It’s been 70 years since the Panerai luminol first came to be and has this new luminol Luna Rossa regatta with its split second regatta timer in house caliber: p90 100. Our dial made from the sale of the Luna Rossa, racing yacht and lightweight car Burrtec case demonstrates it’s come a long way, but there’s a lot more to this piece of Italian eye candy than you might first think.
So with that being said, here are three things about the Panerai luminol that you probably didn’t know, so we can keep on making grape watch videos. I’d, really appreciate it if you subscribed to the channel, if you already are it really does help? Thank you new or old.
Is the Panerai lumen or right Panerai, being the name of the company that sells them and luminol being the name of the model? Well, not quite luminol was a name that already existed for a whole year before the watch named after it was released in 1954.
The Italian Navy – and it had nothing to do with the watch – to understand why that is. We need to go back a few decades to 1916 to a patent filed in France on the 23rd of March. This was not a patent for a watch or of complication or anything like that.
It was a patent for some paint. There were several special things about this paint, the first being that it adhered like the proverbial, even when submerged in water. This was important because Panerai then a jeweler selling Swiss watches had an idea.
The importance of diving to the military was quickly becoming a lucrative business, and so the Panerai family looked to invest in it. There were all sorts of things a military diver needed to do their job underwater, such as depth, gauges compasses torches, but there was a problem.
It can get very dark underwater, especially at night when military divers would be most active and so a way to see these devices and the water is needed. That brings me on to the second thing. This paint could do it glowed in the dark, by containing radium, a highly radioactive substance.
The paint was energized and would glow without any power source needed. It was the answer allowing divers to read even the finest text on their instruments. Deep underwater, the paint named after that key ingredient was called radium ear, but there was a problem radium as it turned out emitted incredibly harmful gamma rays, capable of destroying human cells and causing deadly necrosis.
This was at the forefront of scientific discovery and companies all over the world were using this new Wonder material in anything and everything, including ironically, health products. Even radium’s, discover herself, Mary Curie died from radiation exposure, something needed to be done, and so in 1949 a new patent was filed by Panerai same glow, same adhesive properties.
Only this time, fueled by the much less harmful tritium whose beta particles were far far weaker, this new paints was given a new name bond that shared the connotations of the old. It was called luminol.
You might wonder why the Panerai, luminol isn’t round, and it’s, a sensible thing to ponder this. What’s, known as a cushion case, is rather decorative and unnecessary for what is otherwise simply a piece of equipment? Most dive, watches of the era were housed in simple round cases, protrusions sprouting, where needed, to hold the strap and protect the crown, and what have you and nothing more yet.
The luminol has an almost Art Deco vibe about its sculptural case. That really serves no purpose to the diver using it. I know the Italians are a stylish people, but I think they draw the line at making the military look dapper to know there’s.
Another reason why the Panerai luminol looks as it does and it’s. One of a more coincidental nature. Remember when I said that Panerai was first and foremost a jeweler, as in one that sells, watches repairs a few on the side.
The little Italian shop was not equipped to be in the business of actually making watches, certainly not in the number requested by the Italian may v, and so it was to an external contractor that Panerai sought to find a watch on to which describe its patented glowing Paint there was no such luck with big guns like a maker and long gene, instead, Panerai needed to find a company that was young and upcoming and wouldn’t cost a fortune believe it or not.
That company was rolex whose water-resistant oyster case looked to be just the ticket for panner eyes. Watch by the time radium ear paint was patented Rolex was barely a decade old. It was a company that shared a like mind with Panerai, founded in a jewelers wanting to be something more and so a partnership was forged.
Rolex wanted to build relationships across the board as part of its plan to be the watch maker of industry, eventually exploring other such deals with airline. Pan Am a nuclear research facility CERN, but it was early days and for now this Italian jeweler, with ties to the Navy, was as good as it was going to get one problem.
However, Rolex didn’t actually make watches the company simply commissioned cases. Bracelets dials movements, you name it in a configuration of its choosing, and so that meant that building Panerai swash would need to be achieved using parts they already had.
The size demanded a large case, and so one from a pocket watch was chosen. Funnily enough, this was in the period of art deco, so the case chosen was a cushion shape. Why loves were soldered on as a make do and Panerai supplied the paint for the dial, and thus the luminous cushion shaped case was born between the radomir and the luminol.
The watch is not the paint light, a few concrete differences. He is clearly an exercise in education as much for Rolex who, by the time the luminol came out, was thinking about a dive watch of his own, as it was for Panerai learning from its mistakes and improving upon the original.
As we’ve. Seen the radomir was very much a part spin special, the best Rolex could achieve given what it had available to it and it served well all things considered, but for round two for the new luminol paint, there were significant changes to be introduced.
That would make it even better. The lugs are an obvious move, given that the Redeemers were simply pieces of wire soldered onto a pocket watch case I mean I’ll, say it. It was a bodge and off screwed in like they are today.
There’s, a lot of room for improvement. It was actually in the 1940s that the lokes became a solid, integrated item, part of a midlife refresh before the bigger update. The wire lugs may have been absolutely fine, but then you don ‘
T really need to be an engineer to guess that they were probably the weak point in the whole package. The second big change was the crown, or rather the mechanism that held it in place when used over and over there’s, a risk of stripping the threads on a screw down crown, but without them the watch.
Just wouldn’t be watertight. You might wonder why the screw down crown became a prominent fixture of pretty much all dive watches from the 50s onwards. It’s such a concern, and that was because of one’s simple.
Yet significant update automatic movements, even though Rolex debuted, its self-winding perpetual movements in 1931, panerai watches still house to a manually wound engine. This is not unusual for high stakes.
Military application cutting edge technology is often issued for the tried and tested option, something with a predictable service life and more easily maintained in the field. Nevertheless, having to wind the movement every day was causing a problem, crowns were being damaged, threads stripped, watches, flooded and destroyed.
The solution it seemed was one that required a step back to go forwards. Instead of screwing. The crown down to clamp the seal tight shut Oliva was bridged over the top to clamp it in place. Instead, with the added benefit of protecting the crown from Knox, it wasn’t subtle and it certainly wasn’t high tech, but hey it got the job done there’s, something to be said about the evolution of a Design that relies on budget technology constraints, user error and a punishing life to find its form building something without restraint from the ground up often loses a sense of character.
Think of the Porsche 911, a car that’s, built to a compromise that’s, grown to accommodate it and become one of the most iconic pieces of automotive engineering in the world because of it the panner aluminum is just the same.
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