Panerai’s most recognisable watch sheds weight to keep up appearances.
TEXT CHARMIAN LEONG
With a name like “Panerai – Dive Into Time”, this exhibition held in Florence in May would allow even a casual appreciator to easily infer that the Italian-Swiss brand has nautical roots. But displayed alongside historic models once favoured by the Royal Italian Navy was a brand-new collection that would fare much better on dry land.
The Luminor Due (that’s “two” in Italian), with water resistance up to only 30m, is not a diver’s watch (despite still bearing the line’s signature crown guard). At a novel thickness of just 10.5mm for the manually wound version, it is the thinnest Luminor ever made and is up to 40 per cent smaller than previous models.
The 42mm Luminor Due 3 Days houses the new 3.85mm-thick P.1000 calibre, while the Luminor 3 Days Automatic, at a slightly larger size of 45mm and a thickness of 10.7mm, is powered by the micro-rotor calibre P.4000. Both versions come in steel or red gold.
It’s a practical move to turn the famously chunky watch into something more suitable for everyday wear, and those satin-brushed dials certainly up its glam factor. Given how these new models still bear the much-loved sandwich dials and rounded numerals, it means fans can now get the Luminor aesthetic without the Luminor weight.
The Luminor Due wasn’t the only major development announced by Panerai this year. The manufacture has also unveiled the Radiomir 1940 Minute Repeater Carillon Tourbillon GMT. The brand certainly pulled out all the stops when creating its first minute repeater: The watch houses a double minute repeater mechanism for two time zones – and uses three gongs instead of the usual two. It also utilises the relatively uncommon decimal repeater, so it chimes 10-minute increments rather than the traditional quarter-hours. The lucky few who get their hands on one will also be able to customise their order with strap-, hand-and case-material options.