An impressive underground vault of almost 1,000 square meters in the former church of San Pancrazio, home of the Marino Marini Museum in Florence, is the location of the new exhibition, Panerai—Dive Into Time, opening May 18.
Never-before-seen creations from various periods within Panerai’s history are on display in this magnificent crypt, which originated in the early 9th century. Emblematic watches and instruments created for the Royal Italian Navy from the 1920s to the 1950s may be seen, as are modern-day Panerai timepieces.
But the wide-ranging exhibit does not end here. This journey through the past leads to a display of new models: twelve debuts that demonstrate the brand’s interpretation of its own history in never-ending renewal that comprises fresh technology and design.
One of the new Panerai Luminor Due’s most notable features is its slim case, which is little more than 10mm thick, its lines inspired by the Luminor 1950 case. The Luminor Due 3 Days, available in 42mm steel or red gold, features the P.1000 hand-wound movement with hours, minutes, small seconds and seconds reset. In the red gold version this caliber is presented for the first time in the skeletonized P.1000/10. Here, the large brushed-finish bridge, which protects over half the surface of the caliber, has been worked to reveal part of the mechanism, including the two spring barrels. In both versions the balance (which oscillates at 28,800 vibrations per hour) is fixed by a bridge with twin supports to ensure security and stability. Both the steel and red gold models come on a black alligator leather strap.
Also in the Luminor Due 3 Days collection is the Automatic model powered by the P.4000 caliber with a decentralized micro-rotor—the thinnest caliber produced by the Panerai Manufacture.
The thickness of the Panerai Luminor Due case measures just 10.7mm, while maintaining the integrity of the movement and the distinctive case design. There are two versions, each 45mm, one in steel and one in red gold; the dial is black on the steel version and anthracite gray on the gold model. The red gold model features the skeletonized P.4000/10 version of the movement with a 22-karat gold oscillating weight with Clous de Paris decoration, visible through the caseback.
Luminor Marina 1950 3 Days Automatic
The new Luminor Marina 1950 3 Days Automatic models differ in their dimensions, finish, materials and dial designs, but they share the functions and technical characteristics of the same movement: the P.9010 automatic caliber.
Developed and fashioned in the Panerai manufacture in Neuchâtel, the movement powers central hour and minute hands, the small seconds dial at 9 o’clock and the date at 3 o’clock. The hours can be adjusted without interfering with the movement of the minute hand, thanks to a device that directly moves only the relative hand in jumps of one hour forward or backwards, a function particularly useful when changing time zones; the hour hand is automatically connected to the date indicator.
The collection includes five different models, all with a significant reduction in the weight and thickness of the stainless steel cases compared to previous models, so that it is just 13.2mm thick in the models 42 mm in diameter and 15.6mm in those that are 44mm in diameter. In all the versions, the movement can be admired through the sapphire crystal porthole in the caseback. The white or black dials each feature a small seconds hand at 9 o’clock in an intense Panerai blue. The strap is in brown or black leather with contrasting ecru stitching.
Radiomir 1940 Minute Repeater
The new Radiomir 1940 Minute Repeater Carillon is the most complicated watch ever made by Panerai, and it is displayed in a fascinating room at the exhibit where the chiming of the watch can be appreciated. For more information on this watch, see Michael Thompson’s recent post.
Visitors will have the opportunity to observe a master engraver demonstrating the ancient technique of engraving a watchcase with a “sparsello” engraving tool. The iconic Florentine engraving is rendered on the case of the Radiomir Firenze, a watch sold exclusively at the historic Panerai boutique in the Piazza San Giovanni. At the exhibit, the model is presented as a preview showcasing a finely engraved movement as well as case.