Panerai Radiomir 1940 Minute Repeater Carillon Tourbillon GMT 49mm: Review And PriceWritten by Melissa Kong
In the market for a Panerai? Discover the features of its new minute repeater and how it stands apart from the rest.
When we first heard Panerai was introducing a minute repeater, we were surprised, but more than that, extremely curious. After all, a minute repeater is something you find in pocket or dress watches, not the sporty pieces Panerai is beloved for. While it seemed almost incongruous with the brand’s DNA, it actually made sense once we got face time with the watch.
For one, it packs a lot of muscle. Yes, it’s a minute repeater but it also has a tourbillon, GMT function, and chimes both home and local times (one at a time, of course), all within its 49mm skeleton case (back and front, mind you) so you can admire the mechanism in its full glory. It also has the honour of being the most complicated watch ever made by the Florence-born marque, taking four years of research to perfect.
Driven by two power sources, the movement uses two barrels for the time and a separate energy source for the minute repeater. And because the watch has to chime two time zones, an astounding 633 components were used. We also like that the second gong marks 10 minutes instead of the usual 15—helpful if, like us, you’re not entirely quick in the math department.
Rather than straight gongs, the carillon enables the watch to chime a melody, enhanced by the red gold case which is soldered together from two separate parts. This allows the space within the case to be optimised for better audio quality, aided also by the skeleton dial. To further augment the sound, the watch comes with a specially designed case made of spruce, which allows the chimes to be amplified when the watch is placed on it.
Click on the VIDEO below and check it out.
Inside, the hand-wound Calibre P.2005/MR features the patented Panerai tourbillon regulator, which rotates on a perpendicular axis rather than the usual rotation parallel to the balance. With a traditional tourbillon, a complete rotation takes a minute but this one does it in half the time, ensuring more effective compensation, and therefore more accurate timekeeping.
But perhaps the most interesting aspect of the watch is its ability to chime either the home or local time. To select the time zone, the black indicator on the crown needs to be aligned to three o’clock. This prevents accidental activation and allows for the crown to be pressed to select 'HT' for home time or 'LT' for local time, visible below the small seconds sub-dial at nine o’clock. Once set, the pusher at eight o’clock (above) activates the minute repeater.
The watch is available as a special edition and is made to order. You can also customise it with your choice of case material, hands, strap and other personalised features. It’s by no means an affordable timepiece for sure, but it’s certainly a formidable work of art that you can’t keep your eyes off. Or your ears, for that matter.
|49mm, 18K polished red gold|
|Manual-winding Calibre P.2005/MR|
|Black ecru alligator|
|Hours, minutes, small seconds, GMT, power reserve indicator on the back, local time and home time minute repeater for hours, 10 minutes and minutes, tourbillon|
Like most people these days, Melissa tells the time with her phone. She considers serious timepieces works of art and thinks the perpetual calendar is the handiest complication to date (pun not intended). She's also a Grammar Nazi but promises not to judge if you can't tell the difference between "guilloche" and "guillotine".