Panerai is celebrating a major milestone in 2020 — namely, 70 years since the initial launch of the now-iconic Luminor watch series, named for the luminous substance first developed as the natural (and safer) successor to the radium-based (and consequently quite hazardous) luminescence of Radiomir; the Radiomir watch was launched in 1940 for use by the Italian Royal Navy during World War II. The Luminor thus represented a shift into tritium-based luminescence, which at the time was a significant technological leap in the world of watchmaking.
Last week, we covered one of the newest Luminor releases, the Luminor Marina Fibratech – 44MM (ref. PAM01663); today, we come to three special editions that each work to carry on Panerai’s legacy of forward-thinking, high-visibility watchmaking, showcasing the past and future of the Luminor. This trio of new references (Luminor Marina – 44 MM ref. PAM01117, Luminor Marina Carbotech– 44 MM ref. PAM01118, and Luminor Marina Fibratech– 44 MM ref. PAM01119) are part of a trio that directly celebrates the 70h anniversary, each using the same movement and case design, but differing in their dial colors and case materials.
All three new watches use a 44-mm traditional Luminor case, thick on the wrist at 15.65 mm and featuring the series’ distinctive, patented crown guard. The cases available are one in sandblasted titanium, one in Carbotech (which is a carbon-fiber material), and one in the new Fibratech material, which is constructed from “natural and sustainable eco-fibers” and uses basalt rock as its base material. The titanium PAM01117 model opts for a blue sunray dial, while the two other references use a gray sunburst style; all the dial feature the brand’s distinctive sandwich construction, with Arabic numerals at three of the quarter hours broken up by tick markers and a 3 o’clock date window. Toward the 9 o’clock position is a subtle seconds counter, while passing over the dial are two long, sword-style hands. Highlighting all three designs is the new array of luminous accents — with the crown guard and crown proper both featuring the glow-in-the-dark material, as well as the dial and its outer surrounding ring. Each of the models also features the unconventional detail of luminous threading on their blue-and-black Panerai Sportech straps.
Each of the new watches is powered by the automatic, in-house P.9010 Calibre, capable of a 72-hour power reserve. The movement is protected by a solid caseback engraved with the words “70 Years Warranty,” which both honors the 70-year anniversary, and guarantees the working order of the watches for a quite literal, and impressive, seventy years. All of the models boast a 300-meter water resistance.
Together, the three new watches channel the technological forward thinking that Panerai has taken on over the past several years. Opting for new and uncommon case materials, and further for ultra-bright lume on the dial, case, and strap, Panerai is obviously making a statement with its 2020 celebration of the Luminor, which first lit up wrists in the dark over half a century ago. (Interestingly, the watch’s launch was announced only a few days after that of the Tockr Air-Defender Lume Series, another watch that introduced unconventional luminous coating on its case and strap, from a much smaller, lesser known brand. Whether this speaks to a possible new trend in the sport-watch space, only time will tell. )
The PAM01117, PAM01118, and PAM01119 will be limited to 270 pieces, with plans for the watches to be exclusively offered through Panerai boutiques starting in December 2020. The PAM01117 will retail for $19,000, while the PAM01118 will be marketed at $16,000 and the PAM01119 for $19,000.