It’s difficult to do something truly new in the world of watches, but for the second year in a row, Panerai has managed to create a steel dive watch collection that’s completely unique. The shape of the new Panerai Submersible QuarantaQuattro eSteel collection will be familiar to anyone with even a passing familiarity with the Florence-born watch brand, but their makeup is revolutionary nonetheless. That’s because these three new Submersible models are made out of eSteel, Panerai’s groundbreaking recycled alloy comprising more than half of the watches’ total weight.
Last year, at Watches & Wonders, the biggest annual watch industry trade show, Panerai made a splash with The Panerai Luminor Marina eSteel, a three-watch collection with components made of majority recycled metal. As part of an open-sourced initiative to find new ways to make Swiss watch production more environmentally friendly, the launch of eSteel underscored Panerai’s commitment to sustainability. A next-generation metal obtained from pre-consumer recycled steel scraps — some of which come from the Swiss watch industry — the production of eSteel significantly reduces CO2 emissions, the brand says.
Following the success of eSteel’s launch in 2021, Panerai is doubling down with a host of new eco-friendly initiatives this year, from setting carbon reduction goals to implementing 100 per cent renewable energy across all operations by 2025. While all of this will help the brand attract eco-conscious consumers, it’s the watches themselves — which blend classic Panerai dive watch looks with subtle eSteel branding — that are the stars of the show.
A newer addition to the Panerai family, the Submersible arrived in the late 1990s with a combination of elements borrowed from the iconic Luminor and a 1950s dive watch made by Panerai for the Egyptian navy. With its meaty rotating bezel and Panerai’s iconic locking crown mechanism (a unique design for keeping the case securely sealed underwater), the Submersible is now an essential part of the Panerai universe alongside the Luminor and Radiomir.
In addition to its recycled steel content, the Submersible QuarantaQuattro eSteel collection also features a new case size (44mm if the name didn’t tip you off) which is medium-sized for a Panerai, and more easily wearable than previous 47mm Submersible models. Equipped with Panerai’s in-house P.900 automatic calibre with a date and three-day power reserve, it’s also the first Panerai to feature a unidirectional bezel made from polished ceramic.
A professional-grade dive watch first and foremost, the Submersible QuarantaQuattro eSteel is water-resistant down to 300 meters, and each of the new versions features a gradient dial that mimics the fade from light to dark that divers encounter on their descents. Available in Grigio Roccia (anthracite grey), Verde Smeraldo (green), and Blu Profundo (blue), each comes with a pair of colour-matched straps made which are easily swappable thanks to Panerai’s quick-release strap system. Because this collection is focused on sustainability, the case isn’t the only part that contains recycled content: the straps are made from recycled textile and recycled rubber, and even the packaging is made from post-consumer material. If there was any doubt that recycling and luxury could exist harmoniously together, we can put that to rest right now. ($14,400)