Panerai’s 2023 Luna Rossa Collection is distinct, beautifully curated and even includes a ‘holiday’

Taking influence from the boat materials and aesthetic codes of the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli sailing team, the range is defined by five timepieces in blue-and-red colourways

When you think of summer, one tends to catch the mind slipping towards the Amalfi Coast, tans and golden-hour drinks on the harbour’s edge. If you’re horologically inclined, you will also replay the visuals of watches of years past: of course, there’s the odd Royal Oak, a Sub, perhaps (vintage for extra credit, or even a Tudor Sub for a gold star) – but a mainstay of la dolce vita is, of course, Panerai (either the district cushion case Radiomir or the all-out iconic Luminor). A side note: the first mechanical watch I ever bought was a PAM 111. Boy, I cherish it. And that rubber strap! Ahead of its time (apologies).

Anyway! Big news. Panerai has launched five new watches in partnership with Luna Rossa. As the official sponsor of the Italian Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli sailing team, Panerai has created these new models with influence from Luna Rossa’s boat materials and aesthetic codes (and they’re made to appeal to all genders, as, it’s fair to say, most brands are now doing, something that I celebrate).

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli sailing team in the water

With a legacy inextricably connected to underwater exploration, Panerai, in recent years, has been about new-material innovation and watchmaking complications.

The collection is designated in two colours: blue for the sea, and red as the official shade of Luna Rossa.

First up, the Luminor Quaranta Luna Rossa, a design-led diver with a black 40mm steel DLC (diamond-like carbon) case and a blue sun-brushed dial (date at 3 o’clock and small seconds at 9 o’clock). It is powered by the automatic P.900 calibre with a three-day power reserve, and, I have to say, 40mm is exactly where Panerai should be playing, size-wise.

Panerai Luminor Quaranta Steel DLC Luna Rossa PAM01408

Luminor Quaranta Steel DLC Luna Rossa PAM01408

Next up, the Luminor Quaranta BiTempo Luna Rossa, which features an automatic P.900/GMT calibre with a three-day power reserve. Displaying two time zones, the tip of the GMT hand is gilded in red, and the watch is set in a 40mm steel case and features a blue sun-brushed dial.

Panerai Luminor Quaranta BiTempo Luna Rossa PAM01404

Luminor Quaranta BiTempo Luna Rossa PAM01404

Third, and my favourite, the Luminor Chrono Carbotech Luna Rossa PAM01519, an ‘experience’ edition that will allow owners to partake in an immersive event specifically curated by the brand (more below). Set in a 44mm Carbotech case with a blue sun-brushed dial, it’s a looker, no doubt. The structure of Carbotech itself is designed to enhance both the aesthetics and the performance of the material, as thin sheets of carbon fibre are compressed at a controlled temperature under high pressure together with a high-end polymer, PEEK (Polyether Ether Ketone), which binds the composite material, making it stronger and more durable. In homage to the sailing experience, the piece also features the Speed Tachymeter Scale, to measure the average speed of a yacht over a defined distance.

Panerai Luminor Chrono Carbotech Luna Rossa PAM01519

Luminor Chrono Carbotech Luna Rossa PAM01519

This special ‘experience’ edition is limited to 37 pieces to celebrate the 37th edition of the America Cup in 2024, and purchasing the model will give owners access to a special occasion that’ll take place in Cagliari, Italy. Together with the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli team, participants will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in various activities and workshops connected to the world of sailing and the sea.

There are also two additions to the Luminor Due collection: PAM01378 and PAM01381. The former is set in a polished 38mm steel case matched with a white Saffiano leather strap that bears the team’s name and red-stripe logo, meanwhile the latter is set in a polished 42mm steel case matched with a grey bi-material strap.

Panerai Luminor Due Luna Rossa PAM01381

Luminor Due Luna Rossa PAM01381

Panerai Luminor Due Luna Rossa PAM01378

Luminor Due Luna Rossa PAM01378

Both timepieces have matte-white sandwich dials that feature the Panerai logo, the inscription ‘Luna Rossa’ and numerals and indices in dark-grey Super-LumiNova®. The small seconds come with red hands in an ode to the team’s official colour, meanwhile the overall neutral tone of the duo makes them highly legible. Powered by the automatic P.900 calibre with a three-day power reserve, the straps are interchangeable with other Panerai straps. The watches are all boutique exclusives, so you know what to do.

Overall, for me, Panerai’s steadfast focus is endearing. This new collection of five watches is distinct, beautifully curated and even includes a ‘holiday’ – does it get much better than that?

Want more watches? Read about Tudor’s two Pelagos FXD ‘Alinghi Red Bull Racing Edition’ models, the timepieces we need this summer…

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