HANDS-ON: The Panerai Submersible QuarantaQuattro hits the goldilocks sizeMatt Pickering
There’s really nothing else like the look of a Panerai, such is its visual singularity. A long-time favourite of Hollywood (and real-life) tough guys, it’s a legend among those whose default wristwear leans hard into “bold statement”. In fact, I’d say it’s nearly as recognisable as a Submariner, if less ubiquitous, and frankly, one of the most badass-looking tool watches out there. And the Submersible is undoubtedly the tooliest of all of the maker’s tool watches.
Released at this year’s Watches and Wonders, the Panerai Submersible QuarantaQuattro introduces a just-right 44mm case size to the regular Submersible lineup. Except for a gold special-edition model, the Submersible has only been available in a hulking 47mm case, and more recently, a far more reserved 42mm. The new versions are going to fit a lot more wrists, imbuing them with the presence the Submersible line deserves, without straying too far into action-hero territory. In other words, you won’t need Stallone-sized wrists to comfortably rock the QuarantaQuattro. Now that we’ve established the goldilocks size, let’s dive into the details.
Most Panerais you may be familiar with have that instantly recognisable cushion case, but aren’t really considered actual dive watches. The plain fixed bezels and 100 metre (or less) water-resistance ratings prevent them from being true diving tools, but not so with the Submersible line. This is a bona fide diver, and the specs bear this out. Ever since the 1998 release of the 47mm Submersible, it’s been the big kahuna of the Panerai catalogue, but suited only for equally kahuna-esque wrists. The QuarantaQuattro’s 44mm, brushed 316L stainless-steel case thankfully stays faithful to the original design language of the O.G. Submersible series, with its cushion shape, wide lugs, and unidirectional all-steel timing bezel. Visually similar, but a bit bulkier than the classic Luminor case profile, this one’s rated to a depth of 300 metres, but keeps a reasonable height of 13.3mm. The Submersible also utilises the familiar oversized crown guard, a trademark Panerai design cue. The 12-sided screwdown caseback aids in the substantive water resistance, and features an engraved design of two divers piloting a submersible vehicle. So the big, bold Panerai tool watch vibes are all there, just in a more manageable package for a more democratic range of wrist sizes.
The new steel QuarantaQuattro, which literally translates to “44” in Italian, comes in two dial variants, the traditional black, and a very attractive matte white. The Submersible’s dial is visually distinctive from much of the Panerai catalogue, eschewing the large open numerals and sandwich construction of much of the brand’s offerings for applied rounded markers throughout, except at 6 and 12, where single and double capsule-shaped markers reside. Again, classic details are everywhere, with a big, partially skeletonised sword handset, a small sub-seconds dial at 9, and abundant Super-LumiNova that glows bright green, except for the minute hand and bezel pip, which are rendered in a cool blue. The date at 3 peeks out from a softened rectangular window, and the date wheel behind is colour-matched to the dial, providing good visual balance to the overall look. The white dial features all-black text and hands for great contrast, while the black version gets some bright pops of colour with accents on the text and sub-seconds hand in that unmistakably bold Submersible blue.
The automatic Panerai P.900 movement is hidden behind that tool watch-appropriate solid caseback, but it’s definitely up to the task with its rugged Incabloc shock-protected construction. Based on a customised ValFleurier ebauche from Panerai parent Richemont, the P.900 runs at a rate of 28,800 vibrations per hour, has 23 jewels, the previously mentioned date and small seconds, and a power reserve of 72 hours, the exact length of a long weekend. Perhaps not strictly in-house, but definitely under the corporate umbrella. Many of Richemont’s brands have used this base to power a wide range of models, so servicing and reliability should be good.
The new models actually come with two straps as standard, a high quality accordion-style rubber, and a stitched version made of partially recycled fabric. I find the Caoutchouc rubber to be more fitting for a legit diver like the Submersible (given that the ribbed construction expands a bit for wear outside a wetsuit), but some may prefer the fabric for more landlocked activities. Both fit the overall aesthetic well, with the black version getting black rubber and grey fabric, while the white model comes equipped with military green straps in both versions. Regardless, they all look tough and purpose-built, perfectly nailing the spec-ops brief of the watch’s overall look.
It’s a Festivus for the rest of us, it would seem, with the Submersible now available for just about any conceivable wrist. The 44mm case size of the QuarantaQuattro is going to gain a lot of fans, as it brings the deadly serious wrist presence that the Submersible deserves to a much wider audience. Bold style, legitimate dive watch specs, and Italian flair all add up to a compelling package for all us would-be action heroes.
The Panerai Submersible QuarantaQuattro pricing and availability
The Panerai Submersible QuarantaQuattro is available now from Panerai dealers for $14,100 AUD / $9,400 USD
|QuarantaQuattro PAM01226 (Bianco) PAM01229 (Black)
|44mm diameter, 13.3mm height
|316L stainless steel
|Matte white or black
|Caoutchouc rubber, partially recycled stitched fabric
|P.900 automatic, hours, minutes, sub-seconds, date
|$14,100 AUD / $9,400 USD
‘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.