Let us discuss caliber P.5000 for a minute. It’s a big engine: two mainspring barrels which you may easily see running in both large jewels, providing eight times of running time in 3hz/21,600 vph. The mainspring barrels operate in series, pushing torque through a very classically organized going train, together with the center wheel observable via a large cutout in the plate. I guess technically speaking we’d need to call this a 3/4 plate motion as the next wheel bridge is not actually a bridge in the typical sense of this term, but instead the result of producing the cutout. That cutout in addition to the form of the major plate around the balance give a very aesthetically pleasing, but nevertheless utilitarian effect, which is completely suitable for what was, after all, initially meant to be a tool watch, plain and simple. The moving train is arranged so that the fourth wheel is just opposite the crown, which is exactly where you would locate it in a pocket watch, and if you would like a small seconds dial in which it might happen to be in one of the Angelus pocket opinion powered Panerais all you have to do is run the wheel pivot through the dial and place a hand on it (which was exactly what Panerai did with all the PAM 510).The balance, which can be held in place by a very sturdy looking bridge, seems somewhat small for the movement but again, that is probably only because the motion’s so large; at 15 3/4 lignes, or simply about 35.7 mm, it’s a pocket — watch rather than a wristwatch caliber (unless you’re at the bigger-than-average-wristwatch company, which Panerai manifestly is). In general, we think it’s an impressive piece of work — we’ve used the term sturdy and sturdiness is very much the takeaway impression one has of this P.5000. Interestingly, incidentally, the P.5000 has a free-sprung, adjustable mass balance, which is a very nice touch, especially at this price point — if you look closely at what seems like the regulator you’ll see that it is actually not a regulator, but a stud carrier (that is, the carrier to the stud to which the outer terminal of the balance spring is attached). The screws holding the equilibrium bridge in place run through threaded collars onto the bridge and may be employed to correct end-shake (the amount of vertical “play” between the tips of the equilibrium staff as well as the endstones of the shock-jewel assembly.
Panerai continues its series of annual Sealand editions dedicated to the Chinese Zodiac with the Luminor 1950 Sealand Year of the Goat (PAM00848), featuring a hunter case decorated with gold-inlaid hand-engraving.
Fitted with distinctive flip covers over the dial, the hunter cases of Panerai Luminor Sealand watches are a perfect canvas for engraving. To be officially unveiled at SIHH, the 2015 edition of the Luminor 1950 Sealand is dedicated to the Year of the Goat, the seventh in an annual edition for each year’s Chinese Zodiac and also the first in the Luminor 1950 case. While most of the earlier Sealand watches were engraved by Purdey, the maker of precious hunting rifles, Panerai now turns to Italian craftsman for the gold-inlaid engraving. The steel lid is first engraved by hand, and then fine gold wires are beaten into the grooves of the engraving until the image is formed in gold.
The inside of the lid has a little mirror, and beneath it is a steel grey dial that differs from the typical Panerai look. Minimalist with just a “12”, the dial has black baton indices with tiny luminous dots.
Unusually, the Luminor 1950 Sealand Year of the Goat is the first Sealand watch to use the Luminor 1950 case as well as an in-house movement, the P.9000. Earlier Sealand editions used the standard 44 mm Luminor case which lacks the more complex form of the 1950. Those were also powered by a simple Unitas movement.
Available only at Panerai boutiques and produced in an edition of just 100 watches, the Luminor 1950 Sealand Year of the Goat is priced at 32,500 Singapore dollars, which is equivalent to about US$26,000. Panerai isn’t alone with a Chinese Zodiac-themed timepiece, Vacheron Constantin will also present a Year of the Goat edition at SIHH 2015.