officine panerai  - Luminor 1950 Left handed
Luc Virginius / Chronopassion
officine panerai  - Luminor 1950 Left handed

Luminor 1950 Left handed

officine panerai
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9'200 €

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See other pictures Luc Virginius / Chronopassion

Luminor 1950 Left handed

Officine Panerai presents the left-handed version of the Luminor 1950 3 days – 47 MM, in which the winding crown and the device protecting it are at 9 o’ clock, on the left side of the case. Left-handed watches are very much part of the history of Panerai. The commandos of the Italian Navy had to wear several instruments on their wrists at once: not only the watch, indispensable for synchronising their attacks and for keeping track of the length of time spent in the depths of the sea, but also the compass and depth gauge. For convenience, some of them preferred to wear the watch on the right wrist, and for them Panerai created the watch with the winding crown on the left side, as can be seen in some rare contemporary examples which still survive today. The steel case of the Luminor 1950 Left-Handed 3 Days has a unique detail which distinguishes it from the classic Luminor 1950 case: the caseband has a cusped shape, hinting at the form of a cushion case. This little detail, picked up directly from some examples of the period, tells the story which brought about the transformation from the Radiomir, created in 1936, with a classic cushion case, to the Luminor, more massive in its proportions and identified by the device protecting the winding crown.

Technical specifications

Movement Hand-wound mechanical, P.3000 calibre, executed entirely by Panerai, 16½ lignes, 5.3 mm thick, 21 jewels, Glucydur® balance, 21,600 alternations/hour. Incabloc® anti-shock device. Power reserve 3 days, two barrels. 160 components.
 
P.3000 calibre
The P.3000 calibre, created entirely at the Panerai Manufacture, presents the main characteristics of the Panerai movements in terms of structure and robustness, accuracy and power reserve. The diameter of the calibre is 16½ lignes, a substantial size which traces its origins from that of the movements which were fitted to the historic Panerai models. The calibre is immediately recognisable by its construction, which is similar to that of a three-quarter plate movement: a large bridge, next to another smaller one, covers the majority of the mechanical parts, and is fixed to the bottom plate by a series of screws of substantial thickness, thus forming a particularly rigid structure. The movement has 21 jewels and it uses two spring barrels connected in series. Such an arrangement enables long, thin springs to be used, which ensure the delivery of a more even force over a longer period of time, with a power reserve of 3 days. The balance wheel is notably large (13.2 mm) and it is the variable inertia type, with four adjusting screws arranged externally round the ring, so that the rate can be regulated without the need to remove the whole assembly. Held by a bridge with twin supports – a fixing much safer and more stable compared to the cantilevered single bridge – the balance wheel oscillates at a frequency of 3 Hz, equivalent to 21,600 alternations per hour. It is fitted with an Incabloc® anti-shock device and is free-sprung, so there is no regulating lever. With brush-finished bridges and chamfered edges – that is, with the edges smoothed and polished – the P.3000 calibre is also fitted with a device for the rapid adjustment of the time: a star wheel with 12 points and a small spring clutch enable the hour hand to be moved one hour at a time, without interfering with the movement of the minute hand or the operation of the watch.
 
Functions Hours, Minutes
Case Diameter 47 mm, AISI 316L Polished Steel
Bezel Polished Steel
Back See - through sapphire crystal
Device protecting the crown (protected as a trademark) Brushed Steel
Dial Black with luminous Arabic numerals and hour markers.
Water Resistance 10 bar (~100 metres)
Strap Calf Assolutamente, Dark brown, Beige, 26.0/22.15 MM Standard
 

Who's who

It’s probably not the timepieces themselves that tie Chronopassion to Panerai. The relationship is closer and stronger than that. Laurent Picciotto goes so far as to describe it as “magical”. Perhaps the truth is more to do with the eternally ‘outsider’ character of the Italian brand – and of Chronopassion's founder. There is also the detail of their shared origins as passionate retailers. Indeed, it’s a little-known fact that both the Panerai brand and its founder, Giovanni, were first and foremost in the business of watch and watchmaking tool sales and repairs. As early as 1850, Giovanni Panerai had made his name as a watchmaker in his native city of Florence. His son, Leon Fracesco, transformed his father's occupation into a flourishing business: in 1907, 50,000 copies of his watch and timepiece catalogue were published! What was then known as Orologeria Svizzera sold Rolex, Longines, Vacheron & Constantin, Movado, Patek Philippe and other brands. A new century opened a new chapter: the brand supplied the Defence Ministry with its first precision optical instruments. In 1910, the first experiments on luminous materials began and a system for making instrument dials glow in the dark was perfected. Luminescence was produced using a mixture of zinc sulphide and radium bromide, later known as Radiomir. The road ahead became clear: Panerai already sold movements, and simply had to combine this skill with its recently acquired expertise in dials to create its first watch – a feat that was achieved in 1935. One amusing aspect of this tale is that the first Panerais were driven by a Rolex movement. The Italian army was of course the first client. This was in 1937 – and the virtual monopoly of the military for Panerai watches continued until 1993 ! “It was these very strict specifications – purely military, functional and uncompromising – that drew me to Panerai,” relates Laurent Picciotto. The founder of Chronopassion already had a selection of timepieces with a strong identity to his name and had been seeking new niche brands for a number of years. “Our first collaboration dates back to 1995. At that time Panerai was a totally independent micro-brand. It was a curiosity – and in my opinion, a convincing alternative to sports brands that were seeking to be positioned on the same military niche without having any credibility in the field.” Did love at first sight lead to overnight success? “Far from it!” laughs Laurent Picciotto. “I sold barely a dozen pieces a year, mainly Mare Nostrums (ed: the original chronograph from 1943, which was still at the prototype stage for historic reasons). History has led to these timepieces now being among the most prized collectors’ items,” he says with a wry smile. This apparent lack of demand did not dent Chronopassion's belief in Panerai, however. The Vendôme Luxury group, later known as Richemont, apparently had a similar instinct, too: it bought out the brand in 1997. The group lost no time in using its resources to raise the profile of Panerai. A series of 1000 timepieces were offered on the Italian market – and were snapped up immediately. A distribution network was established. “There were twelve of us retailers at the first meeting. Eleven of them had never sold a Panerai timepiece before. I was the only one who had,” recalls Laurent Picciotto. At this point the story could have taken a commercial turn, with success guaranteed. However Panerai once again showed it was different: demand was driven by the brand's fans, known as paneristis. According to Laurent Picciotto, they are characterised by “acute collectionitis” – and his sales increased 25-fold. “It was an internal explosion. Completely unprecedented,” he now admits. Panerai made the most of this collectors’ syndrome by producing only limited, numbered series. “This meant that there was often a queue in front of our building for very special series, in particular our series featuring the Chronopassion engraving,” he continues. “In addition, even when we put a sign in the window saying “Not yet released” to try and keep our fans at bay, some of them would come into the shop to try and get more information.” Magical is indeed the word. 
 
Journalist : Olivier Müller
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