Panerai’s Laboratorio di Idee, its innovative, high-tech R&D braintrust, has been quite busy in recent years, bringing avant-garde materials such as Carbotech, Goldtech, and Fibratech to the watch industry. The latest, and most precious, of these “tech” alloys makes its debut on the new Platinumtech Luminor Marina (PAM01116), an exclusive limited edition of 70 pieces.
Panerai ventures only rarely into platinum for its cases, and here the Florentine-heritage, Swiss-made brand does so with a modern twist. Like the Goldtech material that preceded it, Platinumtech is an alloy based on a noble metal that is then “reformulated in perfected,” according to Panerai, to enhance its physical properties, including hardness and resistance, while also making it much more difficult to finish and polish. The case, in the Luminor Marina collection’s hallmark cushion-shaped style, requires a painstaking manual process to achieve its delicate finish.
The case, measuring 44 mm in diameter and 13.4 mm thick, uses the Platinumtech material for just about every element, from the bezel to the casebody, to the 12-sided screwed caseback, to the patented bridge device with its crown-locking lever. Under its domed sapphire crystal lies the olive-green “sandwich” dial, with its satiné soleil (sun-brushed) finish; beige-colored (albeit green-glowing) Super-LumiNova on its Arabic hour numerals, bar-shaped hour indices, and blue-accented hands; and a balanced layout, with date window at 3 o’clock and small seconds display at 9 o’clock.
The brushed caseback is outfitted with a sapphire “porthole” with a view of the movement, Panerai’s in-house Caliber P.9010, used frequently throughout the manufacture’s modern collections. The self-winding movement uses a bidirectional rotor to fuel the watch with its three-day (72 hours) power reserve, stored in two spring barrels. Made up of 200 components, including 31 jewels, the movement measures a svelte 6 mm thick and beats at a frequency of 28,800 vph. Among its practical functionalities are a device for stopping the balance wheel, to more precisely synchronize the watch while setting it; and a system for quickly adjusting the hour hand forward or backward without interfering with the running of the minutes hand, which enables quick and easy resetting of time zones and dates.
Only partially obscuring the view of the Caliber is a metallized medallion on the caseback’s sapphire window attesting to this watch’s astounding, industry-first 70-Year warranty. (The length of the warranty, as well as the limitation of the edition, are symbolic of the 70-year anniversary of the Panerai Luminor model in 2020.) The watch is mounted on a brown alligator strap with ecru contrast stitching and a trapezoidal buckle also forged from Platinumtech; customers choose a second strap option at the time of purchase, along with a screwdriver to easily swap out the strap and buckle. It carries a retail price of $36,900.