Panerai has received justified accolades for the two high-complication models it introduced at SIHH 2018, the L’Astronomo (covered in depth here) with the manufacture’s first moon-phase complication, and the Lo Scienziato, with its landmark 3D printed case. However, another significant release — and perhaps the most consumer-friendly move at this year’s salon — has been more under the radar: the Luminor Base Logo and Luminor Marina Logo, the Florentine brand’s entry-level models, have become the latest in the collection to be equipped with in-house movements — all-new ones, at that — as well as new aesthetic details and strap options.
Up until this year, the Panerai Luminor Base Logo 3 Days Acciaio (a simple two-handed timekeeper) and Luminor Marina Base Logo (with an added small seconds subdial at 9 o’clock), both deriving their nicknames from the historical “OP” logo above the 6 o’clock marker, have been powered by an outsourced rather than in-house-manufactured movement — an ETA 6497-1, modified and renamed the Panerai OP I for the Base model and Panerai OP II for the Marina. That changes with the newest models, which contain the all-new, hand-wound Caliber P.6000, created entirely in Panerai’s manufacture in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. Notable here are not only the technical improvements — Caliber P.6000 offers a three-day power reserve compared to its predecessors’ 56-hour reserve, a balance securely fixed by a twin-supported bridge, and a device that stops said balance upon the crown being pulled out — but also the fact that Paneristi won’t be paying extra for them. The U.S. retail price of the Luminor Base Logo will remain at $4,750, with the Luminor Marina Logo still holding the line at $5,000. For those keeping score of such things, this also means that the entire Panerai line is now available with power reserves of at least three days.
There are six new models in total, all with 44-mm polished stainless-steel (“Acciaio”) cases with solid casebacks, three in the Base collection, three in the Marina. They are available with black dials, with the white OP logo at 6 o’clock, or white dials, with the logo in Panerai blue. (Incidentally, the logo’s up-and-down arrow design, which debuted on Panerai’s early diving watches made for the Royal Italian Navy in the 1930s, refers to that military unit’s mission of policing both the sea and the sky.) The black dials have green luminous hour markers and Arabic numerals, while the white dials have black luminous Arabic numerals and beige-tinted lume on the dot hour markers and hands. The cases, which are water-resistant to 100 meters, all feature Panerai’s hallmark, patented crown-protecting bridge device.
The watches’ closed casebacks, engraved with “Firenze 1860,” a reference to the date of the company’s founding in Florence, are a concession made to maintain the price point, as are the dials, which have painted numerals rather than the two-layered “sandwich” structure of more expensive models. Finally, in another first for Panerai watches, the new Luminor Logo models are available not only on the traditional brown and black leather straps but also on blue or gray fabric straps, with contrast stitching and the familiar trapezoidal buckle in polished steel.