To celebrate the 400th anniversary of the first observation of the sky by Galileo Galilei after the invention of the telescope, Officine Panerai has released a mesmerizing new timepiece. Also SIHH 2018 has just officially begun so let us begin by introducing this new “Officine Panerai L’Astronomo Luminor 1950 Tourbillon Moon Phases Equation of Time GMT”.
Video courtesy of: Panerai
So, what better approach to celebrate these two separate occasions then by conceiving a timepiece that references the most primordial forms of telling time with the most recent high-end watchmaking techniques, while maintaining a classical Panerai design. Well, that’s exactly what this Italian designed Swiss manufactured brand has accomplished in the form of this captivating marvel of a watch.
The 50mm case is made of titanium with a brushed finish and has a transparent case back that allows to view the inner workings of the mechanical movement. Mounted to the case is a titanium bezel with a contrasting polished bezel. Equipped with the iconic Panerai crown guard and thick short lugs for a very secure wrist fit. Topped by a sapphire crystal that assists with water-resistance on this watch reaching up to 100 meters (330 feet).
Time is exhibited on an open-worked dial with hour index markers and the Arabic numerals 6 and 12. On the rim of the dial nearing the bezel can be seen a complication indicating the time difference between “real-time” and “solar-time”, for both sunrise and sunset. There are two sub-dials: a month indicator with the initials “J” for January, “S” for September and “D” for December at the 3 o’clock position; and a sub-seconds at the 9 o’clock position.
On the lower portion of the watch over the 6 o’clock position is the “equation of time” as seen on the “Panerai Radiomir 1940 Equation of Time 8 Days Acciaio” (Ref#: PAM 516) which we reviewed here. The central hands, Arabic numerals, hour index markers and the GMT hand for the second time-zone with an arrow-tip have all undergone a luminescent coating to enhance legibility. The patented Panerai tourbillon balance cage can be seen between the 10 and 11 o’clock positions. There is a date aperture at the 3 o’clock position and the sapphire crystal is scratch-resistant on both sides to assure a clear view of the dials artwork.
While on its flipside the case back informs us of the current moon-phases and features Panerai’s first innovative system using polarized crystals that mimics a star-lit sky or sun engraving for either side, juxtaposed to a 24h scale. It’s such a marvelous creation by Panerai that it’s a shame it remains concealed from vision when resting on the wrist. But, there are already so many complications jam packed on this dial, Panerai was wise not to over saturate and further compromise legibility.
Panerai L’Astronomo Luminor 1950 Tourbillon Moon Phases Equation of Time GMT
The “Panerai L’Astronomo Luminor 1950 Tourbillon Moon Phases Equation of Time GMT” (Ref#: PAM 920) is powered by a hand-wound mechanical movement, caliber p.2005/GLS with 43 jewels and 28,800 Vph. The letters “GLS” in the reference movement derive from the abbreviation “Galileo Luna Scheletrato”.
Power reserve on this timepiece can last up to 96 hours, when fully wound. Mounted to the watch is a black alligator strap, secured to the wrist by a titanium pin buckle.
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