If you’re entrusted with making a diving watch suitable for the Italian Navy, you could be confident, as a brand, that you’re doing something right. This was the case for Panerai in 1935 when, as the Italian Royal Navy set up a secret program of new underwater assault vehicles and operators, the Italian luxury brand commissioned elaborated prototypes to carry out technical tests: the best result was the Ref. 2533 modified by Panerai. It was the start of a long and fruitful relationship between them.
“Doing something right”. If anything, these three words undermine the impact and steer in the horology world Panerai have had in their 162-year history. Still, the statement was, and remains to be, true for Panerai: a brand that has excelled with innovative ideas, especially in the world of diving watches.
DEEP IN PANERAI DIVING HISTORY
Panerai’s partnership in supplying diving watches for the Italian Royal Navy propelled them into the diving horology world at a fast pace. By 1949, Panerai had patented the name “Luminor” for the luminescent and self-luminescent materials used in their timepieces. By 1956, they had – with the consent of the Italian Navy – produced a diving watch known as the “L’Egiziano” to supply for the Egyptian Navy. This model later became the inspiration behind the modern Submersible watches, as it was fitted with a rotating bezel to calculate the immersion time.
As the 1960s progressed, Panerai continued to stretch the boundaries in partnership with the Italian Navy. Features such as compasses, wrist-depth gauges and underwater signal lights were incorporated as the Panerai Luminor watch evolved, and their quest to provide greater resistance at great depths intensified deep into the 20th century.
In the late 1990s, the first watch to get the Submersible subhead came as a revised Luminor. It would be a further 20 years later before the Submersible would become a collection in it’s own right, but in its own right it came: the watches are professional divers watches, drawing inspiration from the history of the brand whilst keeping one eye firmly on the future with innovate solutions.
And so, at this Watches and Wonders 2022, enthusiasts waited with bated breath wondering just where Panerai would go next. The answer? Three new Submersible models, coming in at a mid-sized 44mm and joining existing 47mm and 42mm sizes.
THE QUARANTAQUATTRO COLLECTION
The collection is familiar, featuring all the essential elements of the Submersible family that we know and love, including: water-resistance up to 300m, the patented crown-protecting device that is inextricably linked to the Panerai history of marine adventure, an anti-clockwise rotating bezel with graduated scale, and the P.900 calibre with a power reserve of approximately 3 days.
The point of difference comes in the case size and date window. Sitting at a mid-way point in the Submersible collection at a slightly slender 44mm, the additional option ensures that there is a Submersible to meet a full array of wearers, whilst the improved date window provides heightened legibility and marks the debut of a detail that will be implemented throughout the Submersible collection.
The timepiece comes in three distinct colourways. The Blu Abisso Carbotech™, the foundation of the trio, has a blue dial and Caoutchouc dark blue rubber strap. It compliments the black hue of the case, which is composed from the lightest material employed by the brand and based on carbon fiber. In a unique twist, the inherent variegated black colouring ensures that no two cases will be identical. A real dinner party story to share.
The further two additions – the Submersible QuarantaQuattro and Submersible QuarantaQuattro Bianco- come at a more modest price point of £7,900. The case material is steel, rather than Carbotech™, and dials are either in striking black or brilliant white. The black timepiece, accompanied with black rubber and dark grey fabric straps, leaves a lasting dramatic impression. The Bianco, instead, is accompanied by a supremely versatile military green hue strap.
And, as Panerai continue to lead the way in sustainability within the horology world, the first rubber strap is made from 30% of recycled materials while, like all the straps from the Submerisble QuarantaQuattro offering, the second one is composed of 68% recycled fabric material.A tool to allow interchangeability of the straps and a screwdriver for removing the buckle also accompany the Submersible QuarantaQuattro and the Submersible QuarantaQuattro Bianco watches.
The new Submersible QuarantraQuattro are a great new addition to the collection, offering a much more commercial case size of 44mm to sit alongside the existing 42mm & 47mm case sizes. It is really great to see the introduction of a beautiful white dial to the submersible collection this year after the success we have seen from the addition of white to their core Luminor icons. Robust and distinctive, the Submersible collection is perfect for any adventurer - both on land and sea - and these pieces will no doubt stand out from the crowd. Heather Grant – Specialist Watch Buyer