Branching Out

This is the Smaller, Achievably Priced Panerai Submersible You’ve Been Waiting For


January 15, 2019 Watches By
This week, the Palexpo facility in Geneva, Switzerland, will become the center of the watch world for the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, or SIHH, a luxury watch show rivaled only by BaselWorld in relevance and prestige. We’ve got a team on the ground, there to bring you the most exciting releases. Follow our coverage here, and also be sure to check out Instagram. We’ll be posting to our feed throughout the week.
Key Specs
Price: $9,500
Availability: TBD
Movement: OP XXXIV calibre
Winding: Automatic
Case Diameter: 42mm
Case Material: Stainless steel
Water Resistance: ~300m
Unique Features: Deep water resistance; crown protection device; manufacture movement (Richemont Group)

Upshot: Dropping the “Luminor” prefix from the dial and reigning in the case diameter to a (relatively, for the brand) conservative 42mm, the Submersible 42mm is the most petite of the new Submersible models, which is being relaunched as its own line. Two versions are on offer, here: one with a black dial and black ceramic bezel, and the other with a textured shark grey dial with a blue bezel.

Who It’s For: Someone who enjoys the Panerai aesthetic and history of producing no-nonsense tool watches but doesn’t want a 47+mm behemoth on his wrist will undoubtedly appreciate the 42mm Submersible. It’s got all the classic Luminor traits (patented crown protection device; cushion case; rotating dive bezel), but features some modern aesthetic touches, such as the shark grey dial and a new Richemont Group-produced OP XXXIV Manufacture calibre, a movement with a power reserve of 3 days (produced according to Panerai’s specs).

Hands On: These are cool, no-nonsense tool watch divers, rated to 300m of water resistance and built to hard-wearing specs. The dial and bezel colors look great, and the watch, at 42mm, is likely the upper limit of what many men (non-“Paneristi”, or Panerai afficionados, aside) would consider wearing. Thankfully, in addition to looking good, the watches are also comfortable on their caoutchouc dive straps.

Insight: Spinning off the Submersible as its own product line (the watches, you’ll notice, are no longer proceeded by “Luminor” on the dial) is perhaps mostly a semantic departure for Panerai, but not so much a functional or an aesthetic one (new dial and bezel colors aside). You have all the Luminor features here as well as a new movement and some new colors, but when you consider carefully the new 42mm Submserible, what you have still screams classic (and modern, for that matter) Panerai. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.

More from SIHH 2019

See more of our favorite new releases from Geneva. Read the Story

Oren Hartov is Gear Patrol's watches editor. He knows what time it is, and one or two other things.

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