The proof for this equation takes the form of a story problem. When Panerai was reborn in 1993, they adopted the tried-and-true Unitas 6497 pocket watch movement, which made excellent business sense. Now, desiring greater autonomy and adding to their already considerable stature, Panerai has created its own 16.5 ligne, manually-wound movement, the caliber P.3000, with twin barrels and 21 jewels. That certainly adds up.
Designed, developed and produced in the Officine Panerai Manufacture in Neuchâtel, the P.3000 caliber has the instantly recognizable Panerai style. The large top plates may not offer views into the inner workings, but they provide girder-like structural rigidity.
The I-beam strength theme carries over to the balance bridge which, being anchored at both ends, provides greater stability than a cantilevered single bridge or cock, which is attached to the bottom plate at only one end. The P.3000 is clearly designed to provide a robust platform.
The next feature that catches the eye is the oversize balance wheel. Measuring 13.2 mm, it is the variable inertia or free sprung type, with four adjusting or poising screws. The bridge is fitted with an Incabloc anti-shock device, and the balance is designed to be regulated in place, without any need to remove the whole assembly.
Powering this tank of a movement are two spring barrels connected in series. This arrangement enables the use of long, thin springs, which helps to ensure even power delivery over a longer period of time. The movement runs in 21jewels at 3 Hz or 21,600 vph, with a power reserve of 72 hours.
Aesthetically, the P.3000 offers brush-finished bridges and chamfered angles. Technically, the caliber is fitted with a device for the rapid adjustment of the time: a star wheel with 12 points and a small spring clutch enable the hour hand to be moved one hour at a time, without interfering with the movement of the minute hand or the operation of the watch.
The P.3000 family will include three models: P.3000-1 with small seconds, to which the P.3000-2 adds a date, with P.3000-3 adding a GMT function to the seconds and date.
For now, we must appreciate the P.3000 on its own, which is easy to do. The watches that will be powered by these new engines will debut at SIHH next month, and WatchTime will be there to bring you the news.