2018 will surely be remembered as a milestone year for Panerai, not only for the timepieces that the maison released this year but also, and most notably, for the retirement of the man and genius who brought Panerai to where it is today: Angelo Bonati.
In 1997, after his days at Cartier, he was asked by the Richemont Group (then known as the Vendôme Group) to helm the tiny Italian watchmaking brand that the group had just acquired. With only two historical designs and case sizes that were outrageously large at the time, he took a gamble and rose to the challenge of transforming Panerai into the big player that it is today in the watch industry.
With his guidance Panerai opened their manufacture in 2002 and launched their first in-house movement three years later. Today the company boasts a catalog of more than 25 proprietary calibers and over 150 novelties, and all that while staying true to the brand’s history and the two original case designs which were the catalysts for innovation. If people were laughing at the brand then, you can be sure that they are not laughing anymore, and it is with great sadness that we bid farewell to Angelo Bonati who has very much earned his retirement.
No matter if you were shocked, happy or intrigued, when the new Panerai Luminor Due was announced during SIHH 2018 it did not leave anyone indifferent. At just 38mm it is the smallest watch that the brand has ever released, and the perfect entry point into the brand for women or men who were fearing the larger sizes of the maison. After all, not everyone can rock big watches like Sly Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
This new size (the Luminor Due was offered only in 45mm and 42mm sizes) creates a thin, small and dressy option for any Panerai lover.
Panerai L’Astronomo Luminor 1950 Tourbillon Moon Phases Equation of Time GMT
To showcase their first watch with moonphase indication the brand did not go the easy route and instead decided to flex a bit while they were at it. The result is the Panerai Luminor 1950 Tourbillon Moon Phases Equation Of Time, also called the L’Astronomo.
The moon phase indication actually sits on the back of the watch and is displayed on a rotary disc which in turn is positioned on another rotary disc indicating the Day and Night. On the front of the timepiece you’ll see the skeletonized dial with the GMT and Equation of Time complications as well as a tourbillon situated at 10 o’clock. This is arguably one of Panerai’s greatest talking pieces from this year’s releases.
Luminor Base Logo
Finally, this year saw Panerai’s entry-level timepiece get a refresh. The Panerai Luminor Base Logo is now fitted with the in-house caliber P.6000 which puts an end to the use of ETA movements inside of the brand’s watches, and gives the watch a three-day power reserve. No muss, no fuss, this updated Luminor Base Logo serves as a very interesting value proposition for anyone looking to buy into the maison.