Known for its daring spirit and adventurous soul – not to mention its worthy Swiss craftsmanship and bold Italian heritage – Panerai has created watches for the Italian Navy, underwater frogmen, and adventurer Mike Horn as he recently trekked across all the continents. The brand is regularly on the leading edge when it comes to watch instruments and high-tech materials.
As such, it came as no surprise to me when I heard last year that Panerai was venturing into the world of high-tech synthetic ceramics. Afterall — this is Panerai — the submersible, right? In 2010, Panerai launched the Radiomir Composit 339 with mechanical movement, which seemed to be a sterling attraction for Paneristi fans. Today, the brand announced its intentions to release the Luminor Marina 1950 3 Days Automatic Composite (R) at the upcoming SIHH 2011. The 44mm watch is larger, easier to read, and houses the Panerai P 9000 Automatic movement – but we’ll come back to that in a minute. First, for those who don’t know, let me explain the Panerai Composite(R). It is created via an electro-chemical process that transforms aluminium particles, making the material extremely light-weight, but at the same time incredibly hard and durable. The matte finish that results from the process is not only technically advanced, but also distinctive in color and appeal. The entire Luminor 1950 case, integrated bezel and trademarked bridge protecting the winding crown, is executed in the material. As one would expect from Panerai – it is water resistant to 300 meters.
The newest Composite(R) watch features a dial of dual super-imposed layers in brown, with Super-LumiNova(R) to form easily readable markers and numbers. In Panerai style, the watch is equipped with an anti-reflective sapphire crystal and a smoked sapphire caseback for viewing of the P9000 automatic movement (that has been designed and built at the Panerai manufacture in Neuchatel). The movement consists of 197 parts, including an Inca bloc(R) anti-shock device and two spring barrels that power the watch for three days of reserve. It offers a date function and small seconds. It is accented with an antique brown leather strap – making it a rich presentation, as well as a high-tech animation. Pricing isnt yet established. www.panerai.com