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Paneristi rejoice! The Italian brand has released its latest watch, the Luminor Marina 44mm Guillaume Néry Edition PAM1122. The PAM1122 celebrates the 70th anniversary of the birth of Luminor, a patented tritium-based substance with luminescent properties. It is also a tribute to freediver and Brand Ambassador Guillaume Néry.

Forming an important part of dive watch history, Panerai has done some exciting things with the Luminor Marina. The PAM1122 was developed by the “Panerai Laboratorio di Idee”, using DMLS (Direct Metal Laser Sintering) technology, which shapes the titanium case using a 3D printing process. The finished product takes on a cool granulated texture.

…hands-on takeaways of the technology.

Several of my teammates had the chance to handle this material back in Geneva during the Watch Days event. While Panerai didn’t officially take part, RJ, Rob, Mike, and Bert decided to stop by the boutique to chat with the staff, check out the novelties, and “elbow bump” with Jean-Marc Pontroué. As such, I asked Rob for his hands-on takeaways of the technology.

Panerai Luminor Marina Guillaume Néry Edition PAM1122

From one Fratelli to another

Rob: It’s really weird stuff. It’s all very confusing to hold and to feel. Honestly, it doesn’t really look like it should be possible. Panerai showed us the different stages of the process and when the blank comes of the 3D printer, it doesn’t look like it could ever be fashioned into a luxury product. But it must machine fantastically well because the finish of the Panerai Luminor Marina Guillaume Néry Edition PAM1122 is just flawless.

I was convinced silicon was the future of watchmaking.

Dave: Do you think that this kind of technology has a serious future in the industry?

Rob: Well, look, it does and it doesn’t. Will it ever be mainstream in the luxury watch industry? No, I don’t think so. I think our industry has already established that it doesn’t care for things being simply better or more efficient to produce, but rather genuine handcrafts and innovations. This falls into the latter category, but so did silicon. Ten years ago, I was convinced silicon was the future of watchmaking. Of course, it has its applications, but it is still (and will seemingly remain) a fringe complement to the traditional ways. This kind of case printing is the same, I reckon.

New materials

Dave: Would you wear a case made in this way? Do you find it in any way alluring?

Rob: You know what, I actually do like it. I’ve always been a fan of new materials, and I think the case is the place for them. Having held this stuff I must say, I like it a lot more than carbon fiber, which it has more of an air of than it does regular titanium, I think. The finish on the Panerai Luminor Marina Guillaume Néry Edition PAM1122 is super cool, and it is undeniably comfortable on the wrist. While certain watches need a bit of weight to them to feel right, this kind of case really works with the higher-tech Panerai models. Honestly, I’m a fan. I’m surprised about that, but there you go. It’s cool. And if I were a serious Paneristi and I already had a few Luminor models, this would be enough of a reason to pick up another.

Fade to black

This is not the first time the brand has used DMLS titanium, but it is perhaps the most handsome, in my humble opinion. The entire watch is a sleek and stealthy combination of black, on black, on black. Under all of this black, it’s a sophisticated and attractive watch. The DMLS titanium case is DLC coated. Next, the bezel, crown, and bridge lever have a black rubberized coating. The gorgeous dial is a real standout here — the evocative dégradé effect is supposed to emulate the monochromatic shades produced as sunlight filters through the depths of the sea. Lovely stuff.

Panerai Luminor Marina Guillaume Néry Edition PAM1122

Finally, the black strap is made from recycled PET material. It features contrasting white stitching and a matching, black trapezoidal pin buckle. I go hot and cold on many Panerai’s releases, but this one ticks the right boxes for me.

…this one ticks the right boxes…

The Panerai Luminor Marina Guillaume Néry Edition PAM1122 is a limited edition model available in 70 pieces and comes with an incredible 70-year warranty. It is available exclusively in Panerai boutiques. It is priced at £17,100. Learn more about Panerai here.