Panerai have followed up on last years p.2002 with three new home-backed movements. Three quite impressive movements in their conception although one is particularly interesting, the 10-day Chrono. The design and finishing of the movement is clean, modern and straight to the point. The finishings are attractive even though the classic "boise" finish (the little polished circles on the base plates and bridges) has been left aside. To be honest with you, I not only not miss it but welcome the lack of it. There is a distinctive look to them without being too exotic.
p.2005: The Tourbillon is like all tourbillon in another league. Not a really commercial solution since its price is a to high for a Panerai especially when Jaeger is priced at half that with the "Master Compressor". It is a beautiful 30 sec Tourbillon from behind. What is commendable is that they had the guts not to show the tourbillon cage from the front. That would have made any Panerai look awkward.
p.2003: The 10-day GMT is a great idea... however its concept is deeply flawed. IT MAKES NO SENSE TO HAVE A 10-DAY AUTOMATIC WATCH (Unless it is a perpetual calendar that is). Why? Because making it automatic voids the need of having the power reserve complication. Part of the "magic" of having a power reserve is to see its evolution and wind it when it needs to be wound. It is almost a way to establish a personal "rapport" with an object. Because the watch is automatic the 10-day power reserve will always be fully wound, hence it is useless.
p.2004: The 8-day Chrono is quite a piece of work. A manual monopusher chrono with a linear 8-day power reserve... uffff, I almost ran out of air. This is a watch purist's dream yet what remains to be seen is the price of this piece. I don't think it will reach the 20's yet it will be well above the 10's.
Where as this new strategy of Panerai will be successful remains to bee seen. It's clear that their intention is to raise the level and play in the bigger boys back yard. The new movements are quite interesting even at a price previously unseen in the brand. The markets reaction will be crucial during this year. Still, they are very well aware that their previous price range is what until now fed them.