Test Bench

2004 turned out to be a vintage year for fans of the famous Italian “Officine.”
After the “Luminor Regatta” and the “Radiomir Blackseal” Panerai unveils its third limited edition of the year, the very exclusive “Luminor ARKTOS”.

Panerai Luminor Arktos

The Watch Quote™ - December 10th, 2004

With the first frosts of winter, the Arktos arrives right on time.
In 1965, Gilles Vigneault sang, “My country isn’t a country, it’s winter…” He must have had a premonition that one day, many years after his record came out, a modern-day adventurer would also cross swords with winter. An extraordinary combat, lasting over two years, culminated in Norway last October 21st. An adventure during which Mike Horn entrusted his life to a watch: the Panerai Luminor Arktos.

Panerai Luminor Arktos under the magnifying glass


The Panerai Luminor Arktos: Totally functional

The unique instrument of survival during the ten stages of the expedition whose name it carries, the Arktos was specially designed and developed to exceptional specifications. Antimagnetic, encased inside soft iron, water tight to a depth of 300 meters, able to resist extreme temperatures down to –70° (whereas the oils used in the construction of a classic sports watch would fail at –30°); the Arktos can also be used as a compass.

The four points of the compass are marked on the rotating lunette, enabling the wearer to orient himself by locating north from the time on the watch.

Instructions for use: with the hour hand directed to the sun, turn the lunette to position the point corresponding to north half way between the hour hand and the 12 o’clock index on the dial. If the hour hand indicates 10 o’clock, north is at 5 o’clock. If it’s at 4 o’clock, north is at 8 o’clock.

Mike Horn says:

“At extremely low temperatures, everything froze on me, nothing worked. The only thing that went right on working was my watch,”

The word “arctic” comes from the Greek meaning “bear.” The Arctic Circle is the home of the polar bear, unlike the Antarctic, where there are no bears. The Arctic Circle extends from the North Pole to latitude 66°33.

On August 4th, 2002, Mike Horn, a South African adventurer, launched himself into his greatest challenge; to be the first person to make a solo tour of the Arctic Circle. By October 21, 2004, he had achieved the impossible.

…now on sale

Like all Panerai watches, the Arktos is beyond criticism.
Exemplary quality of workmanship, attention to detail taken to the extreme, perfectly readable in all conditions of use, COSC precision….
What more can you say about Panerai without falling into sycophancy? What is there to reproach when there are simply no errors? Like you, we honestly think that every Panerai product is at the top of its category. You have only to look at the space occupied by Panerai in the top ten of brands most in demand by net surfers visiting the Cote des Montres site in the past few months, as well as the top 100 most highly voted models, to bow before such a wonderful technical and commercial success.

Professional tool par excellence, the Luminor Arktos developed for Mike Horn is the ideal watch and partner for every accomplished sportsman, indestructible and made to accompany any exploit of whatever nature. Sold in a limited edition of 500 examples worldwide, the ARKTOS is already a prized collector’s item searched for by lovers of this Florentine brand. If ever you cross paths with an example still available, you’ve got 5,200 euros to spare, and you feel you have the soul of a great discoverer, the Arktos is probably the only indispensable item that you still need.

The Watch Quote opinion

To sum up, the Arktos lives up to all the technical promises we could have expected of it, and proves to be an extraordinary tool for extreme conditions. Its capacity for endurance puts it beyond any category and it has no rival on its favourite playing field: Adventure with a capital “A.”

Strong points:

  • Legibility
  • Reliability
  • Special case
  • Temperature resistant
  • Quality construction
  • Compass
  • Appearance
  • Sportive in extremes

Weak point
  • Limited edition

Our rating: *****

Technical specifications

Case: Diameter 44mm, brushed steel.
Internal soft iron antimagnetic system.

Lunette: brushed steel, with indicators for 4 cardinal points (N,S,E,W) and marker points for intermediary positions all in white gold.

Back:steel screws with the Arktos Expedition logo.

Movement: Mechanical with automatic winding, exclusive caliber Panerai OP lll, 13 1/4 lines, 21 rubies, personalized Panerai bridges and oscillating mass. Single metal Balance wheel in Glucydur, 28,800 alternations per hour, Incabloc shock absorber system. Autonomy 42 hours. Swiss Certificate of Official Chronometer Control (C.O.S.C.).

Functions: hours, minutes, small second hand, date.

Dial: black with luminous index and Arab figures, small second hand at 9 o’clock and date at 3 o’clock.

Crystal: sapphire from corundum, ant-reflection, thickness 4.2mm

Water resistance: 300 meters.

Bracelet: Panerai personalized rubber with unfolding clasp in polished steel.

Constructor’s reference: PAM00092

Production: Limited edition to 500 pieces.

Recommended retail price: 5200 euros

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We would like to thank the Panerai France teams, without whose assistance we would certainly not have been able to test and photograph the ARKTOS and share our enthusiasm with you.

Thierry Castagna / The Watch Quote™
Photos Luc Virginius

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