Panerai Impresses At The Watches & Wonders Shanghai With 2 New Novelties and 1 Superstar

Panerai at Watches & Wonders Shanghai Is All About Goldtech™

Editor’s note: Like you, we are also excited for the releases from the Watches & Wonders 2021. And while we now wait for detailed hands-on experiences, here’s a shorter preview of the new Panerai novelties from Watches & Wonders Shanghai. For our other detailed hands-on reviews, please head to our dedicated reviews section here. 

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Stellar Line-up

For the Watches & Wonders 2021 digital event, Panerai introduced 10 new references (and you can read our review of them here): Submersible eLAB-ID™ ref. PAM01225, Luminor Chrono Monopulsante GMT Blu Notte ref. PAM01135, Luminor Chrono Luna Rossa ref. PAM01303, Luminor Chrono references PAM01109, PAM01218 and PAM01110, Submersible Bronzo Blu Abisso ref. PAM1074, and Luminor Marina eSteel™ references PAM01157, PAM01356, and PAM01358. 

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Now wrapping up — and wrapping in Goldtech™ — the Watches & Wonders 2021 Shanghai ‘in-person’ event are two new models, the Panerai Luminor Chrono Goldtech™ Blu Notte ref. PAM01111 for men connoisseurs and the Panerai Piccolo Due Madreperla ref. PAM01280 for the ladies. 

It is not just these two novelties that are announced at Watches & Wonders Shanghai; Panerai also officially introduces Chinese actor and singer Li Yifeng as its Brand Ambassador.

With these 13 wins under its belt, Panerai sure has kick-started 2021 on a high note. 

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Luminor Chrono Goldtech™ Blu Notte 

This timepiece further marks Panerai’s return to designing chronographs, a field the brand has successfully dabbled in since 1943. The instantly identifiable Luminor case design leads the charge, with the Goldtech™ case framing the sports watch ever so elegantly. 

The new Panerai Luminor  Chrono Goldtech™ Blu Notte is a sports chronograph timepiece most distinctly marked by the use of Panerai’s Goldtech™ case material, a type of gold alloy that is distinguished by high percentages of copper and platinum, that provides the timepiece with an intense golden hue and heightened resistance to oxidation.

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I am glad Panerai has retained its midnight blue dial with satiné soleil decoration that is also seen on the new Luminor Chrono Monopulsante GMT Blu Notte. Come to think of it, the new Panerai Luminor  Chrono Goldtech™ Blu Notte is essentially a mix of the above with the new Luminor Chrono ref. PAM01110. 

Compared to the new Luminor Chrono Monopulsante GMT Blu Notte, I find myself more drawn to this release thanks to its dimensions: even though both share the same diameter of 44mm, the new Luminor  Chrono Goldtech™ Blu Notte measures at 15.1mm, noticeable 4.45mm slimmer than the Monopulsante GMT. This is even slightly slimmer than the 15.65mm thick steel case of the new Luminor Chrono ref. PAM01110. 

And talking about the ref. PAM01110, compared to it, the Chrono Goldtech™ features a smokey sapphire glass display caseback that may be obscured by a wave motif but adds to the charm of the overall aesthetic nonetheless. That said, the timepiece is water-resistant to only 50m (5 ATM) compared to the Luminor Chrono ref. PAM01110 boasts of an increased 100m (10 ATM) water resistance. 

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Both the Luminor Chrono and Chrono Goldtech™ Blu Notte are powered by the same movement, the in-house hand-wound mechanical calibre P.9200. 

This 13¼ lignes diameter and 6.9mm thick movement is comprised of 41 jewels, beats at the standard frequency of 4Hz, and features a single barrel with a 42-hour power reserve. Given its sporty timepiece, the movement makes use of an Incabloc™ shockproof device.

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On the whole, there are two aspects that I admire the most here, namely geometry and readability. 

As an architect I find the geometric symmetry of Panerai chronograph  watches impressive. In the case of the new Chrono Goldtech™:

  • the two left side chronograph pushers balance the right side oversized crown forming a geometric triangle, 
  • the small seconds indicator at 9 balances out the 30 minute chronograph counter at 9, 
  • the oversized 12 complements the oversized 6, 
  • and the branding at 12 is more or less mirrored by the 6’o clock text ‘Chronograph’
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As is always the case with the sandwich construction dials of Luminors, legibility is never compromised, and the white Super-LumiNova™ infilled Arabic numerals and indexes provide for exceptional dial readability. The only aspect that bugs me slightly is the font of the text ‘Chronograph’; it just doesn’t sit too well against the rest of the typeface. It does, however, match the Goldtech™ colouring of the case and the hands. 

But if I am being honest, it is the new Panerai Piccolo Due Madreperla ref. PAM01280 that I am more interested in personally, thanks to its smaller diameter and that beautiful mother-of-pearl dial. And I realise it’s aimed at the fairer sex market, but hey, there are no rules stating that men can’t wear these. Plus, with slightly less than 16cm wrists, 38mm watches from Panerai are the only way for me to go. 

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Quotable 

“Li’s independent and confident personality, his unrestrained and dedicated spirit, align with Panerai’s brand philosophy. His success demonstrates the energy and infinite potential of China’s young people. We welcome this outstanding star to explore unlimited possibilities with Panerai in the future”.

Panerai CEO Jean-Marc Pontroué

Panerai Piccolo Due Madreperla

Panerai’s ‘feminine’ line Luminor Due was first introduced in 2016 and is distinctly marked by its smaller 38mm diameter. The Luminor Due has come to be known more about looks and aesthetics than about technicality, especially given the rather lower-end 30m water resistance on a watch inspired by the brand’s iconic dive watches. 

But still, the Luminor Due collection works. It features the Panerai design language one has come to love and appreciate over the decades, but at the same time, it fits those with slim wrists. 

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And in the case of the latest addition to the Luminor Due lineup, just like the new Panerai Luminor  Chrono Goldtech™ Blu Notte, Panerai introduces the use of Goldtech™ case material to the slim wrist-friendly family. 

Not only does the unique-ish — after all brands like Rolex, Omega and Hublot have their own variations and alloys — gold alloy with a mix of copper (24%) and platinum (0.4%) empower this watch with elegance, doubling down on the charm is the use of a mother-of-pearl dial. 

The story doesn’t end here though; completing the trifecta of stellar looks is the inclusion of a shiny red alligator strap with tone-on-tone stitching — along with a trapezoidal pin buckle in polished Goldtech™ — that aesthetically complements the golden hues and the shades of the mother-of-pearl beautifully. 

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The new Panerai Piccolo Due Madreperla is a very good looking watch. Pure and simple. And for those who like to swap out their straps to match their outfits frequently, there’s more; the Piccolo Due Madreperla is equipped with the Quick Release system that allows the wearer to be spoilt for choice thanks to Panerai’s large palette of alternative straps in a multitude of colours, textures, materials and stitches. 

Still on the looks, the iridescent mother-of-pearl dial acts as a stunning base for the pink gold hands, applied numerals and date window to work in harmony with the Goldtech™ case. Form without function is quite pointless, and the watch guarantees legibility under any lighting condition thanks to the inclusion of white SuperLumiNova™ with green luminescence in the numerals and indices.

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Talking about function, moving beyond the looks and looking at the engine, the new Piccolo Due Madreperla features the same movement — calibre P.900 — as the new Panerai Submersible Bronzo Blu Abisso ref. PAM1074. 

Often brands when launching ladies models focus on the looks and simply tuck in a quartz movement. Suffice to say that here the ladies’ version is not some inferior model compared to the watches released for men. This calibre P.900 is a 12½ lignes diameter and 4.2mm thick in-house automatic mechanical movement that is comprised of 171 components, 23 jewels, beats at the standard frequency of 4Hz, and features an impressive 3-day power reserve. It is encased inside a 38 x 11.2mm polished Goldtech™ case that also features the iconic Safety Lock crown protection device with its lever and crown in again polished Goldtech™. Flip the watch and present is the stereotypical Panerai twelve-sided screwed caseback, with a sapphire crystal display window.

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Quotable

“Panerai is the only Italian haute horlogerie brand outfitted with Swiss technology, and it’s endless pursuit of watchmaking innovation impresses me enormously. I am thrilled to be Panerai’s Brand Ambassador because I admire the Brand’s history, that it is both deeply rooted in its legendary past and focus on the future I really want to embody this brand interpreted it and adding my own personal twist to it”.

Actor and singer Li Yifeng 
Watches & Wonders Shanghai
Li Yifeng wearing the Luminor Luna Rossa ref. PAM01303
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Wish List 

  • Given green seems to be the colour of 2021, the Chrono  Goldtech™ could have also been released in a shade of green as well. Perhaps a limited edition model? I reckon the combination of green and the Goldtech™ case would look stellar
  • The 30m water resistance for Luminor Due range should be increased to at least 50m
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Li Yifeng wearing the matte white dial version ref. PAM01218

That’s All Folks! 

Panerai at Watches & Wonders Shanghai may have been all about Goldtech™, but the legendary brand truly starts 2021 on a high note. 

Panerai this year has impressed with a diverse range. The portfolio gets updated with 12 references and one superstar brand ambassador lends his charms. Both men and women get catered to. A plethora of sizes are announced, including 38mm, 42mm, and 44mm. A mix of limited and regular productions are being offered. Diversity in materials takes the stage, with Goldtech™, EcoTitanium™, black DLC coated ceramic, bronze, steel and eSteel™ cases providing a vast variety to choose from. And to top it off, there’s the commend worthy push for environment-conscious watchmaking. 

As for the watches from Watches & Wonders Shanghai, the new Panerai Luminor Chrono  Goldtech™ Blu Notte is handsome enough to be seen on the wrist of Panerai’s latest brand ambassador, Li Yifeng. And the new Panerai Piccolo Due Madreperla is not a ladies watch just for the sake of it; it is a well-designed, thought through timepiece that is not a ‘poor cousin’ of Panerai’s men’s watches.

Inspired by Milan, and powered by Neuchâtel, it stands firm on its own merits and looks divine while doing it.

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Stay tuned for more detailed reviews of individual watches hopefully coming soon. To find out more about the Panerai Watches & Wonders 2021 watches, please head to their website here. All images unless otherwise specified are © 2020 PANERAI. Make sure to check out our reviews of other Watches & Wonders 2021 releases here.

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