The start of a vintage yacht race is a moment of remarkable beauty. The boats of every class, with timbers sometimes a hundred years old or more, gather together at the starting line between the buoys, driven only by the wind which fills the sails and by the skill of the captains and crews who with a few simple instruments must carry out complicated tactics to master the sea, the wind and time. Timing in particular is crucial: in the minutes preceding the start, marked by the ritual of the strict countdown signalled by the judges’ flags, the Lords of the sea must line up behind the buoys without crossing the imaginary line before the race has started. It is not a simple operation for yachts which are often tens of metres long with an immense sail area exposed to the unpredictable nature of the elements.
These are passionate moments at the start of which Officine Panerai is well aware, given that since 2005 it has sponsored the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge, the main international circuit of races for vintage and classic yachts. From the most beautiful locations of the Mediterranean Sea to the waters of the Solent, from the Caribbean Sea to the coast of New England on the East Coast of the United States of America, Officine Panerai gathers together each season hundreds of vintage yachts and thousands of sailors to celebrate the beauty, elegance and uniqueness of yachts which have been part of the history of sailing, since the end of the 19th century to which many of them date back.
From the union of Officine Panerai and the world of classic sailing the Luminor 1950 Regatta 3 Days Chrono Flyback Titanio was born. This is a chronograph with an automatic movement and a three-day power reserve, fitted with the Regatta countdown function, specifically created for yacht racing starts.
The remarkable simplicity of using the Regatta countdown function is evidence of the excellence of the technical innovation achieved by the new P.9100/R automatic chronograph calibre, the movement of the new Luminor 1950 Regatta 3 Days Chrono Flyback Titanio. An orange push-button at four o’clock moves the central orange chronograph minute hand back one minute at a time, until it is at the correct position in relation to the length of the countdown. On starting the chronograph, by pushing the chronograph stop/start button at ten o’clock, the relative hands begin to move, indicating first the minutes and seconds which remain until the start, and then, when the countdown has finished, the time elapsed since the start of the race. The push-button at eight o’clock ends the time measurement, returning all the chronograph hands to zero. Alternatively, if it is operated while the hands are still moving, it activates the return-to-zero (flyback) function of these hands, thus enabling a new time interval to be measured immediately without having to operate the stop and reset buttons.
The black dial of the Luminor 1950 Regatta 3 Days Chrono Flyback Titanio has the sandwich structure and the classic Panerai design distinguished by the large linear hour markers and figures, enriched by the elements enabling the indications of the chronograph functions to be read. The chronograph hands are central and distinguished from each other by different, easily recognised colours, while the orange hand of the hours rotates within the small dial at three o’clock, mirroring the small seconds dial at nine o’clock. The flange carries not only the scale of up to 15 minutes for the countdown to the start, with the five final minutes picked out in orange, but also the tachymeter scale expressed in knots which enable the speed of the yacht to be measured over a defined distance.
Water-resistant to 10 bar (about 100 metres), as is to be expected of a professional sailing instrument, the Luminor 1950 Regatta 3 Days Chrono Flyback Titanio (PAM00526) is part of the Contemporary Collection. It is supplied with a rubber strap with strong sports connotations, using a patented Officine Panerai system enabling it to be easily replaced by means of the little tool provided with the watch.
Movement: Automatic mechanical, Panerai P.9100/R calibre, executed entirely by Panerai, 13¾ lignes, 9.55 mm thick, 37 jewels, Glucydur balance, 28,800 alternations/hour. KIF Parechoc anti-shock device. Power reserve 3 days, two barrels. 328 components.
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, flyback chronograph, regatta countdown, knots scale for calculation of boat speed, seconds reset.
Case: Diameter 47 mm, brushed titanium. Engraved brushed titanium buttons for the chronograph functions at 10 o’clock and 8 o’clock. Brushed button and orange surface for the regatta function at 4 o’clock.
Bezel: Polished titanium.
Back: See-through sapphire crystal.
Device protecting the crown: (protected as trademark) Brushed titanium.
Dial: Black with luminous Arabic numerals and hour markers. Chronograph hour counter at 3 o’ clock, seconds at 9 o’clock, central chronograph seconds and minutes hands.
Crystal: Sapphire, made of corundum, 1.6 mm thick. Anti-reflective coating.
Water-resistance: 10 bar (~ 100 metres).
Strap: PANERAI personalised rubber strap and trapezoidal brushed titanium buckle. Supplied with a second interchangeable strap, a tool for changing the strap and a steel screwdriver.
PAM00526 LUMINOR 1950 REGATTA 3 JOURS CHRONO FLYBACK TITANE 47MM - 13,900 euros
Source : www.panerai.com