Panerai’s new watches promise serious adventure—like training with Italian Navy commandos

Or deep diving in French Polynesia with Guillaume Néry.

By Carol Besler 03/03/2019

Most sports watches are associated with images of explorers and adventurers, but Panerai actually lets you live the role. If you buy one of the three new Submersible “experience” watches—Guillaume Néry, Mike Horn or Marina Militare special editions—Panerai will take you on an exotic trip with other buyers and professional adventurers.

Every watch has a narrative, and for Panerai, the story is about action and adventure, starting from its roots in the 1940s as a supplier to Italian Navy Commandos to its rebirth in the ’90s with endorsements from Hollywood action heroes Sly Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Building adventures into the purchase price of the new Submersible models—at cost, according Panerai—is a way to thank loyal customers while at the same time reinforcing the brand’s spirit of adventure and endurance.

All 15 buyers of the Submersible Chrono Guillaume Néry Edition (around $56,000) will go diving in Moorea, French Polynesia, where they will stay at the home of Guillaume Néry, a deep diver world champion. The trip will coincide with the migration of the whales in late October or November. The watch is water resistant to 300 meters, with a 47mm titanium and black DLC case. White markers are highly visible over a textured black and blue background, with turquoise blue hash marks and seconds hand reflecting the South Seas. The caseback is engraved with an image that recalls Néry’s free-diving record of 126 metres on a single breath – something to aspire to during the trip, if you’re not afraid of a little near-death action. The movement is the in-house automatic caliber P.9100, with a flyback chronograph.

Buyers of the 19 pieces of the Submersible Mike Horn edition (around $57,200, water resistant to 300 metres) will experience an adventure at the opposite temperature extreme. They will participate in an Arctic adventure to Svalbard, Norway, during the height of the Northern Lights spectacle, sometime in October or November. Mike Horn, who has been a Panerai ambassador for 15 years, is an explorer and motivational coach, famous for circumnavigating the Arctic Circle. Fortunately he will be on hand to help navigate during the trip. He is also a conservation activist, and this watch is thus made of EcoTitanium, a recycled titanium. The strap is recycled plastic, and even the packaging is made of recycled materials. The markers and hands are treated with green Super-LumiNova.

Not challenging enough for you? Thirty-three hard-core adventurers who buy the Submersible Marina Militare Carbotech (also around $57,200, also water resistant to 300 metres) will spend a few days training with COMSUBIN, the diving and commando group of the Italian Navy. The timepiece will be limited to 33, in honour of the number of military valor medals that have been received by the commandos. The watch comes with Super-LumiNova on the markers and its bezel is military green, and the COMSUBIN logo is engraved on the caseback. The 47mm case is made of carbotech carbon fibre, which is lighter than titanium and harder than steel, so it will survive the training, even if you don’t.

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