Text by Alexandre Ghotbi, photos by Alberto Schileo
© April 2006 by Alberto Schileo, Alexandre Ghotbi and ThePuristS.com
This year Panerai was launching a new collection and a new brand. The Manifattura collection shall consist of pieces housing only inhouse calibres. The 2006 offering is the Luminor 1950 in a 44mm case and cal 2002/1 movement with 8 day power reserve (linear power reserve indicator) GMT and AM/PM indication, the later here is done via a disc.
Panerai is also launching a series of special one shot models amongst them the surprising Radomir 1936 directly inspired by the model made in 1936 for the Italian navy. I say surprising because Panerai made the bold move to actually not place the brand name on the dial. I guess few brands can do this and actually get away with it …The Radomir 1936 is a beautiful watch and surprisingly wearable for its 47mm. It just shows that simple is really beautiful. This collector’s piece shall be available in 999 pieces in steel and 50 in platinum.
The other two special edition pieces are the 1/8 seconds chronograph with split seconds and ratrappante pusher integrated in the crown: the only place a split seconds pusher should be placed if you ask me, this model is limited to 300 pieces. The last model is a 44mm North Pole GMT developed for Mike Horn’s latest expedition and limited to 500 pieces.
The other novelty was in fact the launch of a new brand: Ferrari Engineered by Panerai. The cases will be different to Panerai and will be divided in two different model ranges: Granturissmo (with red and black dial elements) and the Scuderia (with black and yellow dial elements). The backs of the watches will be engraved with the prancing horse Ferrari emblem as well as a grid motif. The subdials are inspired by the ones found on the dashboard of the famous cars.
Now that the introductions are made, what do I think of the pieces? Taken as a whole the watches are not ugly but on the other hand they look just like any other Panerai wannabe (and there are many out there): not the real thing!