Panerai L’Astronomo Luminor 1950 PAM920

Creative, innovative and highly technical, the Panerai L’Astronomo Luminor 1950 PAM920 is an absolute marvel of true high-end watchmaking. The piece was made to commemorate the brilliance of Galileo Galilei, and with that being said the PAM920 is actually the very first reference to incorporate a moonphase indication.

The Panerai L’Astronomo Luminor 1950 PAM920 is quite a subtle timepiece, despite its super technical nature. You’ve the iconic Luminor case structure, and while it sits large at 50mm in diameter, I believe the openworked nature of the dial makes the watch seem a bit smaller. The brushed titanium case and infamous crown guard are offset wonderfully by the polished titanium bezel, with a sapphire crystal enabling you to see the inner workings of one of Panerai’s most complex timepieces.

The black alligator-leather strap compliments the brushed and polished shine of the case, and matches the darkened movement. The hour markers and numerals are very typical of Panerai’s aesthetic design direction, as are the hands. The added date window at 3 o’clock is elusive and doesn’t really take too much away from the dial.

Now onto the movement. The Panerai L’Astronomo Luminor 1950 PAM920 is powered by the P.2005/GLS (where GLS stands for Galileo Luna Scheletrato). It’s a hand-wound mechanism with a power reserve of 4-days coming from its 3-barrels. Within this movement lies some truly spectacular things.

For starters, you have of course the hours, minutes, seconds as well as date indicators. But then you get the extra bonuses of a month’s indicator, a second time-one and a 24-hour indicator. On top of that the P.2005/GLS has a sunrise/sunset indicator, an equation of time mechanism, a beautifully finished tourbillon and, last but certainly not least, a moonphase indicator.

The sheer amount of technical innovation that needed to occur on a microscopic level is as profound as the watch is impressive. There are 451-components within the P.2005/GLS mechanism, and while that seems excessive, just count back the number of complications within it. This is a movement that could have easily exceeded the 600-parts mark. The fact that Panerai have been able to keep it at 451-parts is a testament to their research and development department, as well as, and, in no small part, to their expert watchmakers.

The Panerai L’Astronomo Luminor 1950 PAM920 may seem excessive. Its complications far seem obsolete. But as a whole, the PAM920 is a very beautiful timepiece with a mechanism that is really quite romantic. The notion of being able to understand the movements of the moon is one humans have long pondered, and the realisation that a wholly mechanical wristwatch being able to accurately portray its travels is both quixotic and at the same time practical. The Panerai L’Astronomo Luminor 1950 PAM920 is a wonderful spectacle of haute horlogerie, and an ode to the wonders of the heavens above. For more info. on Panerai, Click Here.