The new LUMINOR Tourbillon
A new watch from Panerai Officine
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The new Luminor is distinguished in particular by the “tourbillon”, a device invented by the great horologist Abraham-Louis Breguet at the end of the 18th century in order to eliminate errors of rate (that is, faster or slower variations in indicating the time).
These are caused by changes in the centre of gravity, inaccurate workmanship, the thickening of the lubricating oil and the consequent varying friction in the different positions assumed by the watch.
To do this, Breguet made a cage containing the balance, escapement and related pivots which rotated continuously on its own axis: in this way the deviation which was found when the balance was in a particular position was cancelled out once the balance was in the opposite position.
For more than two centuries, synonymous with great difficulty of construction and in recent years adopted only in wristwatch models of the highest quality, the tourbillon escapement has fascinated generations of enthusiasts and constitutes an important challenge for many engineers.
This challenge has been taken up by Officine Panerai which has succeeded in making a technical innovation in this area and thus to put its “imprint” on a watchmaking speciality which has been substantially unchanged since its birth, but which Panerai Manufacture has made more perfect with a completely new device which has been patented.
In traditional tourbillons the cage with the balance rotates on a plane perpendicular to that of the base of the movement and it usually makes one complete rotation each minute; in the Luminor, however, the cage rotates on an axis parallel to the base of the movement.
Furthermore, it makes two revolutions per minute; and this, combined with the particular arrangement of the cage itself, makes Panerai's innovation better adapted to compensate for running errors due to position, which in a wristwatch are very much more numerous than those found in a pocket watch.
The device is created by a series of gear wheels that require an accuracy of workmanship which only specialist engineers in a manufacture such as Officine Panerai's can achieve.