More than most Panerai is a brand heavily reliant on its heritage, and so it was at SIHH 2016, with Panerai taking inspiration from the past, near and distant. And in line with its recent direction of the brand, much of the focus is on aesthetics, rather than new movements.
The Luminor 8 Days Set PAM786 is modelled on vintage timepieces from not too long ago, the 1996 Slytech watches commissioned by American actor Sylvester Stallone, who was one of the early adopters of Panerai before it became fashionable.
Made up of a pair of Luminor 44 mm watches – this is the second Slytech two-piece set after last year’s PAM785 – one a conventional wristwatch to be worn on the left wrist, and the other meant for right-handers, or destro in Paneristi parlance.
The more intriguing of the pair is the Luminor Daylight 8 Days Acciaio, based on a prototype made for Stallone to wear in the tunnel disaster film Daylight. It’s unusual because the dial is white with deep blue markings and hands, a combination not found on any other Panerai.
The Luminor Black Seal Left-Handed 8 Days Acciaio DLC is more typical, with a 44 mm steel case finished with a black diamond-like carbon (DLC) coating.
Both watches are equipped with the P.5000 movement, a hand-wound in-house calibre with an eight day power reserve. And both have solid steel backs similar to those found on the original Slytech watches. Limited to 500 sets, this will cost €19,900 including 19 percent tax. In Singapore it will be S$29,300.
The next pair of watches appropriate their distinctive look from vintage Panerai watches with discoloured dials, nicknamed “tropical” by collectors after the fading effect of sunlight. In the case of vintage Panerai dials, the fading was probably caused by the luminous radium used for nighttime visibility.
Both the Luminor 1950 3 Days Acciaio PAM663 and Radiomir 1940 3 Days Acciaio PAM662 feature unusual and attractive brown-grey dials that convincingly mimic the look of tropical dials. While this colour is unique to these limited editions for now, precedent indicates Panerai will introduce this colour on more affordable models in the future.
The Radiomir 1940 3 Days Acciaio PAM662 is based on the vintage “Egiziano Piccolo”, with a 47 mm case without the signature crown locking mechanism.
The Luminor 1950 3 Days Acciaio PAM663 has the more familiar Panerai look, and is also 47 mm. Panerai enthusiasts will note the hour markers on the dial are printed, while the logo text is engraved.
|The new P.3000|
Both tropical watches are equipped with the new P.3000 hand-wind movement, which features four separate bridges on the back, giving it a more pleasing look than the first generation with two large bridges that left little to see. And fittingly for a vintage remake, both have Plexiglas crystals.
The Radiomir 1940 3 Days Acciaio PAM662 will cost €9500, while the Luminor 1950 3 Days Acciaio PAM663 will be €9900. In Singapore the prices are S$14,000 and S$14,600 respectively.
Then comes a quartet of Radiomir 1940 watches powered by a new in-house calibre, both variants of the P.4000 automatic movement announced before SIHH in the Radiomir 1940 3 Days PAM655. All in 45 mm Radiomir 1940 cases, the four watches feature guilloche dials inspired by the first line of watches Panerai made when it was relaunched in 1997, with either clous de paris (hobnail) or pinstripe patterns.
|Hobnail dial on the left, pinstripe on the right|
The P.4001 is features a second time zone hand, date as well as a day and night display on the dial, along with a power reserve indicator on the back. It’s found in the Radiomir 1940 3 Days GMT Automatic Acciaio PAM627 with a hobnail dial, as well as the Radiomir 1940 3 Days GMT Automatic Acciaio PAM657 with a vertical pinstripe dial. These will cost €11,400 each, or S$16,800.
|P.4001 movement with the power reserve on the rear|
The P.4002 is similar in terms of features, but the power reserve display is found on the dial, instead of on the movement. It’s found in the Radiomir 1940 3 Days GMT Power Reserve Automatic Acciaio PAM628 with a hobnail dial, and the Radiomir 1940 3 Days GMT Power Reserve Automatic Acciaio PAM658 with a pinstripe dial. Both are priced at €11,600 or S$17,100.
The most elaborate watch in the 2016 line-up is the Lo Scienzato Luminor 1950 Tourbillon GMT Titanio PAM578, which is unique for its lightweight titanium case made by a high tech, 3D printing technique.
Known as direct metal laser sintering (DMLS), the method deposits a tiny amount of titanium that is then melted by a laser, a step that is repeated until the entire structure is formed.
The result is a case with a hollow interior and a large that weighs less than 100 grammes, despite being 47 mm in diameter. Its lightness is helped by the fact that skeletonised bridges and base plate of the movement are also titanium, albeit manufactured via traditional machining. The Lo Scienzato is limited to 150 pieces with a price of €139,000 or S$204,500. More on this at a later date.
Stayed tuned for more personal perspectives on the other brands at SIHH 2016 to come over the following days.
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