Introducing The New Panerai Submersible QuarantaQuattro eSteel Models
Last year, we saw Panerai focus on sustainable watchmaking during Watches & Wonders. The brand presented the brilliant Submersible eLAB-ID, a concept watch constructed from 98.6% recycled-based materials by weight. The brand also introduced a trio of Luminor Marina eSteel models produced with almost 60% recycled materials. Today, Panerai continues this story with the release of the new Submersible eSteel lineup. These Submersibles come in three different colors with one major improvement in aesthetic over last year’s Luminor Marina Steel offerings.
Let’s rewind the clock 12 months before diving into the new Submersible models. I still remember the introduction of the Submersible eLAB-ID as one of the most exciting new watches of last year’s Watches & Wonders. The watch was almost completely produced from recycled materials, and it showed a future for sustainability in watchmaking. The biggest downside of the concept was the €60K list price. Looking back at the release, though, it was a great display of possibilities. Now, a year later, Panerai introduces the Submersible in Steel carrying a much friendlier price.
The Panerai eSteel concept
The first proof of more affordable and instantly available sustainability also saw the light of day at Watches & Wonder 2021. The Panerai Luminor Marina eSteel models consisted of 58.4% recycled materials without costing a fortune. Technically, the percentage of recycled materials is calculated according to the weight of the watch. As Dave explained last year, 89g of the eSteel components are made of recycled-based materials, corresponding to 58% of the watch’s total weight of 152.4 grams. The case and dial of Luminor Marina eSteel feature the new recycled-based steel alloy, while the straps and storage box are made of 100% recycled materials.
It showed that Panerai is looking for both long-term and short-term solutions to up its game in terms of sustainability. It’s an initiative that resulted in what, at first glance, looks like normal Luminor Marina models. The hint that made them stand out from the regular models was the “eSteel” designation on the dial. The style and the contrasting color of the “e” felt like a branding exercise we often see with electric cars. Now, call me conservative if you will, but I am fine if brands do it on cars, just not on my watch. Fast forward twelve months, and Panerai now introduces the new Submersible eSteel models. These three new watches continue the brand’s focus on sustainability and tackle the branding “issue”.
The Submersible QuarantaQuattro eSteel models
These three new models feature 44mm stainless steel cases, hence the name QuarantaQuattro (forty-four in Italian). The Submersible QuarantaQuattro eSteel weighs 137g, and of that total weight, 72g is made of recycled materials, coming in at 52% of the total weight. The eSteel case has the same properties as a regular stainless steel case, so you won’t experience any differences compared to the other steel models in the collection. The watches are proper divers that are water-resistant to 300 meters.
The Submersible eSteel models come in three different colors. The first is the Verde Smeraldo PAM01287, which comes with a green polished gradient dial, a green ceramic bezel, and a green recycled PET strap with a steel buckle. The second is the Grigio Roccia PAM01288 which comes with a gray polished gradient dial, a black ceramic bezel, and a gray recycled PET strap with a steel buckle. The last model is the Blu Profondo PAM01289 which comes with a dark blue polished gradient dial, a blue ceramic bezel, and (you guessed it) a blue recycled PET strap with a steel buckle.
All the models also come with a rubberized crown and an additional rubber strap in a corresponding color. Panerai chose the same three very nice colors for these new eSteel models as last year’s Luminor Marina models. The shades of blue and green are both very nice, but the blue version is my personal favorite of them all.
The optimized eSteel branding
Panerai makes sure that you know the watch on your wrist is a special eSteel model. The brand has used almost the same “eSteel” inscription on the dial as was on the Luminor Marina models. There is one big difference, however. While it still has the same style with the rotated “e”, it is not executed in a contrasting color. Therefore, it blends in a lot better, making the watches look more mature. Furthermore, an engraving on the crown-protection device indicates the watch’s eSteel construction. The better integration of the eSteel label makes these three models very stylish options within the Submersible family.
The ceramic bezels are a great match for the dials, featuring a nice color gradient and a polished finish. And while Panerai has used ceramic bezels before, this is the first time we have seen them with a finish like this. The dials feature luminous applied markers with the date at 3 o’clock and small seconds at 9 o’clock. I like the addition of the date to balance out the small seconds. It contributes to a very well-balanced overall dial design.
The Panerai Caliber P.900
The watches are powered by Panerai’s automatic P.900 caliber. The movement consists of 171 components, operates at 28,800vph, has 23 jewels, and provides a three-day power reserve. It’s a well-known movement that Panerai also uses for its Submersible 42 3 Days models. A next step for the eSteel series could be to use the automatic P.900e caliber found in the eLab-ID mentioned above. That movement is a variant of the caliber P.900 that uses recycled parts. It uses recycled titanium bridges and plates, 17 recycled and five standard jewels, and a silicon escapement also made of recycled parts. Who knows what will be next for this series?
For now, these new Submersible eSteel models are a great next step in sustainability, showing that it wasn’t just a trend for 2021. On top of that, the brand has solved an issue that many people had with the eSteel branding. By talking to people both in and outside the Fratello team, I quickly found out that everyone supports the focus on sustainability. But that focus does not necessarily have to stand out visually. Panerai made sure the eSteel branding is still there, but it’s executed better thanks to how it blends in. While some people might not even be a fan of that, I don’t mind having a small reminder of the sustainability aspect of the watch.
Additionally, the Submersible is just a very cool watch overall. These three new models in these specific colors with their polished ceramic bezels are tempting offers from Panerai. The three new Panerai Submersible QuarantaQuattro eSteel Models will go on sale for €10,800. They will be available exclusively through Panerai boutiques and online at Panerai.com. I think these new Submersible eSteel models are a great next step towards sustainable watches that do not stand out as such. Hopefully, they can become the norm one day. Panerai is at the forefront of making this happen.
To find out more, visit the official Panerai website.