There were a lot of very interesting watches released at SIHH. Oftentimes, this interest was centred around complication — and rightly so, it’s really the watch industry’s traditional bailiwick. But for me, one of the most interesting collections overall was Panerai.
Panerai, while certainly accomplished at the higher end of the spectrum, tends not to play the complication game, which is entirely in keeping with the brand’s rough and tumble history. Instead, they went down a different (and perhaps more significant in the long run) route. Panerai’s SIHH 2019 releases were exclusively Submersible models, several of which tie into Panerai’s existing brand partnerships — including a series of extremely limited pieces that come with a fairly incredible money-can’t-buy experience bundled in, a pivot to a more experiential offering that’s a smart play. After all, what better way to immerse yourself in the world of Panerai than free diving in French Polynesia, or training with Italian commandos?
The watch we’re looking at today is part of this equation – it’s the Mike Horn Edition, made in collaboration with legendary explorer and long-time Panerai ambassador Mike Horn. On the surface, it’s a tough, reliable dive watch, but look a little deeper and the real message of this watch comes through. Mike Horn is, in addition to being exceptionally well-travelled, a passionate advocate for the protection and preservation of our earth. And to that end, much effort has been made to make this Submersible as sustainable as possible. The 47mm case is made of EcoTitanium, which is sourced from recycled already-processed titanium, mostly from the aerospace industry. The supple strap is also quite green (which is surprising, given that it’s black). It’s made from recycled PET, and is quite comfortable on the wrist. Otherwise, all is as you’d expect from Panerai. A generous 300 metres of water resistance, three days of power reserve thanks to the P.9010 movement, and a highly legible dial, surrounded by a fully EcoTitanium bezel. The text printed on the crystal is a nice touch.
The PAM00984 isn’t just a fresh take on the Submersible, it’s a fresh take on corporate social responsibility. And, if this is a concept you can really get behind, there’s always its more limited cousin, the PAM00985, which includes an arctic expedition with Mike himself in the sticker price.