Panerai watches tend to polarise opinion, although there’s no doubting the heritage of the “original” company’s roots; its military connections, and those with Rolex, make vintage pieces highly prized by collectors and high-profile marketing over recent years has seen them establish themselves as a leading high-end brand. They’re big, bold and beatiful.
The Luminor 1950 8 Days GMT (which I’ve had for a few days now) is quite a watch. From Panerai’s Historical Collection, it sports a 1950’s style case set off by a sapphire dome that is nothing less than beautiful. The sandwich dial (the last of the dot dials, in fact) is as clean as you could wish for and functions include hours, minutes, seconds, date, second time zone, 24h indicator, horizontal power reserve indicator and second reset.
The movement is also a thing of beauty – an in-house hand-wound mechanical, Panerai Calibre P.2002/1, completely manufactured by Panerai; 13¾ lignes, 6.6 thick, 21 jewels, 8-day power reserve (which in practice is more like 10 days), 3 spring barrels, Glucydur® balance, 28,800 alternations/hour (4 Hz), and KIF Parechoc® anti-shock device.
All in all, the decision to bring something different into the fold has proven to be a good one. I really don’t see anything else getting wrist time for a while, and even after wearing this tank of a watch for a few days now I still find myself staring at it in awe. Hmmmmm.