For Angelo Bonati, CEO of Officine Panerai, the lure of   mechanical watches rises above any political or economic   uncertainties. “The market for high-end watchmaking is   unusual in the context of luxury and has elements which are   irrational and unique,” he says.  

“From time to time, technical developments pose a threat to this   market, leading to real revolutions. But high-quality mechanical   watchmaking has always managed to resist this and to relaunch itself   again after each crisis. The fascination of a mechanical watch has a   unique added value, and from an enthusiast’s point of view it is   irreplaceable.” Bonati does not feel the brand is threatened by   innovations such as smart watches. “I believe that the only point in   common between luxury watchmaking and the Apple Watch is the   wrist. Mechanical watches are filled with passion, emotion, history   and tradition – a world of values which technology cannot replace.” 

Other innovations in technology and materials, however, are   embraced for their capability to add value to prestige watches.   Panerai’s famous Luminor Submersible 1950, for example, uses a new   material called Carbotech. The brand, a unique blend of Swiss   precision and Italian style, promises to bring excitement to   Watches&Wonders 2015. “We are presenting many innovations of a   strategic nature. The focus is mainly on the Radiomir 1940 collection,   with its sober ’40s-style design of exemplary simplicity, but we also are   presenting more recent additions from our manufacture,” Bonati   says. The Radiomir 1940 has been described as a “classic of   modernity”, and the brand salutes its history in its new designs with   the introduction of the Luminor 1950 case, distinguished by a unique   crown-protecting device.

Like all Panerai models, it melds form with   function, eliminating superfluous decoration. 

 “History has always been and will always be the foundation of the   Panerai identity,” Bonati says.   “It is an enormous source of   inspiration for new collections.”   The Radiomir 1940 3 Days, in   steel or red gold, is powered by   Calibre P.1000, a new hand-wound   movement developed at   the brand’s manufacture in   Neuchatel, Switzerland.  

A large brush-finished bridge   covers the major part of the   wheelwork, and a bridge with   two supports firmly holds the   balance. The three-day power   reserve comes from two spring barrels connected in series. In another   innovative feature, when the winding crown is pulled out, the balance   wheel stops, and the seconds hand, rotating in the subsidiary dial at 9   o’clock, is moved back to zero so that the watch can be synchronised   with the reference time signal.  

The 42mm case is water-resistant to 100 metres in the polished   stainless steel version and to 50 metres in Panerai’s gold alloy. The   movement is visible through the back. The black dial has large bar   markers and figures, created in a “sandwich” technique in which the   luminous markers shine through a disc superimposed on another   disc. The manually wound Calibre P.1000 is a worthy addition to   Panerai’s range of movements. It is just 26.8mm in diameter and   3.85mm thick. A completely new movement, P.2003/10, with a   skeletonised oscillating weight, allows a power reserve of 10 days and   can be found in the Radiomir 10 Days GMT Automatic. 

Panerai is presenting two special editions of this 45mm watch,   combining it with the P.2003/10 movement for the first time in this   skeletonised form to provide date and GMT functions, and a lengthy   power reserve, made possible by the three spring barrels. In addition   to hours, minutes and small seconds, the functions include the date   and a linear indication of the power reserve. The local time is adjusted   forward and backward in one-hour increments, automatically   adjusting the date. The second time zone is indicated by a central   arrow hand, with the am/pm indication at 9 o’clock.  

Technically, the skeletonisation is very accomplished as the rotor is   engraved. It is inscribed with “Officine Panerai”, and the skeletonised   bridges and barrels can be seen underneath, also highly finished and   polished. The 45mm case is in red gold, and the dial has a satiné soleil   finish and Panerai’s “sandwich” construction, giving maximum   visibility even in very low lighting. There are two versions, one with a   black dial and one with a brown dial.  

Officine Panerai has always had a connection with the great genius   Galileo Galilei, because of the brand’s Florentine origins as well as   Galileo’s fundamental contributions to time measurement.

The Lo   Scienziato (The Scientist) collection pays tribute to him.   The Lo Scienziato Radiomir 1940 Tourbillon GMT Oro Rosso is a   48mm model just added to the range – the first time the model has   been made in red gold. A creation of the brand’s Laboratorio di Idee,   the timepiece features a hand-wound skeletonised movement,   P.2005/S, with a tourbillon regulator. A single rotation is completed in   30 seconds – instead of the traditional 60 – and the tourbillon rotates   on a perpendicular axis, instead of parallel to the balance wheel. It has   a six-day power reserve.  

To showcase the skeletonised design, the small seconds dial is   placed at 9 o’clock, with its indicator dot rotating simultaneously with   the tourbillon cage, and the counter at 3 o’clock, with the am/pm   indication integrated into the movement. The linear hour markers and   numbers are fixed to the black flange, on which “Lo Scienziato” is   engraved. The watch is limited to 30 pieces.