For Watches & Wonders 2021, Panerai has introduced a trio of brand-new Luminor Chronographs and a limited-edition Luna Rossa that feature a new in-house chronograph movement. Chronographs aren’t usually front and center for Panerai with the current offerings being restricted to the pricey flyback chronographs found in the Luna Rossa and a handful of special edition submersibles. Priced at just around the $10,000 mark, this new Luminor Chronograph collection is positioned smack-dab to compete against offerings from Breitling and Richemont stablemate IWC.
The Panerai Luminor Chrono PAM1109 , PAM1218, PAM1110, and Luna Rossa PAM1303 all come in a 44mm-wide, 15.65mm-thick stainless steel case with 100M of water resistance. Rather than squeezing two pushers on either side of the crown guard, they all have the chronograph pushers on the left side of the case. In the past, there have been Panerai chronographs (PAM310, PAM188, PAM186, and some others) that squeezed all three on the right side of the case. So, while it’s feasible to have the pushers on the right side of the case, I think Panerai was wise to balance things out a bit.
The new in-house Caliber P.9200 automatic movement will likely be seen more and more in coming years, as I doubt Panerai would develop a new movement without significant plans for it. It measures 13 1/4 lignes wide, which is a diameter of just about 29.9mm, and 6.9mm-thick. The P.9200 has 41 jewels and features a Glacydur balance wheel and an Incabloc shockproof. device. With an operating frequency of 28,800 vph and with a single barrel, it has a power reserve of a decent-enough 42 hours. Sadly, we don’t get a view into the movement, as all these Luminor Chronographs have an enclosed steel caseback.
All three are mechanically identical with different color dials (though all have that Panerai sandwich dial) and corresponding straps. The PAM 1109 is a matte-black dial with a matching black alligator strap, as well as a black rubber strap. The PAM 1218 is my favorite of the three, with a matte-white dial that looks so cool with the touches of blue from the hand of the 30-minute chronograph register at 3 o’clock and the blue tip of the chronograph hand. You’ll notice the sandwich dial here has the Arabic numerals done in anthracite instead of white. This one comes with a black leather strap as well as a Blu Profondo rubber strap. Finally, the PAM1110 has a blue satin sun-ray dial but instead of a strap, it comes on a steel bracelet. I have to be honest and say I’ve never worn a Panerai bracelet beyond some fleeting moments at past SIHH appointments (RIP) but I find the repeating pattern designed to evoke the Panerai crown guard to be pretty cool.
The Luna Rossa PAM1303 has a blue sun-ray dial with red accents instead of blue and features the Luna Rossa text on the dial as well. The strap for this model is a blue rubber and fabric strap that has a red stripe that alludes to Prada, which makes sense as this watch celebrates the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli team. It also comes with a similar rubber and fabric strap that is done in white instead of blue.
I was happy to learn that all three of the Luminor Chronographs have the interchangeable strap system that allows you to easily swap out bracelets and straps.
The new Panerai Luminor Chronographs have real promise, and I have to give credit when a brand goes out of its comfort zone. The luxury chronograph market is highly competitive, and I can’t wait to see how these pieces stack up when I handle them in the metal. The PAM1109 and PAM1218 are priced at $9,200, the PAM1110 on bracelet is priced at $10,000, and the 1,000-piece limited-edition Luna Rossa PAM1303 is priced at $9,400. You can learn more at panerai.com.