The new Luminor presented by Panerai at SIHH in January 2018 is good news for two reasons. It has a new hand-wound calibre with a 3-day power reserve, replacing the ETA 6497 used up until now. Panerai now doesn’t make any watches with ETA movements. This is good performance for the brand, whose first in-house movement was made in 2005. Prior to that, they used third-party movements for all their watches. The other interesting feature is the price, €4,600 which is pretty much an entry-level price for Panerai, and which has not been increased with the advent of the in-house movement.
The Luminor case has become a familiar shape in watchmaking history. It was introduced in 1943, designed by Alessandro Bettarini who created the pre-Vendôme Luminor. In polished steel, it combines strength and minimalism, and it has a 10 bar (100 metres) water resistance, making it a perfect sports watch. The crown protector is simple to use: you just flick up the lever to enable the crown to be pulled out. I think that the lugs are fitted with a screw-in bar that makes that straps easier to change with respect to the usual spring-loaded bar. The caseback is solid.
The dial is also absolutely minimalist. Just the hour numerals and batons in luminescent paint, hour and minute hands that match the hour markers to perfection, the words Luminor and Panerai, and the ingenious OP (Officine Panerai) logo that was invented in the 1980s and, with its two upward and downward-pointing arrows, refers to Panerai’s watches that can be used above and below the sea. This is truly a watch that you can take just about anywhere, though of course at 44 mm it is still big, with a thickness probably around 11.5 mm.
The P.6000 calibre is made by the Panerai Manufacture in Neuchâtel. It runs at 21,600 vibrations per hour (3 Hertz) and has the stop second function, so that the balance is stopped when the crown is pulled out. This is not super-useful in a watch without a second hand.
Panerai Luminor Base Logo 3 Days Acciaio PAM00773
Absolute purity, with black dial, green luminous numerals and hour markers, black leather strap with steel buckle. €4,600.
Panerai Luminor Base Logo 3 Days Acciaio PAM00774
Panerai Luminor Base Logo 3 Days Acciaio PAM00775
The white dial gives the dial a totally different feel, bright and sunny, enhanced by the brown leather strap. €4,600.
More info on the Panerai website.