Panerai started out making the ultimate tool-watches. Big, beefy timepieces destined to be strapped to the wrists of serious men doing dangerous things. It’s upon this heritage that Panerai has built their brand. For many, their watches are the epitome of macho elegance. But times change, and brands evolve. For sure the rugged and dependable divers are still the unshakable core in Panerai’s lineup, but over the last few years we’ve increasingly seen the brand dip their toes in the waters of Haute Horlogerie.
Which brings us to the Radiomir 1940 Minute Repeater Carillon, Panerai’s most technical effort to date. Usually having a 49mm red gold case is impressive enough, but here, the Radiomir case plays second fiddle to the skeletonised P.2005/MR movement inside. Not only does this movement have a minute repeater complication, meaning it chimes the time on demand, but it does so with the added panache of a carillon – typically a musical arrangement of bells. Here the bells are replaced with an arrangement of gongs and three hammers (rather than the typical two) allowing for a more melodic sounding of the time.
Normally you’d expect a watch with this sort of energy intensive complication to have a two or three day power reserve, but you can expect four full days of power on this watch.
But Panerai hasn’t stopped there, they’ve also used their patented, perpendicular tourbillon in this watch, as well as a second time zone. And the final technical innovation is that you can, using the crown, set the repeater to chime either the home or second time zones. To my knowledge no one else has implemented this dual-time repeater system before. As I said, this is a very impressive movement.
The PAM00600 is a far cry from the simple steel timepieces that Panerai is famous for, and will only be seen on the wrists of the most well-heeled PAM lovers. Even so, it’s an important watch that shows what Panerai is capable of, and just how far they’ve come.