One of the rarest chronograph functions in high-quality watchmaking but one that is invaluable in the field of yacht racing, is the ability to precede the time measurement of the race with a countdown stage, which clearly displays the minutes and seconds remaining before the start of the race itself. In yacht races, in the pre-start procedure the yachts line up behind the start line, following the indications of the flags which mark the time remaining until the start.
In 2013 Officine Panerai presented an automatic calibre with chronograph flyback and Regatta Countdown functions, revolutionary in its simplicity: the P.9100/R calibre. Each time the countdown button is pressed, the chronograph minute hand is moved back one minute, until the countdown is set to the length desired. Then all that is needed is to operate the chronograph function which measures first, the time which remains before the start, and then, once the countdown has ended, the time elapsed since the start.