Officine Panerai’s new Radiomir 1940 Minute Repeater Carillon Tourbillon GMT (PAM00600) is the company’s most complicated watch yet. And unlike most such repeaters, Panerai’s 49mm red gold example can activate its chime both for local time and for a second time zone (as indicated on the dial by the central arrow hand and the am/pm indicator on the counter at 3 o’clock). Also unusual for repeaters, the chimes Panerai has created for this repeater are carried out by three hammers, not the traditional two hammers, each of which strike an equal number of gongs fixed to the movement and the case.
By utilizing three hammers Panerai combines three different sounds. Thecarillon, as a result, can play a melody not unlike a church bell. To avoid accidental activation, the carillon can be operated by the push-piece at 8 o’clock only when the winding crown is rotated slightly.
The skeletonized watch with contemporary design echoes the look of Panerai’s Lo Scienziato collection of limited editions, though this model doesn’t join that series. Panerai debuted the new watch this week in its home in Florence, Italy, and the minute repeater is a singular achievement for the nautically influenced maker of tough, dive-ready watches. While Panerai’s focus is under the seas, reflecting the company’s origins as a maker of military instruments primarily for the Italian navy, the company in recent years has also created an enviable range of more complicated watches, many of which feature the company’s own calibers, all created by the Panerai Haute Horlogerie Manufacture in Neuchâtel. These more complex models include yacht timers, flyback chronographs, tourbillons and equations of time.
Panerai in part draws from that recent history for this new Radiomir 1940 Minute Repeater Carillon Tourbillon GMT. Inside the watch is the updated and expanded hand-wound Caliber P.2005/MR, a tourbillon movement which here now includes the unusual minute repeater construction. The new caliber retains the unusual thirty-second tourbillon Panerai developed originally for the P.2005 in 2006. As patented by Panerai, this P.2005/MR tourbillon cage rotates on an axis perpendicular, not parallel, to the balance. Also, while the rotation clocks at once a minute in a traditional tourbillon, in the P.2005/MR one rotation takes thirty seconds. The small seconds counter (at 9 o’clock) indicates this thirty-second rotation.
As an added note, this watch is among the very few with which Panerai allows its tourbillon to be seen from the dial side. All other watches fitted with Caliber P.2005 allow its tourbillon to be seen only from the back. Only limited edition skeletonized models, similar to this new watch, break that tradition.
From the back of this new model one can watch and listen to the gong’s three hammers. Also visible are the two spring barrels that store a power reserve of at least four days and a power reserve indicator mounted on the movement.
Priced at approximately $400,000, this Panerai Special Edition will be only made to order for clients. Should you be one of the lucky few, Panerai also offers not only the choice of strap, hands or of other special features, but also the possibility of making the case in a material other than red gold.
Specifications for the Panerai Radiomir 1940 Minute Repeater Carillon Tourbillon GMT (PAM00600)
Movement: Hand-wound mechanical, skeletonized, P.2005/MR caliber with tourbillon, two spring barrels, 28,800 alternations/hour
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, GMT 12/24h, power reserve indicator on the back, local time and home time Minute Repeater Chime: For hours, 10 minutes and minutes
Case: 49mm polished red gold.
Power Reserve: 96 hours
Water-Resistance: 30 meters