Panerai’s bold approach to watch design hits top speed with the Submersible Titanio S in partnership with Brabus. The macho 47mm case juxtaposes the intricate open-worked dial, reflecting the design of high-performance vehicles. Despite the dial’s complexity, the brash red hand tips ensure the time and GMT indications are clear. But it’s the case-construction technique that showcases Panerai’s watchmaking prowess.

This new release, in collaboration with Brabus, is not Panerai’s first foray into automotive partnerships. Panerai previously held the role of official timekeeper with the Scuderia Ferrari Formula One team from 2005 until 2011. On paper, it seemed a match between two luxury Italian marques made in heaven. The deal only lasted six years, whereas sponsorship deals for Ferrari have an average lifespan of ten years. Even Hublot, who followed Panerai, managed to see out the ten-year contract to 2021. So, what went wrong for Panerai? Well, the watch brand was indeed hot in the early 2000s. Obtaining one of the limited editions earned tremendous respect among wristwatch enthusiasts and even spawned a group known as the Paneristi. Unfortunately, the Ferrari watches did not capitalize on this burgeoning trend. The designs felt like an afterthought, and the combination somehow lost the spirit of both brands.

Panerai Submersible S BRABUS Titanio PAM01403

Panerai Submersible S Brabus Titanio PAM01403

Panerai injects plenty of sports-car DNA into each element for the new Brabus edition. Starting with the case, Panerai employs Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) technology via its in-house R&D department, Laboratorio di Idee. To form the case, layer upon layer of titanium powder is fused via precision 3D printing. Rather than removing material from a block, high-power fiber optic laser sintering transforms blank space into a solid material in the desired shape. The benefit of the DMLS technique is control over consistency. The formation allows the case band to be hollow while maintaining structural rigidity. This recessed inner element lightens the case (without the movement) to 23.6g, making it 30% lighter than a comparable 47mm titanium Panerai case formed by traditional processes.

Despite all the automotive inspiration on show, the PAM01403 is, uncharacteristically, not a chronograph. Instead, powering the new Submersible S Titanio is the P.4001/S automatic caliber with date, GMT hand, and an AM/PM indicator. On the face of it, you may be surprised that the watch is not as complicated as it looks. Surely, a tourbillon or some other funky business is going on with that complex dial? In fact, the complications are the things we take for granted. For example, the rotor is smaller and decentralized. To account for this imbalance, the rotor is tungsten to ensure the appropriate inertia. Twin barrels also provide three days of power reserve, which is also indicated on the case back. Panerai utilizes its polarized date system for the date window, which allows the numerals to be visible only when passing through the opening without obscuring the movement.

Panerai Submersible S BRABUS Titanio PAM01403

Details and pricing

Another hidden feature is the zero-reset function when setting the time. Instead of normal hacking seconds, where you wait for the hand to reach zero seconds to pull the crown, setting the time automatically resets the pointer to that position. Therefore, you don’t have to wait for the seconds hand to come around; it’s there waiting for you to set the time accurately. All these functionalities are even more impressive when viewed unimpeded via the open-worked display. The mixture of fine detail with fairly brutalist elements, such as the lattice dial representing the grille of a sports car, is quite a dichotomy. The automotive theme continues with the bold Brabus logo on the crown protector, reminding me of the script on racing spoilers. Even the Carbotech bezel is reflective of lightweight luxury vehicles.

Another similarity to luxury vehicles is the price — the Panerai Submersible S Brabus Titanio is US$51,000 (or £43,900). The PAM01403 is punching way above the average Panerai range in any metric. But it’s a high-end combination of materials, more involved case construction, skeletonization, and a three-day GMT movement, all of which still achieves the 300m water resistance rating worthy of the Submersible name. Limited to 177 pieces, the number pays homage to the founding of Brabus in 1977. With its hybrid black rubber and leather strap, the Panerai Submersible S Titanio PAM01403 is only available via Officine Panerai boutiques worldwide. You can read more about the watch here.

Watch specifications

Submersible S Brabus Titanio
Case Material
Titanium DMLS case and Carbotech unidirectional bezel with graduated scale
Case Dimensions
47mm × 56.8mm
Case Back
Titanium with sapphire crystal, screw-down
P.4001/S — automatic winding with micro-rotor, 28,800vph frequency, 72-hour power reserve, 31 jewels
Water Resistance
30 ATM (300m)
Calfskin and rubber hybrid strap (26mm width)
Hours, minutes, small seconds, second time zone, date, power reserve indicator, zero-reset function
US$51,000 / £43,900