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Hands-on with Panerai’s beautiful and very complicated L’Astronomo 1950 Luminor Tourbillon

Let's not forget the moonphase, power reserve, GMT indicator and date and month displays.

MOVEMENT

Manually wound Panerai P.2005/ GLS calibre with four-day power reserve

 

CASE

50mm in owner’s choice of material (red or white gold, or titanium)

 

PRICE

Starts from €199,000 (S$322,000) for titanium model

 

WHAT IT IS:

The L’Astronomo Luminor 1950 Tourbillon Moon Phases Equation Of Time GMT sports multiple complications – and taking things up a notch, the features in this built- to-order timepiece by Panerai can be customised. Every individual timepiece’s display for the moon phase (Panerai’s first), equation of time, and sunrise/sunset times differs, depending on the location chosen by its owner, thus making each one unique. Astronomical complications aside, the watch also has a GMT indicator, date and month displays, a power-reserve indicator and a tourbillon. The tourbillon is done in Panerai’s patented signature style, with the cage rotating perpendicularly to the balance’s oscillations.

 

HOW IT LOOKS:

Visually, the watch resembles Panerai’s other examples of technical watchmaking, with a skeletonised dial revealing a layered, industrial-looking movement. Despite the amount of information displayed, the dial does not feel cluttered, as the moon phase, power reserve and GMT displays are viewed through the case back instead. The date display here deserves mention – the date disc is made of polarised glass, and the numerals on it remain mostly invisible until they are viewed through a second layer of polarised glass at the aperture at three o’clock. Voila – the movement retains its air of lightness and transparency.

 

HOW IT WEARS:

The Luminor 1950’s case is chunky, and at 50mm, this watch will definitely make its presence felt. Much will depend on the individual’s wrist though, with the choice of case material also making a big difference – a reference in gold would feel a lot heftier than its sibling in titanium.

(RELATED: How an Officine Panerai watch saved explorer Mike Horn’s life)

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