Panerai has refreshed its 1940 collection. Comprising six new models, the range was officially introduced at the 2013 Watches&Wonders exhibition that has just opened at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre on September 25th and will close on September 28th. The elegant and inconspicuous (well, at least as inconspicuous as a Panerai can be) the new Panerai Radiomir 1940 Chrono Monopulsante 8 Days GMT Oro Bianco (PAM 503) was among those six beautiful timekeepers. So far, thanks to a winning combination of an in-house manually-wound mechanism and surprisingly useful functionality, it looks the most interesting among them.
The device sports a dial layout, which is similar to that of the elegant Radiomir 10 Days GMT (PAM495) that was revealed around a year ago, but has its date window replaced with a 30 minute chronograph indicator and also features a central chronograph seconds hand that makes the watch look a tad more cluttered, but just barely so. Of course, the linear date indicator, which is still placed at 6 hours is rated for only 8 days.
Of course, the piece de resistance in this particular case (no pun intended) is the gorgeously designed and meticulously executed Caliber P.2004/10 hand-wound movement. Built, like all new Panerai movements, solely in-house, the new engine features an unusual skeletonization design. Its clear geometric patterns make the mechanism look like a custom-built Harley-Davidson V-Rod: it is massive and strong, and it just radiates charisma.
Featuring column-wheel “monopusher” chronograph complication, the movement also sports whole three spring barrels that ensure that the watch will run for as long as 192 hours without losing its accuracy.
Located at 8 hours, the chronograph push-piece not only makes the timekeeper’s 18-karat white gold body look a lot cleaner than most watches of this class, but also allows for more ergonomic operation: you only need to press it with a thumb of your right hand while controlling it with your index finger to get the counting going.
As usual, the white gold body is deliberately massive measuring whole 45 millimeters in width. However, you can still wear the piece with some formal suit, especially if your last name is Stallone. However, if your name is different, you may find getting one of these muscular beauties a bit difficult since the Italian brand plans to sell them at a minimum recommended price of $47,000, although the real price with all discounts and such may be a bit lower. Still, it is an expensive item even despite the fact that there is a lot of gold in this thing.
Although the Panerai Radiomir 1940 Chrono Monopulsante 8 Days GMT Oro Bianco will be expensive, I have absolutely no doubt that the vast Chinese market will swallow the whole bunch of them and will ask for a second helping. After all, when it comes to conspicuous consumption with a touch of masculinity, Panerai is the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about watches.
WWR preliminary verdict:
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 4/5
Panerai Radiomir 1940 Chrono Monopulsante 8 Days GMT Oro Bianco (PAM 503) specification
Price: $47,000 (MSRP)
Movement: Hand-wound, Caliber P.2004/10, 6.6 mm thick, 3 barrels, column-wheel chronograph, 329 parts, in-house, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 31
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 192 hours (8 days)
Movement decoration: Skeletonized
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, GMT, chronograph, linear power reserve indicator
Case, Bezel & Crown: 18-karat white gold
Bezel shape: Round
Size: 45.00 mm
Hour markers: Luminous
Hands: Luminous, rose gold
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Personalized brown alligator leather strap and 18-karat polished white gold adjustable buckle.
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective