When it comes to the Panerai novelties for SIHH 2016 Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, we decided to leave the most impressive of their new watches for publishing on a nice relaxing day like today. The new Panerai 'Lo Scienziato' Luminor 1950 Tourbillon GMT Titanium PAM 578 from SIHH 2016 is an skeletonized tourbillon, dedicated to the Tuscan genius Galileo Galilei, who with his discoveries laid the foundations for the development of mechanical timepieces. This watch is the result of in-depth research and development carried out by the Laboratorio di Idee within the Panerai Manufacture in Neuchâtel. The new Panerai 'Lo Scienziato' Luminor 1950 Tourbillon GMT Titanium PAM 578 is a special edition limited to only 150 pieces and light as a feather. Before we go into our hands-on review of this watch, we would like to apologize for the glare on the pictures; however, lighting conditions were less than optimal at the Panerai booth and we tried as hard as possible to get this shots in a very short period of time. But oh well, at least we got these live pictures unlike most of our competitors.
The Luminor 1950 case of this new special edition has the classic diameter of 47mm and it is made of titanium, a material that is not only hypoallergenic and resistant to corrosion but also about 40% lighter than steel. After putting it on our scale, we can tell you that the watch weighs 80.9 grams, which is pretty light for a Panerai timepiece with a case measuring 47 mm in diameter. Just to put things in perspective, a Panerai with a Luminor Marina 44 mm case in stainless steel, typically weighs anywhere between a 135 to a 150 grams.
The ultimate lightness of the watch is both the result of the fine skeletonization of the bridges, plates and spring barrels and of the absence of a traditional dial that enables the fascinating details on both sides of the watch to be admired, such as the winding and unwinding of the spring inside each barrel, the intricate interconnection of the wheel work and in particular the rotation of the tourbillon cage. The skeletonized dial features a night and day indicator for the GMT function at 3 o'clock and running seconds at 9 o'clock.
The new in-house Panerai calibre powering this watch is the manual wound P.2005/Ts. This movement is the first Panerai tourbillon calibre in titanium with fine skeletonized bridges and plates. Thanks to the lower density of this material —about half that of the brass of which these components are normally made of— the overall weight of the movement is 35% less than that of the P.2005/S skeletonized version. The long power reserve of six days is achieved by the three spring barrels connected in series, and the power remaining is shown by a special indicator on the back of the movement.
All this fine work of skeletonizing enables the fascinating details to be admired, such as the winding and unwinding of the spring inside each barrel, the intricate interconnection of the wheel work and in particular the rotation of the tourbillon cage, which, in the version patented by Panerai, is fundamentally different from the normal arrangement. The movement is composed of 277 components, fitted with 31 jewels and provides a power reserve of 6 days when fully wound while beating at a frequency of 28,800 vph.
The 47 mm brushed titanium case is rounded out by a grey alligator strap with blue contrast stitching on its end and equipped with a double folding adjustable brushed titanium buckle.
On the wrist, the watch wears extremely light and very comfortable. Wearing true to its size, this is one of those mystical Panerais that if you consider yourself a true Paneristi, you need to see in person at least once in your lifetime.
Sticker Price $143,000 USD. For more info on Officine Panerai click here.