Panerai PAM00580 Luminor 1950 3 Days Chrono Flyback Automatic
The first of the SIHH – Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie the world’s second largest watch fair – 2015 previews is through, and it’s a very attractive Panerai Flyback Chrono from the Luminor family in ceramic. The 44mm case is a synthetic ceramic based on zirconium oxide, an alloy five times harder than steel but lighter in weight. Zirconium is in fact the 19th most plentiful element in the earth’s crust, where it is far more abundant than copper and lead. But we digress. This grade of ceramic is also resistant to scratches, corrosive agents and high temperatures.
The synthesising process starts by transforming zirconium powder into black ceramic. Every component of the case is individually moulded and undergoes successive stages of working and firing, first at a low temperature (about 100 °C) and then at a higher temperature (up to 1500 °C), for three days. The finishing stage ensures that the dimensions and proportions of all the components are right before the final bead blasting which gives the case an even, matte finish.
The flyback function instantly zeroes the chronograph hands and restarts them without it being necessary to stop and zero them first. The PAM00580 is powered by the P.9100 calibre; the blue chronograph seconds hand and the rhodium plated minute hand are centrally mounted, so that the dial carries only the continuous small seconds counter at nine o’clock, symmetrical with the date window. The push-pieces which control the chronograph functions are positioned at 8 o’clock (flyback, reset) and 10 o’clock (start, stop), “thus leaving intact the outline of the lever device protecting the crown which helps make the case of the Luminor 1950 water-resistant to 10 bar (equivalent to a depth of about 100 metres),” says Panerai.