Haute Watch of the Week: Officine Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days Chrono Flyback

This is one of the cleanest chronographs ever designed, with a minute counter on the main dial instead of in a separate subdial, no hour totalizer and a small seconds making a discreet sweep at 9 o’clock. For a sports watch, including the Luminor’s iconic huge crown protector, this watch is downright elegant.

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This is the first chronograph to be made by Panerai using the new automatic caliber P.9100, with column-wheel construction, a Glucydur balance and Parechoc anti-shock device. It was made at the Panerai manufacture in Neuchatel, Switzerland. With two barrels, it has a power reserve of three days. Panerai says the double spring barrels enable thinner, longer mainsprings to be used, which helps make the flow of energy smoother.


The flyback function instantly returns the chronograph hands to zero and simultaneously restarts it – on a standard chronograph, it is first necessary to press one button to stop, another to return to zero and the other to start again. On a flyback, everything happens with the push of one button, positioned at 8 o’clock.


Both chronograph minutes and seconds are positioned on the main central dial, distinguished by colored hands – on the steel, it is blue for seconds and steel for minutes, which jumps forward every 60 seconds. The blue and white look elegant positioned against the model’s signature black “sandwich” dial with simple bar hour markers and numerals 6, 9 and 12. The dial is formed of two superimposed plates, with the upper one perforated, allowing the Super-LumiNova on the lower layer to shine through at the openings for markers and numerals. The steel version is water resistant to 100 meters. The gold version, to 50 meters.

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Photos courtesy Officine Panerai.