You might have noticed coming out of SIHH that there were quite a few new Submersible models at Panerai. These included a series of limited editions whose purchase will net their buyers once-in-a-lifetime travel and exploration experiences with world-famous explorers and organizations like Panerai ambassador Mike Horn and the Italian Marina Militare. While the below, non-limited watches may not come with exotic experiences, they represent a great look and size for the Submersible range.
The dive watch that we have here today is the most basic of all the new Submersibles presented this year. It’s the Panerai Submersible 42mm, which takes its place as Panerai’s flagship tool watch for diving.
It’s interesting to note that this year also saw the Submersible line of dive watches broken off from the larger Luminor collection. The Submersible aesthetic is familiar – a unidirectionally rotating bezel is still paired with a cushion case and a Luminor-style crown guard. These are proper dive watches – in the case of the Replica Panerai Submersible 42, they can go to to 300 meters. The decision to put its most robust tool watches in its own distinct collection seems like a good one. Panerai replica watch has added new Luminor models in recent years with an emphasis on thinness and wearability even with a suit and tie, such as the recently released Luminor Due. With a proper Submersible collection, the Swiss watchmaker with Italian roots is making clear that while not all of its watches are suitable for deep-water diving, the ones that are will live in their own clearly defined product line. It ought to clarify things for customers.
As you can see, the new Submersible 42mm is available in two references – the grey-dialed version with blue ceramic bezel is the PAM00959, while the black-dialed variation with black ceramic bezel insert is PAM00683. While the black-dialed variation is much more of a classic Panerai look, the grey dial, with its visibly textured surface, is a very appealing design. The dial of each watch is nicely balanced, with plenty of lume filling the applied round and stick markers to ensure legibility at night and when deep diving. The hands, which are also amply filled with lume, are massive. The Submersible 42 is a tool watch if there ever was one, and visibility in darkened conditions looks like it was a chief design factor along with water resistance. We won’t settle the eternal date window debate for now and forever, but windows here seem to get it right, at least to my eye. They’re unobtrusive yet legible, with a background that matches the color and depth of the grey and black dials, respectively.
Viewing the steel back of the watch, one can see that it comes with a screw-down back, which enables 300 meters of water resistance. These two references are seen on black or blue rubber flex straps, which should more than get the job done on dives and swims, or even humid summer days. But should the owner of one of these new Submersibles want to swap it out for something a bit more stylish, such as leather or suede, doing so is made easier thanks to the quick-release system buttons under the lugs. Using a pusher tool, the wearer presses one of these buttons to enable nudging the bar via the drilled lugs easy and stress free.
In terms of size, aesthetics, and functionality, these two new 42mm Submersibles (PAM00683 and PAM 00959) succeed the Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic, or PAM00682, which James reviewed in 2017. It should be mentioned that while the PAM00682 offered the in-house, three-day automatic P.9010 movement, these two new ones come with the OP XXXIV caliber, which, while made by the Richemont Group to Panerai’s specifications to offer the same 72 hours of power reserve, is based on a ValFleurier ébauche. At $9,800, the two new watches come with a not-insignificant price increase of $1,100 over the PAM00682, which feels like a relative deal at $8,700.
On the wrist, the Panerai Submersible 42 fits comfortably and has terrific presence. Sure, 42m is currently the smallest Submersible size, but this watch still feels every bit a Panerai and ever bit a technical dive watch. And of the cushion shape of the case, with its protruding corners, to say nothing of the protruding crown guard, cause the Submersible 42 to wear a touch larger than its stated diameter would have you believe. I don’t think I’d want this watch to be any smaller or larger.
Ceramic inserts on dive watches are of course nothing new, and these are not even the first Submersibles to offer a ceramic bezel – that honor goes to the magnetic PAM00389 of 2012. Still, I think that the added color provided by the blue insert on the watch below is a really great touch and one that made this specific version of the Submersible 42mm one of the more memorable watches to come out of SIHH earlier this year.