Panerai celebrates the 13th year of its Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge (PCYC) by introducing something it inexplicably hasn’t until now: an ongoing collection of watches with the PCYC name on them.
While Panerai’s output of nautically inspired watches is unsurprisingly high, given its origin story as the historical maker of instruments for the Italian Navy and military, most of its timepieces reference diving and, most recently, the America’s Cup, for which it is now a major partner. Indeed, Panerai now makes the official watch for the Cup.
The new PCYC collection is small, for now, with only three models. (Note that in 2014, Panerai did offer one limited edition dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the PCYC). The dial design here is strictly vintage, which differs from the recently released America’s Cup watches seen here. Still, despite its vintage dial layout, the larger of the three debuts is cased using a decidedly modern material: titanium.
Two of the new watches are Luminor 1950 PCYC 3 Days Chrono Flyback
Automatic models (PAM00653 and PAM00654) and the third is a Luminor 1950 Regatta PCYC 3 Days Chrono Flyback Automatic Titanio (PAM00652). The first two steel watches measure 44mm in diameter while the third measures 47mm, is cased (as noted) in titanium, and includes a regatta function within its flyback chronograph movement.
In addition to sharing their Luminor case architecture, which means you’ll see the well-known Luminor crown protector, solid lugs and left-side chronograph pushers, all three are united in a vintage theme by their inner-bezel tachymeter scales (here measured in knots), railroad seconds scales and two-register chronograph subdials. Furthermore, each features an engraving of a classic yacht on the caseback beneath the inscription ‘Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge’ and the abbreviation ‘PCYC’ on the dial.
The two 44mm flyback chronographs (PAM00653 and PAM00654) sport Panerai’s Manufacture P.9100 automatic caliber. The flyback function, for those not familiar with this incredibly complex bit of watchmaking, means the user can press a pusher (here at 8 o’clock) to instantly zero the chronograph hands and immediately restart them without it first being necessary to stop them and return them to zero by pressing on a stop and reset button.
The differences between these two flyback chronographs are with the dial design and the strap. The dial of PAM00654 is identified with ivory with beige ‘stick’ markers at 12 and 6, blue chronograph hands, and a brown leather strap with beige stitches. The black-dialed PAM00653 also has beige figures, but features Arabic numerals rather than ‘sticks’, and has a lighter brown strap. Here, the chronograph hands are beige, not blue.
The new Luminor 1950 Regatta PCYC 3 Days Chrono Flyback Automatic Titanio (PAM00652) is, as noted, both larger and cased in titanium. While it is stylistically like the steel-cased models, its dial features markers to allow the user to countdown the fifteen minutes to the start of a yacht race. Pressing the push-piece at 10 o’clock starts the chronograph: the chronograph hands begin moving, first indicating the minutes and seconds remaining until the start and, once the countdown is finished, recording the time elapsed from the start of the race.
Panerai developed the P.9100/R movement several years ago, and the caliber remains one of the manufacture’s most complex non-limited movements. Panerai explains that the device that enables the minute hand to be moved backwards during the countdown is controlled, like the whole chronograph, by the column wheel. This is taller than the column wheel in the P.9100 so that it can engage the correcting lever, which is mounted higher up on an additional plate.
PCYC 2017 US Schedule
The Marblehead, Newport, Nantucket and Bristol regattas allows participating boats to compete for the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge Trophy, which is presented to the winner of the North American Circuit, staged each August and September in the waters of New England. iW readers are encouraged to enjoy these beautiful boats from shore or from your own boat in nearby waters.
MARBLEHEAD CORINTHIAN CLASSIC YACHT REGATTA
August 11-13 , Marblehead, Massachusetts
August 18-19, Nantucket, Massachusetts)
NANTUCKET OPERA HOUSE CUP
August 20, Nantucket, Massachusetts
NEWPORT CLASSIC YACHT REGATTA PRESENTED BY IYRS
August 26-27, Newport, Rhode Island
Luminor 1950 PCYC 3 Days Chrono Flyback
Automatic (PAM00653 and PAM00654)
MOVEMENT: Automatic mechanical Panerai P.9100 caliber
FUNCTIONS: Hours, minutes, small seconds, seconds reset, flyback chronograph, knots scale for calculation of average boat speed.
CASE: 44 mm, polished steel, 100 meters water resistance, engraved back
DIAL: Black or Ivory with either II and I (at 12 and 6) or luminous Arabic numerals, chronograph hour counter at 3 o’clock, small seconds at 9 o’clock, central chronograph seconds and minute hands and knot scale on the flange
POWER RESERVE: 72 hours.
PRICE: $12,300 for both models.
Luminor 1950 Regatta PCYC 3 Days Chrono Flyback Automatic Titanio (PAM00652)
MOVEMENT: Automatic mechanical, Panerai P.9100/R caliber, 9.55 mm thick, power reserve 3 days, two barrels.
CASE: 47mm, brushed titanium, polished titanium bezel
DIAL: Black with luminous Arabic numerals and hour markers. Chronograph hour counter at 3 o'clock, small seconds at 9 o'clock, central chronograph seconds and minutes hands.
FUNCTIONS: Hours, Minutes, Small Seconds, Chronograph Flyback, Regatta Countdown, Seconds Reset
BACK: Screw, titanium, engraved