Panerai dedicates a model from its Luminor 1950 Regatta family to celebrate the Regatta Transat Classique, the most extreme and exciting race for classic yachts covering 3,000 miles and departing next 8 January 2019 from Lanzarote. The new limited edition 47mm Luminor Regatta Transat Classique PAM00956 is a flyback chronograph fitted with a regatta countdown function, a knots scale to calculate speed, a robust 3-day power reserve and a navy blue colour scheme that evokes the deep blue. Fitted out with a titanium hull, the 47mm Luminor Regatta Transat Classique is shipshape and ready to sail.
A Heroic Challenge for Classic Yachts
For the brand that became the first professional supplier of luminous underwater instruments and watches for Italy’s Navy, Panerai’s bond with the sea is as legitimate as they come. Since it resurfaced in the civilian sphere in the early 1990s, the brand operates in non-bellicose theatres and sponsors international regattas, like the Panerai Transat Classique, which the brand has backed for four editions, and the famous Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge. The perfect event for a brand that is genuinely associated with all things nautical, the particularity of these races is that the contestants have to be ‘classic yachts’. To get an idea of what a classic yacht looks like, Panerai has its very own 1936 Bermudan Ketch, the Eilean, which will be competing in the upcoming Transat Classique race, marking her 38th transatlantic crossing.
Regarded as the benchmark of offshore sailing navigation, the Panerai Transat Classique 2019 (organised by the Atlantic Yacht Club) gets underway next January when twenty or so classic yachts will depart from Lanzarote to complete the 3,000-mile course to St Kitts in the Caribbean. A race that will test the mettle of the most experienced salt dogs, yachts and their crews will compete tactically using their seafaring skills to negotiate the labyrinthine archipelago of the Canary Islands, take full advantage of the trade winds and then tackle the Antilles passing by the island of Antigua from the north or the south, before crossing the finish line at Christophe Harbour.
Neither the watch nor the movement is new. The Luminor Regatta Transat Classique PAM00956 is basically a blue version of the existing Luminor 1950 Regatta 3 Days Chrono Flyback Automatic 47mm – albeit with a shorter name! The hallmark cushion-shaped case and protective crown lever of classic Luminor watches are crafted in titanium with a solid brushed case and contrasting polished bezel. In addition to being lightweight, hypoallergenic and resilient, another advantage of a titanium case for seafarers is the fact that the metal is corrosion-resistant. The main difference regarding the hull of this model is the engraved domed titanium caseback depicting a globe with the sailing route of the race and the logo of the 2019 Transat Classique race.
Tactical countdown function
Departing from the black dial of its brother, the new PAM00956 features a striking navy blue dial with orange, white and light blue accents. The look is refreshing and in tune with the seafaring spirit of the watch. But it goes well beyond looking the part and offers a useful countdown function to measure the vital minutes and seconds preceding the start of the race. Developed especially for regattas, the countdown function is extremely easy to use. By activating the pusher with an orange cap just below the crown at 4 o’clock, the central orange chronograph hand moves back one minute at a time along the countdown scale – up to 15 minutes can be programmed with the final all-important five minutes marked with solid orange blocks and the word START printed above. Another difference Paneristi will spot is the way the 15-minute countdown section now features separate rectangular markers as opposed to the continuous track on the former model, making it even easier to read.
The flyback chronograph pusher at 10 o’clock starts the countdown by deploying the light blue hand, and once the countdown is complete (when the orange hand reaches 0) you can continue to record the elapsed time from the start of the race. If you want to gauge your sailing speed, a tachymetre in knots – again picked out in orange – is provided on the flange. The hallmark cut-out numerals, baton hour markers and hands stand out against a white background that glows in the dark.
Panerai’s P.9100/R calibre was developed specifically to incorporate a countdown function for regattas, a development of the P.9100 automatic calibre with chronograph functions. With its flyback chronograph with vertical clutch and column wheel, the P.9100/R is identical in architecture and size to the P.9100, but slightly thicker and with a total of 328 parts. Beating at 28,800 vph, the movement has a robust power reserve of 3 days.
The Luminor Regatta Transat Classique is a limited edition of 500 watches and comes with a dark blue rubber strap and brushed titanium buckle along with a second interchangeable strap and tools for changing the strap. The retail price is EUR 17,500. For more information, please consult www.panerai.com.
This post first appeared on Monochrome Watches - An online magazine dedicated to fine watches.