Similar to Rolex, Panerai has a rabid following of fans self-described as Panerisiti. They have a deep, emotional connection to the brand, which traces its roots to 1860 when Giovanni Panerai opened his watchmaker’s shop in 1860 in Florence. Panerai is steeped in history and what the brand does so well is dip into the well of that history to produce modern, technically advanced watches that connect people to the rich story, such as the Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 Carbotech we saw at SIHH 2015. But you can’t discuss the Luminor watches without first understanding how they evolved. So let’s take a moment to remember.
By the 1900’s the Italian Navy started calling upon Panerai to supply them with instruments, but it wasn’t until 1936 that Panerai made the prototypes (just 10) of the watches now referred to as “Radiomir” because of their patented luminous material for the First Submarine Group Command of the Royal Italian Navy.
As Panerai continued to refine the design, the Radiomir model evolved to the Luminor case, which has stayed basically the same since its inception and that’s part of what makes the whole line of watches in Panerai’s stable so successful—consistent DNA with modern updates to keep the watch current both technically and aesthetically. The Luminor models are instantly recognizable by the large crown protection bridge. Those in the 1950 pillar have a cushion-shaped case, a flat and wider bezel and reinforced wire lugs forged from the same steel as the case.
This year at SIHH 2015, Panerai introduced the Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Chrono Flyback Automatic in two versions: the PAM00615 with a brushed titanium bezel and the PAM00615 with a bezel made of titanium with a matte black ceramic finish.
With a case also constructed of titanium, the watch is 40% lighter than steel but it’s just as strong and as tough a competitor to corrosion.
As the name of the watch announces, the PAM00615 is a flyback chronograph with a small seconds counter at 9 o’clock and hours at 3 o’clock. Panerai built in some cool surprises with this new calibre P9001. The minute counter is central to the chronograph hand and the hour hand can be conveniently set backwards and forwards in one-hour jumps without affecting the running of the minute hand. Very legible luminous Arabic numerals and dots circle the black dial making reading the time easy. The PAM00615 gets its 3 days of juice from two barrels so you’ve got 72 hours or a weekend to take it off without having to reset.
The PAM00615 lives up to its heritage as a true dive watch with a screw back and resistant to 300M. Since original dive watches had to be large for legibility, the PAM00615 reflects that history in a large 47mm case. It comes on a rubber strap with a spare and the means to swap it out by including a screwdriver and tool. The Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Chrono Flyback Automatic PAM0015 demonstrates why Panerai continues to connect with customers. It pays tribute to its heritage, presents a wonderful story and continues to technically advance.
Photo Credit: Haute Time. For more information, please visit the official Officine Panerai website.