Though technically the Panerai Submersible’s roots can be traced back to 1956, and the brand’s massive 60mm commission for the Egyptian Navy known as the L’Egiziano, until very recently Luminor Submersible models have remained rather fringe offerings from the brand.
A handful of key releases have surfaced more recently, but it was earlier this year at SIHH where the brand went all-in on the model, splitting it out into its own collection and releasing over a half dozen new models celebrating the occasion. Panerai’s design aesthetics have always been distinct, and the roots of both the Luminor and Radiomir trace back to early military issue diving watches, though with the Submersible an added layer of practicality is added in the form of its unidirectional rotating 60-minute timing bezel — an obvious staple of the modern dive watch category.
Of the pack of new releases, three particular examples appeared in very limited production runs (less than 30 examples each), being offered in a particularly unique fashion. With the purchase of these three watches, not only were you getting an especially rare piece from the brand, but also access to one of three incredible and exclusive experiences tied to the design of each watch. The adventures paired with these watches included a diving expedition with world record freediver Guillaume Nery, an arctic exploration expedition with famed conservationist Mike Horn, and finally two days of training with none other than Italy’s Marina Militare elite frogmen.
Sadly, each of these limited edition models sold out quite promptly, however the brand opted to issue a variation of each model for series production. All three models measure 47mm across, though are quite distinct from one another in several ways. In the case of the Marina Militare, it is cased in Carbotech — the brand’s proprietary variant of forged carbon fiber, which is designed to be strong and lightweight in a manner that easily surpasses titanium. In the case of the Mike Horn limited edition, its casing is in titanium, giving it a more conventional look overall.