The America’s Cup and Panerai are pretty much the same age. Created in 1851 and 1860 respectively, these two great names, with a shared affinity for the sea, became partners in 2017, teaming up for the 35th edition of the prestigious regatta, which this year takes place in Bermuda from 26 May (heats) to 25 June (final). Panerai is the Official Watch of the America’s Cup, Oracle Team USA and SoftBank Team Japan. The company has created five new watches for the occasion. They all have black dials and straps bearing the America’s Cup logo, with white, red and blue accents for the hands and topstitching – the colours of the competition and the two teams. Each watch also comes with a customised engraved caseback.
The Luminor Marina 1950 America’s Cup 3 Days Automatic is the Official Watch of the 35th America’s Cup. The 44 mm satin-brushed stainless steel case frames an understated black dial on which the essential functions of hours, minutes, small seconds at 9 o’clock and date at 3 o’clock are all highly readable. The watch is driven by the automatic P.9010 calibre. Its two barrels supply a three-day power reserve, and the balance wheel, turning at 28,800 vph, has a crown-operated stop-seconds mechanism. Distinctive features include the “America’s Cup” legend in blue at 6 o’clock, and the competition logo engraved on the screw-down caseback.
Three models for Oracle Team USA…
Oracle Team USA, skippered by James Spithill, won the two previous Americas Cups in 2010 and 2013. They will be defending their title in Bermuda. Panerai has created three official watches for the team, each in a limited edition of 200. Like Oracle Team USA’s foiling catamaran, the watches make the most of cutting-edge materials and technology.
The most complex of the watches is the Luminor 1950 Regatta Oracle Team USA 3 Days Chrono Flyback Automatic, in a 47 mm satin-brushed titanium case, certified water-resistant to 100 metres. Its automatic flyback chronograph movement P.9100/R also provides a regatta countdown timer function. The red push-button at 4 o’clock sets the chronograph minute hand to count down to the start time; once the countdown is complete, the watch continues timing the race.
The Luminor 1950 Oracle Team USA 3 Days Chrono Flyback Automatic comes in a smaller 44 mm synthetic black ceramic case. Its P.9100 calibre offers the same functions, minus the countdown timer.
Finally, the Luminor Marina Oracle Team USA 8 Days, with the basic hour, minute and small second functions, is a version of one of Panerai’s iconic models. Its 44 mm steel case houses the manually-wound P.5000 movement, with the 192-hour (8-day) power reserve typical of the Florentine watchmaker’s historical models.
… and one for SoftBank Team Japan
The third Luminor Marina model in the America’s Cup special series is the Luminor Marina SoftBank Team Japan, which celebrates the Japanese team’s return to the competition after a fifteen-year absence. Just 150 of this model will be produced, making it rarer than the others. The 44 mm steel-cased watch is very similar to the Official Watch of the 35th America’s Cup described above, the only changes being the hour and minute hands, which are black and white, and the simple white topstitching on the strap. The main difference can be seen on the screw-down caseback, which is engraved with the logo of the team, skippered by Dean Barker, and a picture of their boat.