Photo series “Vintage Panerai instrument of the week”

by on Dec.16, 2011, under General

Tried to catch some interesting details and design elements of the case of a Luminor depth gauge, which is aimed to 16 meters. On the backside of the depth gauge is a matriculation number engraved (“Matr. No 189”). The membrane (diameter: 23 mm) is placed in the center of the case, surrounded by the company signatures “Officine Panerai · Firenze”. Some types of instruments bear a Panerai reference number (e.g. “Mod. GPF 4/55”, as engraved on a compass caseback) instead of a matriculation number. Other types are totally unsigned without any engravings on their casebacks – a variety of different decorations exists. Some of these unsigned cases bear a matriculation number on the leather strap (hand written).

The stainless steel case is matte grey coated, sized 70 x 90 mm. The instruments use the same 26 mm leather straps as those who were mounted on watches (screwed lugs), specially treated for seawater use. The length of the strap meant that the swimmer was able to wear the gauge over his diving suit. The underside of the instrument is ergonomically shaped and has a brushed surface. It is fixed with 6 screws onto the upper part of the case, same as compasses are constructed. The huge dome (26,5 mm) is made of Plexiglas. The depth gauge has a total height of 43 mm with a weight of nearly 400 gramms.

The meter hand is made of transparent Plexiglas, which has a chamber in its tip, holding the luminous material to point out the actual depth. Gauges with Radiomir usually have a white Plexiglas hand. You can see a group of  Radiomir and Luminor depth gauges here. The center of the dial bears “Luminor Panerai” and below “Metri” is engraved. You can find more details of the tool’s dial here. The luminous material on hands, numbers, markers and dots is still reacting very quickly and bright when a light source is beamed onto the numbers and markers.

More informations about this Panerai instrument can be found in chapter III of our 1st book “Vintage Panerai – Watches with History”.


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