Panerai LUMINOR COMPOSITE 1950 3 DAYS – 47MM Special Edition
If you missed Part One of this two-part series you can click here to read it first.
After a refreshing and enjoyable lunch it was time to keep moving. First up Panerai.
Panerai seems to have been in a bit of a lull for the last few years, but with a new calibre and some exciting research in making bronze cases things are on the up.
Of course the style doesn’t really vary from the look and feel we have come to expect, but for 2011 the Luminor 1950 3 days is another retro salute to earlier times. The 3 day reserve comes courtesy of two barrels, the movement is hand wound and is the basis of this Luminor 1950 and 2 limited editions. The historical case is 47mm and water resistant to 100m, the overall scheme is brown with a chocolate colored dial but unusually the watch has a plexi-glass crystal which is more historically accurate. Limited to 3000 pieces available from Sept and priced around 6,900 euros.
Of the two special editions one is in platinum and the other formed from composite for which the brown theme is extended to the case. The platinum will be available in Aug, limited to 199 examples for around 29,000 euros, while the composite is limited to 2000, each for 8,900 euros.
Panerai LUMINOR SUBMERSIBLE 1950 3 DAYS AUTOMATIC BRONZE – 47 MM Special Edition
Things get really interesting with the Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic. That research that I alluded to has resulted in the creation of a case made from bronze. This, combined with a striking green dial, creates a very impressive look. But it is how this look changes over time that is the most interesting aspect of the design. When initially created the case is shiny, but over a year of so the case will weather and gain a matt patina. The run will be limited to 1000 pieces and I think the most exciting Panerai in many years.
I have had one or two disappointing brushes with JLC, some very unhelpful PR people have made the whole experience rather disappointing, in spite of this though I still love their watches and especially the Reverso. This year is the 80th anniversary of the Reverso and I would very much like to own a vintage one, so if anyone out there wants to give/loan me one I would be happy to look after it for you.
The slim theme that seems to be dominating this year’s SIHH continues here with the Grande Reverso Ultra Thin. At only 7.2mm it sits pretty snugly on the wrist and the smaller size reduces the height to a much more comfortable level than some previous models such as the Quadra.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Répétition Minutes à Rideau
After several false starts we have our first true minute repeater on offer; the “Reverso Repetition Minutes a Rideau” has a metal curtain cover over one face of the watch that when drawn back activates the repeater. If creating a repeater was not complicated enough there are 270 parts just for the curtain even with all this it is still only 5.89mm thick and pretty cool
At JeanRichard my eye was caught by the Highlands “Sands”. The form is a round bezel on a tonneau middle. The color tones are soft greys, greens and sand yellow firmly geared toward the adventurer. Each watch comes with two different straps, one brown, calf-skin leather and the other khaki fabric. Moderately priced at around 6,000CHF it seems like pretty good value
JeanRichard Highlands Sand
I just wish the speaker would take his hands out of his pockets
It is nice to see an understated watch from JR and the Bessel 1665 Small Hour Minute is clean and direct and simply fantastic , it reminds me very much of a Jaques Droz. It has date and power reserve, an automatic movement and a money is saving white lacquered dial but buy the steel not the pink gold, around 12,000CHF
JeanRichard Bressel 1665 Small Hour and Minute
Well it’s the end of the day and it’s time for AP. Founded in 1875 remarkably it is still owned by the founding family which in these days of corporate dominance is astounding. The presentation opens with a frank representation of the 2010 sales figures. They are being surprisingly candid but with the European market stable, the Americas positive, Asia with double digit growth and the Middle East progressing well they can afford to be, announcing that they sold a total of 25,000 units last year. Not too shabby.
I find the Royal Oak Offshore range rather too bulky for me but luckily the Millenary 4101 is a much more up my twisted alley. Small hours and smaller seconds with an exposed balance wheel at the 9 o’clock position, subtle oval shape to the case and a movement containing 12 bridges results in a stylish watch with a deep 3D appearance.
Audemars Piguet Millenary Minute Repeater
To go with this they also have a Millenary Hand-Wound Minute Repeater with a dead beat minor seconds in contrasting white and red. The balance wheel is also exposed in this watch and it has a similar deep appearance. Only 8 pieces will be created and the power reserve is rated at 165 hours, impressive. It’s good to see that AP have real alternatives to The Offshore range.
The Final Word
An excellent day with wide ranging styles and prices. The general mood seems to be that the worst of the recession is over, and that many brands have come out the other side in very good shape