WATCHES & WONDERS 2021: Panerai Submersible eLAB-ID PAM1225

Last year there had been some talk in the air about Panerai doing something very interesting in terms of sustainability and recycled material, and so it has come to be.

If you read ‘LAB-ID’ you know that it’s going to be worth paying attention to, and of course the current Panerai is also known for its ventures into experimenting with case materials.

Meet the new Panerai Submersible eLAB-ID PAM1225, their most environmentally sustainable watch to date. This watch isn’t about the odd strap or bit here and there made from recycled material – it is 98.6% recycled-based material by weight. The key to much of the watch is EcoTitanium™, a recycled titanium alloy that is a lightweight aerospace-grade metal made of more than 80% recycled content.

So let’s go through each component of this new watch.

The EcoTitanium™ case is 44mm with a unidirectional rotating bezel in brushed EcoTitanium™ with polished knurling and micro-blasted engraving. The screw down case back is also in EcoTitanium™. Water resistance is 300m.

Underneath the recycled sapphire crystal is a sand-blasted grey sandwich dial in EcoTitanium™
with luminous hour markers and dots. Even the hands are made from recycled white gold.

Inside is the automatic Calibre P.900e which beats at 28,800 VPH and has a three day power reserve. It has EcoTitanium™ bridges, recycled silicon regulator, and a recycled gold oscillating weight.

The Submersible eLAB-ID is the first watch to use 100% recycled Super-LumiNova on its dial and hands, and 100% recycled silicon for its movement escapement.

Of course the strap is made from recycled material as well – Grigio Roccia fabric with light blue stitching and a trapezoidal EcoTitanium™ buckle.

This is all quite remarkable and laudable but to me, one of the most interesting aspects of this new watch, and there are many, is that Officine Panerai are issuing a clarion call to the rest of the watch industry to follow suit. Not just by the fact of the watch, but through being completely open about their suppliers who have helped them achieve this. In so doing, they are encouraging others to work with them, to work with those who have assisted them in joint R&D and creating new solutions and materials to realise Panerai’s goal.

So who are these suppliers? Here they are, as listed by Panerai:

Siltronix ST – specialising in high tech silicon products and processing, they supplied Panerai with 100% recycled silicon material that is used in the escapement wheel and anchor.

Sigatec – the main independent supplier of silicon components for the watch industry, they made the escapement wheel and anchor from the recycled silicon material.

Eramet – a subsidiary of the metallurgical solution supplier Aubert & Duval, specialising in the production of titanium alloys, they have provided the EcoTitanium™ used for the case, dial, moement base plate, and bridges. Panerai first worked with them in 2018, and Aubert et Duval have a dedicated production unit to deliver aerospace-grade recycled titanium.

ProCadrans – they developed the technologies to create the dial made from EcoTitanium™ and recycled SLN. Laser technology was used to inscribe details without using varnish.

Monyco – SuperLuminova is a very sensitive material. Monyco is a specialist in the application of Super-LumiNova to watch components, and also helped collect Super-LumiNova for recycling.

RC Tritec – a leader in producing luminescent materials for the watch industry. Their challenge was not just to collect and recycle Super-LumiNova, but also to achieve a consistent colour and luminescent intensity from the recycled material.

A question was raised during the online press session at Watches & Wonders Geneva regarding the sourcing of the recycled Super-LumiNova. The answer is that it is made from discarded dials.

Novo Cristal – supplied the recycled sapphire. RSA Le Rubis have full vertical integration of sapphire crystal production within their Group from the production of the powder to the production of recycled sapphire components such as the crystal.

Ugitech – a French steel manufacturer, they provided recycled steel in various grades, which was used to steel alloys for casing and movement components.

Morellato – made the recycled plastic strap.

The EcoTitanium™ watch case, base plates, and bridges have all been machined entirely at the Panerai Manufacture in Neuchâtel, as are the usual processes of assembly and testing. The entire Submersible eLAB-ID project was done through Panerai’s Laboratorio di Idee.

The sheer amount of work that went into the creation of this watch and the transparency with regards to their suppliers indicate that this is not some sort of token effort by Panerai, and it will be interesting to see how the brand develops from this. During Watches & Wonders they also released three Luminor Marina eSTEEL models, for which 89g of the Luminor Marina eSteel components are made of recycled-based materials, corresponding to the 58.4% of the total weight of the watch. We shall talk about these, the blue PAM1157, green PAM1356 and grey PAM1358, in another post.

Perhaps the final word should go to Panerai CEO Jean-Marc Pontroué – “We will be very happy if all our peers in Switzerland and around the world get in touch with the same suppliers to use the same materials.”

The Panerai Submersible eLAB-ID PAM01225 is a limited edition of 30 pieces with a price of EUR 60,800.

[Photo credit: Officine Panerai]

Categories: Divers watches, Limited Editions, Panerai, Sustainability, Watch materials, Watch Profile, watches, Watches & Wonders Geneva 2021

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