Roughly six months after the SIHH, the ‘usual’ moment for introducing new watches for brands of the Richemont stable, Panerai introduces an entirely new caliber and two new watches. The new movement, caliber P.5000, is a manually wound movement with 8 days of power reserve. It will be positioned as most affordable in-house movement, with a price level that’s just a tad above the Unitas-based movements. The movement is launched in two watches, which are part of the Historic collection.
The two new watches come in the familiar Luminor Marina case, featuring the minimalist design of the case and dial and of course the iconic locking lever to protect the winding crown. The red gold case (PAM00511) is made of 5Npt red gold, a distinctive alloy with a high percentage of copper that gives it a particularly deep color, and a bit of platinum that helps to prevent oxidation. The other is a stainless steel version (PAM00510) and both measure 44 mm in diameter.
The dial is the so-called sandwich dial, constructed of two superimposed discs. The large baton hour markers and Arabic numerals, with the small seconds dial at 9 o’clock, are cut out the upper matte black dial, while the lower dial is heavily applied with luminescent material. This shines through the apertures and makes for an incredibly legible dial in dark. The stainless steel ref. PAM 00510 features a black dial, while the red gold ref. PAM00511 features a brown that compliments the red gold case very nicely.
The new movement features eight days of power reserve. And that is typically something – a manually wound movement with eight days of power reserve – that is part of Officine Panerai’s legacy. Back in the 1940’s and early 1950’s Panerai used a manually wound Angelus movement with 8 days of power reserve. A movement with a long power reserve was used because the Italian navy frogmen specifically requested enough autonomy. Logically when you think of it; winding a watch during a high-risk operation is not the first thing that comes to mind and chances that you have your hands free for unlocking the crown, winding and locking the crown again are rather minimal.
The new caliber comprises 127 individual components and measures 15¾ lignes / 35.7 mm in diameter and just 4.5 mm in height. 21 Jewels make sure that pinions can rotate friction-free. Caliber P.5000 is equipped with a very large bridge, which features a brushed finish and diamond-polished chamfering (not likely to be done manually). The large bridge almost completely conceals the movement, while it reveals the balance bridge, the variable inertia balance and the intermediate wheel.
The bridge supporting the balance is fixed by two screws beneath which are threaded rings which turn in both directions, the purpose of which is to adjust the endshake of the balance staff pivots. This technical solution helps the escapement to continue running perfectly in the event of shocks. Besides this new construction the balance, which vibrates with a frequency of 21,600 vibrations/hour, is protected for shock by a KIF Parechoc anti-shock device.
Caliber P.5000 features a variable inertia balance. This enables a watchmaker to adjust the watch by turning the little timing screws on the outside of the balance wheel. This kind of balance and method of adjusting is considered much better than a balance without inertia screws, because the balance spring is free, without so-called curb pins. These curb pins are used to modify the active length of the balance spring (or hair spring) and this creates a bend in the fragile spring that cannot be changed.
The long running time is achieved by two spring barrels connected in series which store the power reserve of eight days. The twin assembly enables longer, thinner springs to be used, resulting in a longer duration and greater uniformity in delivering energy to the movement.
As said, the movement will be priced just above the Unitas-based Luminor Marina models. The stainless steel PAM 00510 will be available for around € 5k (before tax), the red gold PAM 00511 comes at around € 20k before tax. Exact prices will be added to the article, as soon as I hear more from Panerai.
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS – PANERAI LUMINOR MARINA 8-DAYS 44 mm (reference PAM00510 and PAM00511)
- Movement: Hand-wound mechanical, Panerai P.5000 calibre, executed entirely by Panerai, 15¾ lignes, 4.5 mm thick, 21 jewels, Glucydur® balance, 21,600 alternations/hour. KIF Parechoc® anti-shock device. Power reserve 8 days, two barrels. 127 components.
- Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds.
- Case: diameter 44 mm, 18 ct. polished red gold or 316L stainless steel
- Bezel: 18 ct. polished red gold or 316L stainless steel
- Back: see-through sapphire crystal
- Device protecting the crown: (protected as a trademark) 18 ct. polished red gold or 316L stainless steel
- Crystal: sapphire, made of corundum, 2.5 mm thick, anti-reflective coating
- Water-resistance: 30 bar (300 meters)
- Strap: PANERAI personalized alligator strap and 18 ct. polished red gold or or 316L stainless steel buckle, supplied with a second interchangeable strap and a steel screwdriver.
I’m looking forward to handling one of these new models. Rest assured, as soon as I do I will keep you posted!