Lots of things these days are made with 3D printing, and the technique in fact enjoys widespread use in among high-end watch marques, but mainly for modeling and prototyping. Creating a finished luxury timepiece with this method was a provocative move. Panerai has had an in-house tourbillon escapement for several years now, and it’s mechanism continues to be one of the more interesting escapements in contemporary watchmaking. The P.2005 caliber’s balance wheel rotates perpendicular to the axis on which it vibrates, and does so in half the time it takes a standard one-minute tourbillon. You might think that such a mechanism would be fragile to the extreme, but it’s not. It’s one of the more robust tourbillons being made today. And if you think about it, since the escapement’s motion is indexed across two axes, this does, in a way, make it a kind of multi-axis tourbillon.
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