The SIHH 2018 booth at Panerai, sent some serious ripples across the world of high-end Swiss watchmaking specifically on the back of its two timepieces- L’Astronomo and Lo Scienziato. The two timepieces that were released by the Italian house are definitely taking the band in the right direction as they are some of the most complicated movements launched by the brand in recent years. Panerai says that the L’Astronomo is the first moon-phase complication of the brand while the Lo Scienziato has been designed in 3D by compressing layers of thick titanium. If SIHH 2017 for Panerai was about revolutionary and radical in terms of the nature of materials used, SIHH 2018 was about grand complications. Let’s study them in a little more detail.
L’Astronomo Luminor 1950 Tourbillon Moon Phases Equation of the Time GMT Titanio 50 mm- - Taking encouragement from the PAM365 Equation of Time Tourbillon from 2010, the new PAM920 Luminor 1950 Tourbillon Moon Phase Equation of Time takes creative complications to the next level by introducing (for the first time) a Panerai watch featuring a moon phase. The new PAM920, when compared to the older version of the watch, has a skeletonized dial as well as complications such as the equation of time, GMT, month, date, sunrise, and sunset to name a few. The date on this timepiece is displayed in a peculiar way, making it almost look like a digital display. To alleviate an aesthetic disruption, Panerai has developed an innovative system, which they also patented. The date plate is made of borosilicate glass and the dates have laser modified optical properties, which make it virtually invisible in all positions until it is under the date window.
Lo Scienziato Luminor 1950 Tourbillon GMT Titanio 47mm- It is one of the advanced and unanticipated creations from the house of Panerai. The technology employed in the creation of this masterpiece is called Direct Metal Laser Sintering: this process builds up a 3D object layer by layer by means of a fibre optic laser using powdered titanium. The successive layers, each one only 0.02 mm thick, merge together and become completely solid, creating forms which would be impossible to achieve using traditional working methods, lower in weight and with a perfectly uniform, even appearance.  The Lo Scienziato is an81-piece limited edition timepiece, while the L’Astronomo is only produced on the request of a customer. Both the timepieces are expected to be very rare and desirable in terms of their investment potential in the near future. It would not be an exaggeration to say that Panerai has really stepped up to the competition and challenged the likes of Richard Mille and Roger Dubuis, among watchmakers who specialise in complicated and sophisticated timepieces.
To many commentators, the release of the Luminor Due Collection’s 38mm model was the brand’s most significant offering. However, for us, Panerai’s two heavyweights- L’Astronomo and the Lo Scienziato from the SIHH 2018 launches are excellent timepieces and are going to take Panerai into the future.