By Harlan Chapman-Green

This year saw some novelties coming from all sorts of companies, things like Laurent Ferrier’s calendar watch to Ulysse Nardin’s new Freak watch, and of course who could forget Lange’s Triple Split? Officine Panerai also unveiled quite a few exciting watches, although I must say I haven’t seen nearly as much love and coverage for them as I have for the others, which is a shame. But, Panerai also quietly released some new timepieces which are a little more, shall we say, affordable.

One of Panerai’s most significant advantages, but also one of their most significant failings in the eyes of some collectors, is that their designs need change very little to become valuable. Specific small details, such as the application of a logo here and there can make their watches enormously collectible. So, here’s hoping Panerai’s newest additions to their vast collection is up to the task!

PAM00774

One thing I like about the new Luminor Base Logo collection is how it’s still fresh. Panerai still has that zest for design as can be seen. The Luminor case shape and features haven’t changed much since its inception in the mid 20th century. There’s still the familiar cushion-shaped case. There’s still the famous lever locking crown guard, and there’s still the clean dial that can be easily misinterpreted as plain. Panerai’s layered sandwich dial is still bright and luminescent after several hours of darkness. The 44mm stainless steel case is pretty fetching, too.

The best part of the design has to be the subtle blue stitching on the grey canvas strap. Next, to the blue OP logo printed on the dial, it gives a little kick to the Luminor. In fact, seeing any strap other than black, brown or rubber quite a unique thing for Panerai watches which tend to either be dressy style or focused on rugged looks and design. Although canvas is a hard wearing fabric itself, so it’s not like they are cutting costs and trying to keep a stylish product. They genuinely do have something special for the range.

PAM00777

For those who prefer the not-so-subtle, there’s the PAM 00777, which is the same basic watch except the subtle blue on grey stitched canvas strap has been replaced by one that’s entirely blue. For my tastes, this is something which I’d consider buying extra, rather than buying the watch on this strap and having it for a while (sometimes Panerai includes other straps, like rubber ones, but I don’t know if that’s the case here).

Like in the PAM 00774, this one has a mechanical, manually wound Panerai Calibre P6000, which has been made in-house on that cool futuristic robotic production line I talked about in my visit article. The movement is 4.5mm thick in total, with one big barrel providing up to three days of power reserve before a winding is necessary. The P6000 calibre is obscured by a closed caseback on both versions of the watch. I would imagine that Panerai suspended the balance from a dual anchor bridge, like in similar movements. It’s also using Incabloc to guard against shocks, now that’s not a name you hear much anymore. panerai.com