Last year, Florentine luxury watchmaker Panerai celebrated the 70th anniversary of its iconic Luminor line. At an exhibition held at the Hong Kong Canton Road flagship boutique, Panerai pre- sented 70 exclusive, standout timepieces from the Panerai Museum in Florence, Italy, while also introducing its local private collectors. To commemorate the milestone, the watchmaker also added a flamboyant timepiece to the family—the Luminor Marina 44mm Guillaume Néry Edition (PAM01122). This limited edition of 70 pieces, with a strap made from black recycled PET material, offers a 70-year warranty.
But then innovation has always been at the heart of all things Luminor. Panerai’s longstanding history of making timepieces for the Italian Navy, go- ing back all the way to World War II, is where the collection finds its roots. In 1916, Of cine Panerai created a radium-based powder called Radiomir, which gave luminosity to the dials of watches. The luminous dials were advantageous to the Royal Italian Navy’s underwater missions during World War I. By 1950, Radiomir was replaced by Luminor—a tritium-based self-luminous substance. By the time World War II came to an end, Panerai had also developed a cushion-shaped case with a at, wider bezel. It had a unique crown- protecting bridge, apart from the rein- forced wire lugs created from the same block of steel as the case. The brand named the case Luminor. Cut to 1993, and Of cine Panerai finally presented a collection of three series of limited edition pieces to the public, making it accessible to them: The Luminor, the Luminor Marina, and the Mare Nostrum. These models followed in the footsteps of historical pieces that were created for World War II commandos.
The watches, characterised by the crown-protecting bridge, have come a long way, courtesy Panerai’s Laboratorio di Idee—the brand’s research and development division. It has been behind perfecting high-tech materials like Goldtech, Carbotech, and Fibratech. Panerai kept on developing new Luminor models like the 2011 Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic Bronzo, which was powered by the Panerai P.9000 calibre. In 2015, Panerai launched the brand’s first Carbotech-cased watch called the Luminor Submersible 1950 Carbotech 3 Days Automatic 47MM (PAM00616). What made the watch special was Carbotech, a composite material based on carbon fibre material, which had previously never been used in the world of watchmaking.
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