With the launch of this latest Panerai Submersible Verde Militare limited edition (PAM 1055, for those who follow the Panerai model coding), the brand is once again dipping a toe into the e-commerce pool. Limited to only 500 pieces worldwide, and available exclusively via Panerai’s e-commerce portal (limited to USA, Europe, and China), the 42mm Submersible steals its green hues from the strap of the Marina Militare Carbotech limited edition that launched earlier this year. Between this and previous releases, Panerai appears to be going all-in on green, but given the rugged aesthetic of their watches the color combo works quite well.
This is the second time that Panerai has opted for the e-commerce exclusive model, having previously sold an edition of the Luminor Base Logo in this format last May with reasonable success. Slow as the industry is to adopt the e-comm model, clearly Richemont has noticed the chances happening in buying practices. After all, the luxury brand group acquired a majority stake in Net-a-Porter in 2010, whose sister site Mr. Porter lists as authorized online retailer for several Richemont brands. Whether the long game is to fold all digital sales in-house has yet to be established, but for now the overall growth in online availability is a welcome one.
The biggest selling feature here for many is the fact that this is another Submersible to land in a more modest case size. For years my biggest gripe with Panerai has been their beastly case sizes, and now that the industry at large is trending towards more conservative casings Panerai is finally listening. Having tested a few other 42mm Submersible models in the past, I can safely say that this piece will wear very comfortably even if your wrists are around the 6.5″ – 6.75″ range. While Panerai doesn’t make its case thickness spec available on this piece, I’ll say it’s easily north of 11 or 12mm, but given its casual aesthetics, there’s no considering tucking it under a dress shirt cuff anyway.
Powering the new release is once again Panerai’s in-house manufacture caliber P.9000. Though basic in function, its specs are anything but. Using a pair of mainspring barrels, the P.9000 pushes a power reserve of 72 hours. It uses a Glucydur balance to improve overall running stability (an antimagnetic alloy made of beryllium, copper and iron). This detail paired with Incabloc shock protection and a hefty balance bridge ensure that its clockwork can handle the environments that come with its tool watch status.
The only real questionable bit at hand here is the incessant barrage of limited edition models we’ve been seeing from the brand of late. Sure, countless brands are now guilty of the same crime, however Panerai is one of few with such a loyal/cult-like following. Said group has already been burned by the dilution of the exclusivity of the Bronzo—a watch that went from one of a kind to now one of Five models (the original PAM 382, the PAM 507 of 2013, the PAM 671 of 2017, and unique PAM 907 sold for charity in 2017). In all fairness, clearly the market is still going to absorb this piece with ease (hell, I wouldn’t kick it out of bed), but this still falls into that camp that we’ve picked on other brands for—if everything is “limited”, then nothing is exclusive.