Panerai Luminor Due 3 Days GMT Power Reserve Automatic Acciaio 45 mm
Here is why I like the complicated Luminor Due
The Panerai Luminor Due was a success. Translating the Panerai philosophy into a reduced-thickness Luminor delighted all those who wanted a Panerai Luminor, but were too afraid to even try on a 372, no matter if their wrist measured less than 20mm - this is the minimum wrist size required to wear a standard Luminor in my opinion, both in its 44mm version and in its 47mm version with a Luminor 1950 case. Following the silent growth of references within this collection, we can definitely define this as a successful and a very clever move made by the brand's marketing division that brought us a Panerai (almost) for the evening or, at least, a Luminor that can now be worn underneath your shirt cuff (with the exception of those Italian tailored-made shirts, for which you definitely still need an ultra-flat timepiece).
In my capacity as a spontaneous supporter of this brand in its purest and earnest form, as well as in my capacity as a fan of cases such as the Luminor 1950, I originally welcomed the arrival of the Panerai Luminor Due collection with a little coolness, but it was afterwards, during events like this SIHH, that I got to review the whole collection and familiarize myself with the brand's new releases. Even my personal taste has changed in the last year and I have now realized that the smoothness of the lines and the wearability of a watch have become increasingly important factors. A Panerai has an aesthetic strength in its genes, and an impact that is difficult to preserve, when you soften its proportions, in particular the thickness that affects the overall balance of the watch itself.
The crafting of the Panerai Luminor Due was a double challenge for the brand, as it implied preserving the Panerai DNA, maintaining the typical design features of a Luminor, and guaranteeing the same performance as a traditional Luminor. This has led to the creation of the protection bridge for the crown that is entirely polished like the whole case, a nearly absent bezel that was replaced by a domed glass that is tangent to the case at 12 o'clock and at 6 o'clock and that gives the dial an incredible width. The size of the case - currently the largest one - is 45mm; almost halfway between a Luminor and a Luminor 1950. This was a long introduction that I thought necessary, but what is actually the real piece of news of the 2018 SIHH? It is the arrival of the Panerai Luminor Two 3 Days GMT Power Reserve Automatic Acciaio 45 mm; the most complicated Luminor Due ever crafted by Panerai and the alter ego of references like the PAM 321.
The beautiful anthracite dial of the Panerai Luminor Due 3 Days GMT Power Reserve Automatic Acciaio 45 mm PAM944 with its satinè soleil decoration - that we firstly witnessed on the Luminor Florence - brings back the hand of the second time zone on the 24 hours with the day and night indication within the counter of the continuous seconds located at 9 o'clock, while the three-day power reserve indicator has been maintained in its original 5 o'clock location. Panerai developed a new version of its caliber (called P4002) with a tungsten micro-rotor (a smaller size, but the inertia has been preserved, thanks to the specific weight of the metal). This caliber maintained some valuable features, and not so obvious, like the stopping function of the balance wheel, and the resetting to zero function of the seconds for a perfect synchronization with a reference time used during any adjustment. This is a really valuable technicality! Although it has been improved in its shape and in its crafting (beveled edges), I still do not like the date window.
The latter is an element that slightly clashes with a very Panerai-style and very intense sandwich dial; a marvellous alternative to the brand's full black dials. Wearable, appealaing and full of useful complications, the Panerai Luminor Due 3 Days GMT Power Reserve Automatic Acciaio 45 mm is the complicated Luminor Due par excellence but, if you consider how prolific they are in the manufacture from Neuchâtel, I could swear that they are already thinking about the next step that will allow them to further equip the thin Luminor with new complications. In my opinion, it is only a matter of time! No mention of a retail price yet, but if I were a manager within the company, I would place the retail price within the band as the Luminor 1950's so as to give the customer the option to choose based on the philosophy of the collection, its assets and nothing else.
(Photo credit: Horbiter's proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®