Panerai: A Tribute to Galileo Galilei


 

It’s a short walk from Galileo’s Florence residence to the spot where, centuries later, Giovanni Panerai opened the city’s first watch workshop. During his life Galileo tackled several time-measurement problems, devising a system to calculate longitude at sea using Jupiter’s moons as a celestial clock and doing fundamental work on isochronism. Four centuries later, Panerai pays tribute to Galileo’s genius with three impressive timepieces.

The Panerai Jupiterium

The Jupiterium is a planetarium-clock with perpetual calendar that, depending on the geocentric point of view, shows the positions of the Sun, Moon and Jupiter with its four main satellites, Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto, first observed by Galileo in 1610 through his invention – the telescope. The Jupiterium fittingly made its world debut at the Nobel Museum in Stockholm, at the exhibition “Galileo’s Telescope – The Instrument that Changed the World”.

Panerai JupiteriumPanerai Jupiterium
Panerai JupiteriumPanerai Jupiterium

 

The Jupiterium has the Earth at the center of the blue sphere and the other celestial bodies move around it. A transparent globe represents the skies. Two semi spheres depict the austral and boreal hemispheres, joined by a fine band that symbolizes the earthly equator, onto which are engraved the 12 signs of the zodiac. The constellations appear on the semi spheres with the stars in Super- LumiNova so they shine at night. The night sky turns to represent the way the stars appear to move to an observer on Earth, making one revolution every 23 hours and 56 minutes – a sidereal day. All of this plays out in a glass box measuring about 30 inches wide and 34 inches tall, resting on a Mahogany base into which the clock itself is set , together with the complex gear train that powers the planetarium.

Panerai Jupiterium
Panerai JupiteriumPanerai Jupiterium

 

Powered by a movement that is regulated by that of the clock, all the heavenly bodies, apart from the Earth, rotate inside the blue sphere, completing their orbits in real time: the Moon rotates around the Earth in 27.32 days; the Sun completes one circuit in 365.26 days; Jupiter moves around the Sun in 11.87 years, while its satellites complete their orbits in 1.8 (Io), 3.6 (Europa), 7.2 (Callisto) and 16.7 days (Ganymede).

At the base of the complex system of staffs and counterweights that balance and support the planets, there is a circular sector with four little windows showing the perpetual calendar: day, date, month and year. This perpetual calendar will require no correction until 2100, one of those years that, although in theory a leap year, will actually not have the extra day, correcting the accumulated tiny discrepancies of the Gregorian calendar. Most of the Jupiterium’s 1476 parts in titanium, and it has a total weight of about 240 pounds.

 

The Luminor 1950 Equation of Time Tourbillon Titanio – 50 mm L’astronomo

Produced in just 30 examples, the Luminor 1950 Equation of Time Tourbillon Titanio – 50 mm is the most technically sophisticated wristwatch ever produced by Officine Panerai: a tourbillon with equation of time, indication of sunrise and sunset times for the city chosen by the purchaser, and a depiction of the night sky of the same city on the back plate.

Luminor 1950 Equation of Time Tourbillon Titanio

 

The indications are logically arranged: a date window at 3 o’clock is set alongside a small dial that shows the month with a hand. Sunrise and sunset times are displayed by small cursors along the outer edge of the dial, with sunrise between 7 and 9 o’clock, and sunset between 3 and 5 o’clock. The equation of time is displayed via a linear display above 6. The small seconds are located at 9 o’clock, where the rotation of the tourbillon with a tiny ecru disc is visible through a small dial. The dial has the classic Panerai sandwich structure, providing excellent night-time visibility.

Luminor 1950 Equation of Time Tourbillon Titanio

 

Turn the watch over and things get dramatic. Viewed through the sapphire caseback, the tourbillion regulator turns on an axis perpendicular to the axis of the balance and makes two rotations per minute, instead of one. Three spring barrels provide the manually-wound movement with 4 days’ autonomy, with the remaining power reserve shown by a hand, also visible on the back. But the eye naturally gravitates to the map of the sky, which rotates in one direction or the other, depending on the owner’s hemisphere.

Luminor 1950 Equation of Time Tourbillon Titanio
Luminor 1950 Equation of Time Tourbillon Titanio

 

The Luminor 1950 Equation of Time Tourbillon Titanio retails for 149,000 to 159,000 euros, depending on the case material. Additional technical information appears at the end of this article.

 

Radiomir Tourbillon GMT Ceramica – 48 mm “Lo Scienziato”

The Radiomir Tourbillon GMT Ceramica is instantly recognizable as a skeleton watch, but look a little closer and a unique mesh structure catches your eye. This mesh supports both a fine external band with small ecru-colored luminescent Arabic numerals and hour markers, and also the subsidiary dials, showing the small seconds, tourbillon movement and am/pm. The second time zone is indicated by a third central hand, which finishes in an arrow point, as luminescent as the hour and minute hands. The shape of the dial allows the numerous parts of the movement to be seen, including the tourbillon regulator at 10-11 o’clock. The dial is protected by sapphire crystal made from corundum (1.9 mm thick), with double anti-reflective coating.

Radiomir Tourbillon GMT Ceramica
Radiomir Tourbillon GMT Ceramica

 

The 48 mm diameter case is made of a zirconium oxide ceramic, an exceptionally hard, corrosion-resistant material that is first pressed in a single block and then fine-milled to give it, after numerous operations, its final cushion shape. The back-plate, made from a ring of titanium, houses a large window in sapphire crystal through which the movement can be seen.

Radiomir Tourbillon GMT Ceramica

 

Despite the technical complexity of the tourbillon movement and the special material used for the case, this watch is waterproof to 10 bar (about 100 meters), thus qualifying as a true traditional Radiomir.

This reference PAM00348 will be produced in only 30 units. The European retail price is 109,000 euros.

Additional technical information appears below.

WRISTWATCH TECHNICAL DATA

The Luminor 1950 Equation of Time Tourbillon Titanio – 50 mm L’astronomo

Movement: Hand-wound mechanical, Panerai P.2005/G calibre, executed entirely by Panerai, 16¼ lignes, 11.04 mm thick, 46 jewels, Glucydur balance, 28,800 alternations/hour. KIF Parechoc anti-shock device. Power reserve 4 days, three barrels. 375 components.

Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, month indicator, sunrise and sunset, equation of time, power reserve indicator and star disk on the back , tourbillon.

Case: Diameter 50 mm, brushed titanium. Available in Pink Gold on request.

Bezel: Polished titanium.

Back: See-through sapphire crystal.

Device protecting the crown: (protected as a Trademark) Brushed titanium.

Dial: Black with luminous Arabic numerals and hour markers. Date and month indicator at 3 o’clock, small seconds and tourbillon indicator at 9 o’clock, Equation of time indicator at 6 o’clock. Sunrise indicator at 8 o’clock and sunset indicator at 4 o’clock on the outer flange.

Crystal: Sapphire, made from corundum, 2 mm thick. Anti-reflective coating.

Water-resistance: 10 bar (100 meters).

Strap: PANERAI personalized alligator strap and adjustable brushed titanium buckle.
Supplied with a second interchangeable strap, a tool to change the strap and a steel screwdriver.

Reference: PAM00365

 

Radiomir Tourbillon GMT Ceramica – 48 mm “Lo Scienziato”

Movement: Hand-wound mechanical, Panerai P.2005/S calibre, executed entirely by Panerai, 16¼ lignes, 10.05 mm thick, 31 jewels, Glucydur balance, 28,800 alternations/hour. Incabloc anti-shock device. Power reserve 6 days, three barrels. 277 components.

Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, second time zone, 24h indicator, power reserve indicator on the back, tourbillon.

Case: Diameter 48 mm, black ceramic with removable wire loop strap attachments (patented) in steel with special hard black coating. Screw-down winding crown in ceramic personalized OP.

Bezel: Black ceramic.

Back
: See-through sapphire crystal.

Dial: Skeleton dial with luminous Arabic numerals and hour markers. 24h indicator at 3 o’clock, small seconds and tourbillon indicator at 9 o’clock.

Crystal: Sapphire, made from corundum, 2 mm thick. Double anti-reflective coating.

Water-resistance: 10 bar (100 meters).

Strap: PANERAI personalized leather strap and adjustable steel buckle with special hard black coating.

Reference: PAM00348

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One Response to “Panerai: A Tribute to Galileo Galilei”

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  1. I just read your write up on the Panerai Radiomir Tourbillon GMT in a skeleton style. I also watched their video on the watch. In the video the configuration of the jewels seen from the back of the watch seems to be a constellation. I haven’t seen anywhere yet if it is a real constellation, or if they were just highlighting the arrangement of the black ceramic framework that the jewels are set into. If it IS a constellation my interest in this piece skyrockets! What an ingenious design if it is!

    ThankYou!

    Jesse

    Reply
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