It’s been a busy time for Panerai recently and evidence of this hard work was presented as one of the most eagerly anticipated highlights of the Watches and Wonders show in Hong Kong a couple of weeks ago. Several new special edition pieces were unveiled, as well as an all-new manufacture self-winding movement.
Designed and produced entirely in-house at the Officine Panerai Neuchâtel manufactory, the new Calibre 4000 sees for the first time an offset micro rotor which, because of its more compact size means that it has been brought into the movement as opposed to the more traditional solution where the rotor spins atop the rest of the movement. Facilitating this innovation required a rethink of the layout of the twin barrels, components and gearing throughout, yet the complexities of this achievement are belied by the cleanliness of the finished calibre, with the large circular-brushed bridge covering all except for the rotor and the balance assembly. The benefit of this? The new Calibre 4000 has a depth of only 3.95mm making it the thinnest automatic movement ever produced by Panerai.
Panerai Watches & Wonders 2014 – A PAM story
The Calibre 4000 appears in the new Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days Automatic which will be available in 45mm Acciaio (PAM00572) and Oro Rosso (PAM00573) versions, as well as a 1000-piece special edition 47mm stainless steel Marina Militare (PAM00587). While the movement on display within through the transparent exhibition caseback might be brand new, the immaculate lines which made the Radiomir’s familiar cushion case a bona-fide design classic remain true to the enduring originals from the 1940s.
Beneath the corundum sapphire crystal, the sandwich dials are typically uncluttered, save only for the small seconds at the 9 o’clock position, in what is arguably Panerai’s most iconic and nicest dial configuration. The hands, numerals and indices as ever glow vividly in low light conditions.
Radiomir 1940 3 Days Automatic Acciaio (Steel) – 45mm : approx. 11 000 USD.
Radiomir 1940 3 Days Automatic Oro Rosso – 45mm : approx. 25 000 USD
Panerai Watches and Wonders 2014 – A new tourbillon for Paneristis
But the debut of Calibre 4000 wasn’t all Panerai had to celebrate at Watches and Wonders, because the other big news in Hong Kong was the unveiling of an exclusive Radiomir 1940 Tourbillon GMT Oro Rosso (PAM00558), a 30-piece limited edition which features the manufacture Calibre 2005 manual winding movement and which comes in at an impressive 48mm.
The effect of the bronze-brown dial combined with the cappuccino hue of the sandwiched lower layer and the gold hands all contribute to give the watch a certain warmth to it, a sense which is accentuated in particular when paired with the 18Kt rose gold cushion case.
This calibre has appeared in a number of special pieces since its introduction in 2005, and as well as featuring the GMT function, a 24 hour display with am/pm, also sports Panerai’s unique take on their tourbillon arrangement, which unusually sees the escapement – balance mechanism rotating in opposing lateral/horizontal configuration in a 30-second cycle, all of which in this case is only visible through the sapphire crystal on the rear of the case, although a little disc in the centre of the small seconds subdial at the 9 relays the action going on out of sight. Thanks to the bank of energy stored in the triple-barrels, power is dispensed evenly across its reserve of six days.
Radiomir 1940 Tourbillon GMT oro Rosso: approx. 109,000 Euros.
Few brands enjoy true cult status like Panerai and their devoted followers, the Paneristi, are a hungry lot, always with an appetite for anything new from the Italian-Swiss watchmaker. The Watches and Wonders presentations should provide those most eager of supporters to find something to do with their savings for a little while anyway.