A detailed look at the Panerai Flyback Chronograph with Automatic calibre P.9100 in black ceramic based on zirconium oxide
It is a strongly sporting heart which beats within the Luminor 1950 3 Days Chrono Flyback Automatic Ceramica, the new Officine Panerai watch in which the classic quality of the design is masterfully integrated with the sophistication of the P.9100 manufacture chronograph movement and with the remarkable technical quality and design of the black ceramic case.
The essential lines of the case and dial are faithful to the unmistakable Panerai identity, being unaffected by the existence of the flyback function, which instantly zeroes the chronograph hands and restarts them without it being necessary to stop and zero them first. In the P.9100 calibre the blue chronograph seconds hand and the rhodium plated minute hand are centrally mounted, so that the dial carries only the continuous small seconds counter at nine o’clock, symmetrical with the date window. The push-pieces which control the chronograph functions are positioned at 8 o’clock (flyback, reset) and 10 o’clock (start, stop), thus leaving intact the outline of the lever device protecting the crown which helps make the case of the Luminor 1950 water-resistant to 10 bar (equivalent to a depth of about 100 metres).
The material of the Luminor 1950 case, 44 mm in diameter, is a synthetic ceramic based on zirconium oxide, which is up to five times harder than steel but substantially lighter in weight, as well as exceptionally resistant to scratches, corrosive agents and high temperatures. Technologically it is a very advanced material which is complicated to synthesise. It is created by a long, delicate process which transforms zirconium powder into a black ceramic, with a matt finish, remarkably even and pleasant to the touch. Every component of the case is individually moulded and undergoes successive stages of working and firing, first at a low temperature (about 100 °C) and then at a higher temperature (up to 1500 °C), for about three days. The process is concluded with the finishing stage, crucial for ensuring that the dimensions and proportions of all the components are absolutely perfect, culminating in the final bead blasting which gives it an even, matt finish.
On the back of the case a large porthole in sapphire crystal reveals the P.9100 manufacture movement, the first chronograph calibre with automatic winding completely developed and made in the Officine Panerai manufacture. The calibre has the typical characteristics of a top-of-the-range chronograph, such as the column wheel and the vertical clutch. It has two spring barrels connected in series which provide a power reserve of three days, a bidirectional rotor which winds the springs of the two barrels, and a variable inertia balance wheel which oscillates at 28,800 vibrations/hour (4 Hz). Fitted with the device for instantly zeroing the seconds, the P.9100 calibre consists of 302 components and is 13¾ lignes in diameter and 8.15
The Luminor 1950 3 Days Chrono Flyback Automatic Ceramica (PAM00580) is supplied with a natural untreated leather strap and a second strap made of rubber. The buckle is in titanium, a light, strong, hypo-allergenic material to which a special resistant black coating has been applied so that it matches the appearance of the watch, and it is easily replaceable using the screwdriver supplied.