Diving into the Panerai Submersible 42mm

by Kiley Schiffman Storrs

Since the introduction of three limited edition timepieces to the public in 1993, Officine Panerai has become a globally sought-after brand for luxury watches. The Luminor, Luminor Marina, and Mare Nostrum were crafted from the inspiration of historical models used during the Second World War and have maintained many of their specific features to this day. Artfully blending Italian design with Swiss timepiece technology, Panerai watches exude a passion for the sea while still being useful tools with real-world applications. There is no more useful endeavor for a Panerai than as a dive watch, and the Submersible line from Panerai has taken its place as the brand’s flagship watch for diving.

Breaking off from the Luminor collection, the Panerai Submersible line of dive watches maintains the brand's classic aesthetic. A unidirectional rotating bezel and cushion case are prominent features, as is the Luminor-style crown guard. Showcased at SIHH (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie), Panerai displayed several new Submersible models. With a proper Submersible collection, Panerai is making clear that while not all of their new releases are suitable as deep-water dive watches, any release living in the Submersible collection will be a clearly defined dive timepiece. The introduction of the Submersible 42 provides a functional dive watch rated to 300 meters. Available in non-limited runs, the Submersible 42 represents an approachable timepiece for Panerai and maintains its heritage as a truly proper dive watch.

The Panerai Submersible 42mm is available in two references. Reference PAM00683 features a brushed steel cushion case with a black dial and black ceramic bezel in classic Panerai styling. Reference PAM00959 features the same brushed steel case but showcases a textured shark grey dial and blue ceramic bezel. Both references are powered by the OP XXXIV caliber movement manufactured by the Richemont Group to Panerai’s specifications. The self-winding movement is based on the ValFleurier ebauche and offers a 72-hour power reserve. The aesthetic of both watches is classic dive styling. Large luminous dots mark both the hour indicators on the face and the bezel, making telling both time and submersion time easy in the dark. The large hour and minute hands are also amply lumed to provide legibility. The overall aesthetic is simple and functional, with the date window sitting at the three o’clock position and the background matching the dial of each reference. The nine o’clock position is home to the small seconds dial which also matches the main dial.

A steel screw-down watch back enables 300-meter water resistance, and the black or blue rubber straps complete the dive watch aesthetic. Should the owner of a new Submersible 42mm decide to dress-up their timepiece, the new quick-release bracelet system allows the owner to easily change the strap for a leather or suede option with additional clasps available to truly customize the look. While the 42mm is on the smaller side for traditional Panerai enthusiasts, the styling and details make the Submersible every bit a traditional Panerai timepiece. Classic dive watch styling combined with a clear, highly legible design proves that fresh eyes on the historic brand can produce new watches which capture attention at any event, even the highly competitive SIHH.