Let’s talk about caliber P.5000 to get a minute. It is a significant engine: 2 mainspring barrels that you may readily see running in the two big stones, providing eight times of running time in 3hz/21,600 vph. The mainspring barrels operate in string, pushing torque via a really classically organized going train, with the center wheel visible via a large cutout in the plate. I guess technically speaking we’d need to call this a 3/4 plate movement as the third wheel bridge isn’t really a bridge at the typical sense of this term, but rather caused by creating the cutout. This cutout in addition to the shape of the main plate around the balance give a really aesthetically pleasing, but still pragmatic impact, which is completely suitable for what was, after all, initially intended to be an instrument watch, plain and simple. The going train is organized so the fourth wheel is exactly opposite the crown, which can be precisely where you’d find it into a pocket watch, and if you want a small seconds dial where it might have been in one of the Angelus pocket watch powered Panerais all you have to do is conduct the wheel pivot through the dial and put a hand on it (which was what Panerai did with all the PAM 510).The balance, which is held in place by a very solid looking bridge, looks somewhat small for the motion but again, that’s probably just because the motion’s so big; in 15 3/4 lignes, or just about 35.7 mm, it is a pocket — observe as opposed to a wristwatch grade (unless you’re in the bigger-than-average-wristwatch company, which Panerai manifestly is). Overall, we think it’s an impressive piece of work — we have used the word sturdy and sturdiness is really much the takeaway belief one has of the P.5000. Interestingly, incidentally, the P.5000 includes a free-sprung, flexible mass equilibrium, which is a very wonderful touch, particularly at this price point — if you look closely at what seems like the regulator you’ll see that it is actually not a ruler, but a stud carrier (that is, the carrier for the stud to which the outer terminal of the balance spring is attached). The screws holding the balance bridge in place run through threaded kayaks onto the bridge and can be employed to adjust end-shake (the amount of vertical “play” between the ends of the balance staff as well as the endstones of this shock-jewel assembly.
Panerai chief executive Angelo Bonati is a keen sailor, and for that reason the watchmaker has been a sponsor of the Panerai Watches Replica Classic Yachts Challenge (PCYC) since 2004. Open only to yachts built of wood or metal before 1950 (known as “vintage yachts”) and before 1976 (“classic yachts”), as well as replicas of such yachts, the PCYC is comprised of several regattas over the course of the year.
This year’s PCYC kicked off with a regatta in Antigua, which is followed by the Mediterranean circuit in spring. Alongside the start of the 2017 season was the launch of three Luminor 1950 PCYC chronographs – a pair in 44mm steel cases, and a 47mm model in titanium with regatta countdown.
The Luminor 1950 PCYC 3 Days Chrono Flyback Automatic comes in two guises, with the dial in either black (PAM 653) or ivory (PAM 654). Both share the same 44mm steel case, as well as the P.9100 movement that’s automatic and features a flyback function. And like all of Panerai’s in-house chronograph movements it has a vertical clutch and column wheel – hidden beneath a solid case back engraved with the PCYC logo.
Both dials have the same nautical tachymetre with a scale in knots, which can measure the average speed of a boat over one nautical mile. The black dial has Arabic hour markers, while the ivory dial has dot-and-batons indices, but both feature faux-vintage Super-Luminova.
The Luminor 1950 Regatta PCYC 3 Days Chrono Flyback Automatic (PAM 652) is bigger and slightly fancier. The case is 47mm, titanium and contains the P.9100/R movement.
A variant of Panerai’s in-house chronograph movement, the P.9100/R has an added regatta countdown function. The pusher at four o’clock moves the gold central minute hand backwards in one minute steps until it hits the desired countdown time.
Pressing the button at 10 o’clock starts the chronograph, which also starts the regatta countdown. The gold minute hand will proceed to countdown the minutes to the start of the race, signified by 12 o’clock on the dial, and then start recording the elapsed time after the start of the race once it passes the 12 o’clock marker.
Price and availability
The PCYC editions arrive in Panerai retailers and boutiques between July and August 2017. Prices in Euros are as follows:
Luminor 1950 Regatta PCYC 3 Days Chrono Flyback Automatic PAM00652 – €16,700
Luminor 1950 PCYC 3 Days Chrono Flyback Automatic PAM00653 – €12,000
Luminor 1950 PCYC 3 Days Chrono Flyback Automatic PAM00654 – €12,000