HANDS-ON: The Panerai Submersible QuarantaQuattro eSteel is green in multiple waysBorna Bošnjak
Panerai is a brand that has successfully riffed off the same formula since their inception, producing an impressively diverse portfolio considering the tightly focused design of their watches. That being said, the Luminor and Radiomir cases that their entire offering are based on have become somewhat of a limiting factor, so Panerai had to look to other avenues for novelty. This is where material experimentation and innovation comes in. Introduced at this year’s Watches and Wonders, the Panerai Submersible QuarantaQuattro eSteel, is a prime example of this tactic, employing a recycled steel case and strap, with a stunning green colour scheme.
Recycled case and Panerai’s sustainability push
As a brand with strong ties to the ocean, it’s natural for Panerai to explore various sustainability and conservation avenues. Between forming the Panerai Ocean Conservation initiative to conserve manta rays and developing an ocean literacy program with UNESCO, the brand is also looking to further the sustainability of their products. This began in 2021, with the introduction of the eLAB-ID, a titanium watch using 98.6% recycled materials – including the case, dial, movement bridges and even sapphire crystal and silicon in the escapement. What followed was eSteel, a partially recycled steel material that first saw use in the Luminor Marina, before this year’s Submersible QuarantaQuattro eSteel. The recycled steel material makes up 52% of the total weight of the watch, or 72 out of the 137 grams, though certain Panerai material notes eSteel to be both “up to 95% recycled” and “95% recycled steel”. Regardless of the amount of recycled material, I’m looking forward to Panerai fulfilling their promise of zero carbon dioxide emissions and meeting the 2025 deadline of using renewable electricity for all their buildings for a really meaningful renewability effort.
As for the Submersible eSteel case, it measures in at 44mm as the name suggests, with a thickness of 13.4mm and a lug-to-lug of 54mm. Owing to the inherently sporty nature of the watch, it carries a brushed finish throughout, while the glossy surface of the unidirectional ceramic bezel (a first for Panerai) retains the raised markers familiar from other Submersible models. Another notable feature is, of course, the trademarked crown protection device, protecting a rubberised crown and carrying a slightly obtrusive engraved eSteel logo. I had to borrow a wrist model for this hands-on feature, as the Submersible QuarantaQuattro is too large for my 15.5cm/6.1 inch wrist, but fits well on the above pictured 17cm/6.7 inch wrist. A screw-down caseback ensures 300 metres of water resistance, fitting for a watch named the Submersible.
The trend of recycled materials continues to the strap choices as well. The Submersible QuarantaQuattro eSteel comes standard with a recycled PET fabric strap and recycled rubber strap, both matching the green tones of the dial and bezel. The watch is also accompanied by a strap-changing tool and screwdriver for the pin buckle.
The dial really is the star of the show in the new Submersible QuarantaQuattro eSteel. Much like the bezel, the dial is executed with a wonderfully glossy finish that reminds me of enamel in certain aspects. Panerai also added a subtle green to black gradient to the dial, thanks to which the colours look like they overflow from one section of the dial to another. Rounded off indices contrast well against the dark backdrop, with batons highlighting the 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock positions. Their boldness is reflected in the semi-skeletonised sword hands, while a paddle-shaped small seconds hand and sub-dial nestle in at 9 o’clock, a Panerai trademark.
A big sticking point for the Luminor Marina eSteel was the large, colourful eSteel logo that featured prominently below the pinion. The Submersible doesn’t get rid of the script completely, which is sure to rub some collectors the wrong way, but I’m happy to report that its reduced, monochromatic update makes it significantly less noticeable. The integration of the date is pleasant, colour-matched to the dial in the Verde Smeraldo model, with the surface of the dial creating a frame by its sunken-in design.
The aforementioned screw-down caseback carries a circularly brushed finish and some frogman-folk kicking it on a submersible vehicle. Behind it is the P.900 movement developed by Manufacture Horlogère ValFleurier, Richemont’s movement manufacturer.
Sharing structural similarities with other ValFleurier calibres such as the Baumatic and Panerai’s older OP XXXIV, this automatic calibre offers an excellent three-day power reserve from a single barrel, with blue-filled engravings and horizontal brushing against an otherwise austere finish.
The Submersible QuarantaQuattro collection as a whole, in eSteel or otherwise, will be the goldilocks size for many Paneristi, especially those Submersible fans who found the gargantuan 47mm predecessors too ungainly, and the 42mm models just a tad too small. The inclusion of a ceramic bezel really plays with the glossy dial nicely, especially given the typographic improvements from previous eSteel models. Like many brands in recent times, Panerai pricing has increased, and the Submersible QuarantaQuattro eSteel’s refinements are a welcome sight, as the collection has some stiff competition in its category. I’d love to see the brand develop in the movement category for the next iteration, possibly bringing some recycled componentry into its construction akin to the experimental eLAB-ID.
Panerai Submersible QuarantaQuattro eSteel Verde Smeraldo pricing and availability:
The Panerai Submersible QuarantaQuattro eSteel Verde Smeraldo is available now. Price: A$16,400
|Model||Submersible QuarantaQuattro eSteel Verde Smeraldo|
|Case Dimensions||44mm x 13.4mm x 54mm|
|Water Resistance||300 metres|
|Dial||Green gradient dial|
|Strap||Recycled PET fabric strap and recycled rubber strap in green|
|Movement||P.900 automatic calibre, 72-hour power reserve|
‘Discover the Submersible QuarantaQuattro collection at a Panerai boutique, or via Kennedy online here.’
This event was in partnership with Panerai. However, the opinions expressed in this article are our own in accordance with our Editorial Policy.