Panerai Introduces the Ultra-Luxe Luminor Marina Platinumtech PAM 1116

An extra-hard alloy and 70-year warranty.

After not having had a platinum model in the catalogue for some time, Panerai is returning to the lustrous and heavy metal with the Platinumtech Luminor Marina PAM01116. But the case of the PAM 1116 is not conventional, PT950 platinum alloy used in most wristwatches, instead it is an extra-hard alloy with better wear resistance.

And like many of Panerai’s recent top-of-the-line models, the Platinumtech Luminor boasts a 70-year warranty – which is double emphasised by an oversized emblem on the sapphire back.

Initial thoughts

Panerai’s recent launches have leaned towards lightweight alloys or composites, which makes the Platinumtech Luminor unusual. The brand has made platinum watches in the distant past – in both Radiomir and Luminor format – and they were always impressively heavy watches with a heft that matched their price tag.

The new Platinumtech Luminor is doubtlessly just as impressive in tangible feel, and it is also helped by the olive-green dial that’s unconventional but attractive.

The watch is accompanied by an impressive 70-year warranty, but it feels more like a gimmick than something of practical value. Aside from the decades that stretch beyond the lifetime of most living buyers, the movement inside the watch is a straightforward calibre that doesn’t need a 70-year warranty (which is probably why it’s viable for Panerai to offer one in the first place).

The Platinumtech Luminor  is expensive for a contemporary Panerai, though not all that expensive relative to the broader market given the size of the case and in-house movement. If it were a one-off limited edition in this metal, the watch would be special enough to be arguably worth the US$36,900 price tag.

But given Panerai’s propensity to repeatedly iterate successful editions, that is probably not the case. So it would probably make more sense to wait for a similar watch with the same case metal but less the 70-year warranty.

Extra-hard platinum

The case – and also the crown lock bridge and lever – is made of Platinumtech, a platinum alloy that Panerai says is “harder than conventional platinum with enhanced physical properties” and is consequently undergoes a “manual polishing process”. Little is revealed about its composition, but platinum can be hardened by alloying it with other metals, including iridium or titanium.

To go with the new case metal, the watch has a newish dial of a combination not used before. Featuring the two-layer “sandwich” construction typical of Panerai, it’s a metallic olive-green with blued steel hands and a gilt print “Panerai” at six. They are matched with beige Super-Luminova, creating an unusual mix of colours that works surprisingly well.

Mechanically the Platinumtech Luminor is identical to the more mundane versions of the watch. It’s powered by the P.9010, which is also found in last year’s Luminor Marina Fibratech PAM 1663, which has a conventional, eight-year warranty.

Automatic with a three-day power reserve, the P.9010 is visible through the sapphire back, but only partially, because of the giant emblem on its inner surface. Created via metallic deposition, the logo includes “warranty” twice over, in case anyone forgets.


Key Facts and Prices

Panerai Platinumtech Luminor Marina
Ref. PAM01116

Diameter: 44 mm
Height: 13.4 mm
Material: Platinum alloy
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 50 m

Movement: P.9010
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, and date
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: Three days

Strap: Alligator with pin buckle

Limited edition: 70 pieces
Availability: Only at Panerai boutiques
Price: US$36,900; or 54,500 Singapore dollars

For more information, visit Panerai.com.


Correction Feb 13, 2021: The cal. P.9010 has a power reserve of three days, and not three hours as stated in an earlier version of the article.

Back to top.

You may also enjoy these.

Collecting: A City Landmark Immortalised by Voutilainen

The Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge Watch.

An American collector recently got in touch to share a recently completed Voutilainen Vingt-8 with a custom dial, a watch that’s unusual and interesting, while also having a thoroughly personal character. Christened the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge Watch, this unique Vingt-8 is a memento of the owner’s home state of Minnesota and its port city of Duluth.

Spanning the canal that leads to the Port of Duluth, the Aerial Lift Bridge is a local landmark that can be raised to its full height of 135 feet in order to allow taller ships to pass underneath. Engraved entirely by hand, the dial depicts the Aerial Lift Bridge and a steamship sailing past. It forms the centrepiece of an elaborately decorated Vingt-8 that is also notably discreet in its serene blue and silver colours.

Though the owner now lives in a different state, Minnesota holds a special place in his heart. “We are Minnesota residents and have spent a lot of time in Duluth as a family over the years,” explains the owner, “It is one of the most beautiful and scenic places in the country, right on Lake Superior, the largest fresh water lake in the world.”

“Seeing the magnificence of these large ocean going ships pass through a very narrow canal under the bridge as they go into the Duluth harbour is truly a sight to behold,” continues the owner, “I have spent a lot of time photographing ships as they pass under the bridge as they come in and out of the harbour.”

“I started thinking seriously about having an Aerial Lift Bridge watch made in 2016. I talked to several watch makers about the project but was not entirely happy with the concepts that I saw from them,” says the owner. “My dream was for Kari to make the watch, and after a few conversations, he agreed to make the watch for me in 2019.”

Silver and blue landscape

Delivered at the end of 2020, this custom Vingt-8 has a carefully executed dial with a passenger steamship slowly passing under the bridge – a scene rendered in exceptional detail. Made of silver with a galvanic coating to create the blue portions, the dial bears a miniaturised composite of several photographs taken by the owner.

“We first discussed placing the image inside a standard Vingt-8 dial, but we felt that would not do it justice,” the owner recounts, “So Kari suggested eliminating the chapter ring with the hours and only keep the outer minute track, which allowed us to use virtually the entire dial for the image.”

Although executed only in two colours – blue and silver – the engraving possesses texture, shading, and depth, reflecting the skill of the artisan, Yasmina Anti, who is one of Voutilainen’s go-to engravers (another being Eddy Jaquet). According to Kari Voutilainen, amongst the challenges in executing the dial was preserving the proportions and perspective of the image, while scaling it down.

The dial is fitted with Voutilainen’s trademark two-tone observatory hands

An independent engraver based in the village of Le Pont in the Vallee de Joux, Ms Anti also engraved the case with a stylised wave motif echoing the waters of the canal on the dial. The fully engraved case is extremely unusual for Voutilainen and perhaps the brand’s only recent watch decorated in this manner. But because only the lugs and sides are engraved – the domed bezel retains its typical polished finish – the case decoration is discreet on the wrist.

The wave pattern covers the sides of the case, as well as the teardrop lugs

The case is 18k white gold and 39 mm in diameter, exactly like the standard model. Inside is the latest version of the Voutilainen cal. 28 with a single, two-third plate as well as the trademark oversized balance wheel.

Unlike most examples of the cal. 28 that are finished with Geneva stripes and rhodium plating, the owner opted for frosted gilt, a restrained finish that brings to mind 19th century pocket watches.

The adjustable-mass balance wheel, with the direct-impulse escapement and its double escape wheels just below

The Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge watch was a unique watch created upon commission, but similar custom orders start from around 140,000 Swiss francs.

Photos courtesy of Andrew Viny, whose work can be found on Instagram.


 

Back to top.

You may also enjoy these.

Baselworld 2013: Voutilainen 28 Sarasamon with maki-e dial

Voutilainen Unveils One-Off GMT-6 With An Enamel Dial For Only Watch

Kari Voutilainen has created a unique dual time zone GMT-6 fitted with a brilliant blue champleve enamel dial and equipped with the proprietary calibre 28 for Only Watch 2015.

Corum Golden Bridge Automatic for Only Watch 2011

Welcome to the new Watches By SJX.

Subscribe to get the latest articles and reviews delivered to your inbox.