Few letters hold the power of the humble, simple ‘e’. It’s as impactful and versatile as vowels come — and can be dropped before a whole world of different words, indicating everything from a product’s high-tech qualities to its low-emission credentials. And the most recent revolutionary launch to take on the prefix? ‘eSteel’.
It’s a Panerai project; developed to replicate the properties of conventional steel — whether that be its chemical behaviour, its physical structure or even its renowned resistance to corrosion. And this modern, mould-breaking metal, made from recycled materials, has been used to create the Italian watchmaker’s new ‘Submersible QuarantaQuattro eSteel’.
It’s the latest timepiece to plunge into the Submersible collection, measuring 44mm in diameter and with recycled materials making up 52% of its total 137g weight. The new model comes in a choice of three different colours — grey, green and blue. And this trio of sustainable watches, which will be available exclusively online and in Panerai boutiques, are the perfectly tough, rough and ready additions to Panerai’s reliable range.
Because every Panerai wristwatch — and those of the sturdy Submersible range in particular — has always been at the cutting edge of long-lasting, hard-wearing durability. The first of the brand’s timepieces to bear this underwater name was a 1998 ‘Luminor’ model, overhauled and tricked-out to meet the criteria of a professional diving watch.
Later models, after the ‘Submersible’ became a sub-brand in its own right, maintained this Luminor’s cushion-shaped curves — but also borrowed the round ‘L’Egiziano’ bezel from a watch Panerai designed for the Egyptian Navy in 1956. But the Italian brand has decades of clandestine, military-approved models to hand-pick its features from. Because, since its founding in 1860, the watchmaker has supported the armed forces, supplying the Italian Navy — specifically, its diving corps — with precision instruments.
"It’s the latest timepiece to plunge into the Submersible collection…"
Many of these military designs were protected by a national secrets act for many years. But this latest addition to the Submersible range is considerably less guarded about its innovations; with an engraving on the crown protection device and an inscription on the dial both announcing its advanced use of eSteel.
And the inventiveness doesn’t end there. Because the brand has never before employed a polished ceramic material like the one used to create this QuarantaQuattro, and the high-gloss surface on the unidirectional bezel is also the first of its kind in Panerai history.
This high-shine bezel encircles another pioneering piece of design for Panerai; a dial with a polished finish and colour gradient that steadily deepens from top to bottom, giving it a richer texture and higher levels of legible contrast. And, on each of these new eSteel models, the dial and bezel share the same shade. The two straps — one made from recycled rubber; the second from reclaimed PET fabric — are also cast in complementary colours, and finished with trapezoidal brushed steel buckles.
Inside those capable cases, the ‘P.900’ automatic calibre offers a surprisingly slight movement for such a hard-wearing watch. Measuring just 4.2mm thick and supporting a date indication and three-day power reserve, the QuarantaQuattro eSteel is also water resistant to 300 metres.
And this brings things full circle — a return to the water where the nautically-named Submersible was born. It’s also a deep-diving nod to the oceans that Panerai’s environmental efforts are striving to save. So, for your next watch, why don’t you take the plunge and eSteel yourself?
Submersible QuarantaQuattro ESteel ‘Blu Profondo’
Submersible QuarantaQuattro ESteel ‘Verde Smeraldo’
Submersible QuarantaQuattro ESteel ‘Grigio Roccia’