One of the most interesting watch ‘releases’ this year was Panerai’s series of experiential watches. Basically, the brand released a series of watches with a particular focus — diving, exploration, the armed forces — each with an associated ambassador or partner. One release was the regular version of the watch, and the second was a very exclusive limited edition, a twist on the watch that came with the opportunity to take part in an pretty exceptional money-can’t-buy experience.
A few weeks ago, one of these experiences went down in Italy. Owners of the exclusive Marina Militare PAM961 (the less limited version is the PAM979, which you can check out below) spent a pretty serious 72 hours with the Italian Navy (AKA the Marina Militare). Of course, the Italian Navy link is one deeply seated in the lore and legend of Panerai, but the lucky few PAM961 wearers saw that link in a whole other light, putting their Panerai through the paces with the Italian Navy’s special forces, known as the Comsubin.
From the vantage point of my desk chair, this experience looks pretty exhausting, and I’m sure it represented the merest fraction of what the actual Comsubin guys go through. But even that fraction looks pretty incredible. Assault boats across the harbour, ziplining across 100m-high ravines, chopper trips, live-fire training and — of course — diving.
The fact that Panerai could arrange this experience is super impressive, and a great insight into Panerai’s naval pedigree.
Made in partnership with Panerai. However, the opinions expressed in this article are our own in accordance with our Editorial Policy.