 8,900 for PAM 1109; Euros 8,900 for PAM 1218 and Euros 9700 for PAM 1110 .

Panerai Luminor Chrono Luna Rossa
Panerai Luminor Chrono Luna Rossa

Movement:
Calibre P. 9200; 6.9mm thick; 41 jewels; 28,800 vibrations/hour, GlucydurTM balance wheel; IncablocTM shock proof device; 42 hours power reserve single barrel

Case & Dial:
Steel brushed case, diameter 44mm; thickness 15.65mm. Polished bezel. Safety Lock crown protection device (protected by trademark); lever and crown in brushed steel; sapphire crystal; twelve-sided screwed caseback in brushed steel; water-resistant to 100 meters.
Deep blue dial with satiné soleil finishing; sandwich structure with Arabic numerals and indexes in white; super-LumiNovaTM with green luminescence; Luna Rossa personalization; seconds at 9 o’clock, chronograph minutes counter at 3 o’clock, central chronograph seconds hand; tachymeter scale on the flange.

Strap:
Bi-material in technical fabric and rubber, blue with Luna Rossa personalization; additional bi-material strap in technical fabric and rubber, white with Luna Rossa personalization.

Price and Availability:
Euros 8900; limited to 1000 pieces

Panerai Luminor Chrono Monopulsante GMT Blu Notte
Panerai Luminor Chrono Monopulsante GMT Blu Notte

Movement:
Caliber P.2004; 8.2mm thick; 28,800 vibrations / hour, GlucydurTM balance wheel, KIF ParechocTM shock proof device, triple barrel; 8 days of power reserve.

Case & Dial:
Matte black ceramic; diameter 44mm; thickness 19.55mm; matte black ceramic bezel; safety lock crown protection device; lever, crown and chrono button in matte black ceramic; sapphire crystal; twelve-sided screwed caseback in titanium with black DLC coating; water-resistant to 100 meters.
Blu Notte dial with satiné soleil finishing; sandwich structure; with Arabic numerals and indexes in white Super-LumiNovaTM with green luminescence.

Strap:
Calfskin, deep blue with ecru stitching with trapezoidal pin buckle in titanium with black DLC coating. Additional rubber strap, deep blue.

Price and Availability:
Euros 21,900; limited to 200 pieces.

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