News July 2007

Luminor 1950 Submersible Depth Gauge

The Watch Quote™ - July 5th, 2007



With the Luminor 1950 Submersible Depth Gauge, Officine Panerai is marking its historic continuity and reaffirming its great traditions in the field of professional precision and measuring instruments. The first professional divers’ watches in history supplied to the commandos of the Italian Navy in the first half of the last century were made by Panerai, as were the depth gauges which the pioneers wore on their wrists. Today these two indispensable measuring and checking devices are combined in a single instrument: the Luminor 1950 Submersible Depth Gauge. The new model from the Officine Panerai manufacture is a divers’ watch with automatic winding and a chronometer certificate (C.O.S.C.), fitted with a depth gauge, the calibration of which is individually tested and certified by an officially qualified establishment, the Swiss Federal Office for Metrology (METAS). Officine Panerai required this certification for this watch, being well aware that any malfunctioning of the depth gauge or its incorrect calibration could cause a situation of grave risk for divers. The result is that the Luminor 1950 Submersible Depth Gauge is officially recognised as a professional instrument.

With the instantly recognizable case of the Luminor models, machined from the solid and distinguished by the bridge with the lever device protecting the winding crown, the Depth Gauge is water resistant to 120 metres, 47 mm in diameter like the historic models and executed in titanium, the hypoallergenic metal which is very tough and at the same time very light; contrasting brushed steel is used for the push-piece of the depth gauge and the bridge protecting the winding crown. The latter, an unmistakable sign of identification for the Luminor models, is a device which ensures the perfect water-resistance of the crown by pressing it coaxially against the case, at the same time preventing accidental movement of the hands, thus making the watch capable of facing great depths and extreme situations. The wide unidirectional rotating bezel, also of brushed steel, carries the references for calculating the times of immersion with oval markers in relief every 5 minutes and studs every 15. It is operated by rotating it in an anti-clockwise direction and makes little clicks at one-minute intervals. Also made of titanium is the screw back, cambered and incised with six deep grooves through which the pressure of the water is sensed by a silicone membrane.

The movement of Luminor 1950 Submersible Depth Gauge is the calibre OP XV with a diameter of 13¼ lignes. With bridges and oscillating weight decorated with Côtes de Genève and personalised with the Panerai logo, the movement has 21 jewels and when fully wound it has a winding reserve of more than 42 hours. The balance makes 28,800 vibrations per hour and the stop-seconds device, which halts the small seconds hand at 9 o’clock when the crown is pulled out, enables the watch to be synchronised exactly. Every single movement is adjusted in five positions at the manufacture and is accompanied by the official chronometer certificate issued by C.O.S.C. after two weeks of testing. Constructed using antimagnetic alloys and other advanced materials and subjected to a long series of quality checks, the calibre OP XV is extremely accurate and reliable.

Beneath the sapphire crystal 3 mm thick with anti-reflective treatment, the Luminor 1950 Submersible Depth Gauge presents the characteristic Panerai dial of military style. The large markers and two large Arabic numerals are covered in luminous material and the ends of the skeleton hands are also luminous. At 9 o’clock is the dial with the small seconds hand which is stopped when the crown is pulled out, thus enabling it to be accurately synchronised. Outside the time display is the graduated scale which makes this model a unique instrument in the worldwide panorama of professional divers’ watches. This is the depth gauge, divided into sectors with numerals of decreasing size and different sub-division markers, first for each metre and later for every two metres. The first sector, from 0 to 20 metres, has numeric indications and luminous studs in relief for each metre; the second (from 20 to 60), has smaller numerals, markers for each metre and a number or stud every five metres; the third (from 60 to 120), has a marker for every two meters. At the end of the scale appears the inscription ‘Off’, which is the resting position for the yellow central hand of the depth gauge with its arrow point.

Unlike the historic depth gauges made for the Italian Navy, which were usable to a maximim depth of 30 metres, the innovative device of the Luminor 1950 Submersible Depth Gauge not only measures up to 120 metres, but it also memorises the maximum depth reached in the course of the dive. This is achieved by a sophisticated electronic device, in practice another independent movement, inserted in the case of the watch. The completely mechanical kind of depth gauge was not chosen, since the available technology would not have satisfied the standards of safety and accuracy demanded by Panerai for a professional instrument. The choice preferred represents a ‘third way’, that is a mechanical movement for measuring time and an electronic module for measuring depth. This measurement is activated by pressing the push-piece at 10 o’clock and the depth is indicated by the central yellow hand with an arrow point which moves round the graduated scale.

Pressing the push-piece before diving activates the depth gauge function and the hand moves from the Off position and points to the maximum depth reached in the course of the previous dive. Pressing the push-piece a second time for 6 seconds, the hand will move to zero and the device is in operation. This means that as the dive takes place the hand will indicate the depth reached, with measurements taken at intervals of 1.25 seconds and with a tolerance of a maximum of 20 cm. During the dive it is possible to check the maximum depth which has been reached, simply by pressing the push-piece; after 6 seconds the hand will automatically return to indicating the depth of the instrument at that moment. The measurement can continue for a maximum of four hours (the average length of a dive is 45 minutes), after which the hand will automatically reposition itself at the Off position.

To operate the depth gauge there is a lithium battery, guaranteed to provide energy to the electronic module for 500 hours; however, for greater safety, the Luminor 1950 Submersible Depth Gauge is fitted with a device which warns if the battery is approaching exhaustion; when this comes into effect, at the moment the hand is activated it moves very slowly from the Off position to zero, then returns even more slowly to the Off position and all the functions of the depth gauge are locked. In the interests of safety at sea it is essential to have the watch checked at an Officine Panerai after-sales service centre at least every two years, or more frequently in the event of intensive use of the depth gauge.
Completing the Luminor 1950 Submersible Depth Gauge, which this year will be produced in a millesimed edition of 600 examples (the price being 11,000 euros), are two personalised straps, one in rubber with the classic buckle of large dimensions executed in brushed steel, with the logo of the Officine Panerai Manufacture, and, the other a spare one for use over a diving suit (a screwdriver for changing the strap is also supplied).

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Panerai Luminor 1950 Submersible Depth Gauge

Ref.: PAM00193


Movement:Automatic mechanical, exclusive Panerai calibre OP XV, 13¼ lignes, 21 jewels, monometallic Glucydur® balance, 28,800 vibrations/hour.
Incabloc® anti-shock device.
Power reserve 42 hours.
Côtes de Genève decoration on the bridges.
Oscillating weight personalised PANERAI.
Chronometer certificate (C.O.S.C.).
Depth gauge with individual certification by METAS (the Swiss Federal Office for Meteorology with its headquarters in Berne).
Functions:Hours, minutes, small seconds.
Depth gauge functions: indication of depth reached during the last dive, indication of depth during dive.
Case:Diameter 47 mm, in titanium.
Brushed steel push-pieces at 10 o’clock for the depth gauge functions.
Bezel:Brushed steel, unidirectional anti-clockwise rotating bezel with graduated scale for the calculation of times of immersion, one click for each minute.
Applied markers in polished steel.
Back:Screw back, titanium.
Device protecting
the winding crown
:(protected by Trade Mark) In brushed steel.
Dial:Black with luminous markers and Arabic numerals.
Crystal:Sapphire, made from corundum, 3 mm thick.
Anti-reflective.
Water-resistance:120 metres.
Strap:Rubber strap with brushed steel buckle of large dimensions personalised PANERAI.
Also supplied is a steel screwdriver and a second exchangeable strap for use over a diving suit.
Reference:PAM00193
Distributed from:July 2007
Price:11,000.00 Euro

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