Panerai may have its roots in two watches made purely and exclusively for military operations – the Panerai Radiomir Series Replica Watches and Luminor watches – but it has been slowly and steadily expanding both its repertoire of complications, and its design vocabulary, for many years. In doing so, it’s created a far broader identity for itself as well. Radiomir and Luminor may have been intended originally to be pure instrument watches but, as can sometimes happen, purity of intent in the utilitarian produced something of great design integrity aesthetically. For some time now, Panerai has been at least as much of a design oriented as a tool watch oriented manufacturer. This extension of its scope now includes chiming complications, with the introduction of the Radiomir 1940 Minute Repeater Carillon Tourbillon GMT– a dual time, tourbillon, decimal repeater with several features we don’t think we’ve ever seen anywhere else.
First let’s talk about the tourbillon. Panerai Rose Gold Dial Fake Watches first in-house tourbillon movement was the caliber P.2005, introduced in 2007 (along with several other in-house Panerai calibers) and, to this day, I still think it’s somewhat under-appreciated. The Panerai tourbillon has some unusual features. First, most tourbillons (in fact, virtually all) rotate in the same plane as the movement plate, while the P.2005 rotates in a plane at right angles to the plate. Second, the tourbillon is placed in the movement at such an angle as to minimize the amount of time the balance spends in any of the positions where variation in rate would be most extreme. The fact that the tourbillon’s natural home is in a pocket watch, not a wristwatch, is often raised as an objection to using it in a wristwatch at all but the orientation of the P.2005’s carriage does a lot to answer this objection. Finally, its period of rotation is quite fast – it’s a 30-second tourbillon, which, again, helps reduce to a minimum the amount of time the balance spends in any of the most extreme positions.
Typically the way you make a tourbillon more suitable for a wristwatch is to make it a multi-axis tourbillon – done right, this can work well chronometrically, as the performance of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s multi-axis tourbillons in the Concours de Chronométrie has demonstrated – but this approach is much more complex and technically difficult (as well as awfully expensive) and as Stephen Forsey of Greubel Forsey once said to me years ago (and it’s a comment that’s stuck with me), it’s always a struggle to gain more than you lose. The P.2005 has a lot of the advantages of a multi-axis tourbillon but is a more robust, simpler construction, much more suitable to a technically oriented company like Panerai Leather Strap Copy Watches, and I’ve often thought they deserve more credit for producing a tourbillon that’s so appropriate to the company’s identity.