SIHH 2018: Panerai's QuartetBy Ken Kessler
Probably the most important of Panerai’s 2018 unveilings is an entirely new Luminor Due collection that includes their first model in a 38mm case. OK, so Paneristi will rightly point out that it isn’t exactly in keeping with the Panerai ethos, but then the company couldn’t resist diamond numerals, gold or other departures from a more purist creed.
PAM00755 3 Days Automatic Acciaio is the baby of the range, in a 38mm steel case, with Manufacture OP XXXIV automatic calibre with date window at 3 o’clock and small seconds at 9 o’clock. It’s fitted with a rather chic mint-green alligator strap. PAM00756 is the same watch but with a red gold case and one of the best-looking dials ever to grace a Panerai. It’s ivory-coloured, with rich blue numerals and matching light blue alligator strap.
That same dial is also used for PAM00903 3 Days Automatic Acciaio which, like both PAMS 00755 and 00756, comes with a 38mm case with the signature flip-lock crown protector. PAM00908 is a mash-up of PAMS00755 and 00756, with the black dial of the former and the red gold case of the latter.
For those who like these thinner Due models but still prefer a larger diameter timepiece, PAM00904 is essentially the black-dial, steel-case PAM00755 beefed up to 42mm, and PAM00906 does it with the ivory-and-blue dial. Trust me: this blue-on-white dial combination is a stunning alternative to even the original black-on-white.
L’Astronomo is the short name given to PAM00920, or “Luminor 1950 Tourbillon Moon Phases Equation Of Time GMT Titanio – 50mm” in full. This is one of those ultra-complicated, skeletal Panerais that look like they wanna square off in the ring with Roger Dubuis or Richard Mille. I could have sworn there was a Panerai with moon phase before, but the advance information says this is the first.
What you get on full view is the hand-wound manufacture P.2005/GLS calibre. It provides hours, minutes, small seconds, date, month indicator, GMT and power reserve indicator to track the 96-hour run-time, equation of time, sunrise/sunset times and with moon phases on the back. This fits into a 50mm, brushed titanium case wit water resistance to 10 bar (100 metres).
No information other than a selection of photos have been supplied for the latest to bear the Luminor Logo name, but PAM00773 looks the most traditional with black dial and white OP logo, while PAM00774 has the logo in blue and comes with a denim-look strap. PAM00775 offers black numerals on a white dial, with blue logo and PAM00776, PAM00777 and PAM00778 ad small seconds at 9 o’clock with – respectively – black dial/white logo, black dial/blue logo and white dial/blue logo.
More daunting to describe is the latest in the Lo Scienziato series, reminiscent of the original which came out in a ceramic case. PAM00767 Luminor 1950 is a skeletonised model in a titanium case, with a manual P2005/T movement with three barrels. There’s a power reserve indicator on the back, which suggests that those three barrels will provide this with an as-yet-unspecified but no doubt impressive run-time. The front features a day/night indicator and small seconds at 9 o’clock, so I’m guessing the third hand from the centre might be a GMT function – hence the need for an AM/PM display. The hands are blued steel with white lume, reminiscent of themed-1990s Mare Nostrum, and the classic 3/6/9/12 in Panerai’s wonderful font appear to float.
Panerai usually plays its cards close to its chest, so one suspects they might also deliver some surprises at SIHH. Watch this space.