Superwatch: Panerai PAM 600 Minute Repeater
If you want a watch that strikes a chord, then the Panerai PAM 600 Radiomir 1940 Minute Repeater Carillon Tourbillon GMT is the one for you.
When we say that this is Officine Panerai’s most complicated watch, we aren’t exaggerating. The Panerai PAM 600 Radiomir 1940 Minute Repeater Carillon Tourbillon GMT brings together a menage-a-trois of complications: the tourbillon regulator, the GMT function and a double minute repeater mechanism (simply put, it is able to inform you of the time in two time zones by chiming either the local or home time zones, on-demand). We think it qualifies as a supercomplication or a superwatch, if you will (the watch equivalent of the supercar).
To get right into it, the Minute Repeater Carillon sounds out time with the help of its three hammers and three gongs. This enables three different sounds to be combined to produce a melody resembling that of, well, bells. To activate the striking mechanism, one uses the push-button at the 8 o’clock position (see below). As expected, the first gong identifies the hours and produces the lowest chime while the final gong produces the highest chime, indicating the minutes. The middle gong delivers an intermediate chime because of course it does! The press release provides the following helpful example: should your home time be 10.28, there would 10 chimes for the hour; two triple chimes at for the two 10 minute intervals; and eight single chimes.
With its long power reserve of 90 hours, and a carillon minute repeater mechanism, the watch is a surprisingly sturdy work of art (being water resistant and boasting a safety feature that prevents you, the owner, from inadvertently damaging the striking mechanism). As collectors will already know, PAM 600 boasts a hand-wound P.2005 calibre as its base, which the company first began developing back in 2005 — hence its name — at Panerai’s Neuchâtel manufacture. The tourbillon cage rotates on an axis perpendicular to the balance. The rotation also occurs once every 30 seconds instead of the usual 60.
The timepiece bears the instantly recognizable and historic Radiomir 1940 case and solid lugs. As you can see from the images, the timepiece has a skeletonized movement so it is beautiful both to the eye and to the ear. Measuring 49mm and bearing markers and figures coated in Super-LumiNova, the Minute Repeater Carillon comes in a case made of 18K red gold. Since this is a made-to-order timepiece, customers can also personalize it by changing the case to a material other than red gold — of course, it also explains why the watch carries a $400,000 price tag. As enthusiasts of striking watches will know, changing the material of the case will alter the quality of the notes the repeater makes so go in with your ears open…
To help you with that part, here is a video illustrating the dulcet tones of this most complicated timepiece from Panerai. When you are done with that, if you’re still hungry for Panerai news, check out our post on the other 11 watches they premiered at the recent Dive into Time exhibition
- Dimensions: 49 mm
- Functions:Hours, minutes, small seconds, GMT 12/24 h; Power reserve indicator on the back; Local time and home time; Minute Repeater for hours, 10 minutes and minutes; Rapid adjustment of local time
- Power Reserve: 90 hours
- Movement: Hand-wound P.2005/MR Calibre with 30 seconds tourbillon
- Material: 18K Red Gold
- Water resistance: 30 meters