New Releases Watches

Panerai Release Submersible Elux LAB-ID PAM01800 with Microgenerator Movement

Panerai Submersible Elux LAB-ID PAM01800

Who are the biggest players when it comes to innovation within the watch industry? The first names that come to mind when asked this question are the likes of Bulgari, Richard Mille, Rolex, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Vacheron Constantin for their part in breaking some impressive world records. However, one name that deserves more recognition regarding horological innovation is Panerai. With their Laboratorio di Idee (LAB-ID) they’ve released a handful of genuinely exciting concepts like the eLAB-ID in 2021 and now this, the new Panerai Submersible Elux LAB-ID PAM01800.

Panerai Submersible Elux LAB-ID PAM01800

To distil the new watch down to its key feature, this is a mechanical watch with automatic winding that uses four barrels to power a microgenerator that powers electrical features on its display. Those features are the hour markers, hands and bezel indicator, which become luminescent when a current is passed through them. This is because they are made from Elux, a material developed in the 60s for use in instrument panels on ships, which was important at the time because the cold war meant people were looking for radiation-free forms of lume. Panerai produced Elux instruments for the Italian navy during this period.

Panerai Submersible Elux LAB-ID PAM01800

Of course, the concept of using the mechanical motion of a rotor to power an electric device is not new. The humble bicycle dynamo headlight uses a similar concept. However, where the Panerai Submersible Elux LAB-ID PAM01800 stands apart is the fact that it is able to store power and release it steadily at a later time whereas a dynamo expends its power immediately. By releasing the locking mechanism and using the Elux pusher located at 8 o’clock, you activate the microgenerator, which begins to produce the 240 Hz electrical signal to activate the Elux display for up to 30-minutes. Panerai call this the power light function.

Panerai Submersible Elux LAB-ID PAM01800
Panerai Submersible Elux LAB-ID PAM01800

This mechanism is part of the P.9010/EL calibre, which is pretty insane because it contains six separate barrels. As mentioned, four of them are dedicated to the 30-minute power light function and the other two are used for the normal time keeping functions, providing a 72-hour power reserve. On top of that, it’s equipped with Panerai’s usual high quality mechanisms such as the Glucydor balance wheel and Incabloc anti-shock device.

Panerai Submersible Elux LAB-ID PAM01800

Aesthetically, the watch’s design stays close to the standard Submersible, although scaled up to accommodate the large movement. The case measure 49mm in diameter and is made from blue Ti-Ceramitech, which is Panerai’s take on ceramised titanium (titanium that has had its outer layer transformed into ceramic through Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation). Despite the electronics involved in the display, which also lead into the bezel, the case achieves a 500m water resistance rating.

Panerai Submersible Elux LAB-ID PAM01800
Panerai Submersible Elux LAB-ID PAM01800

The Panerai Submersible Elux LAB-ID PAM01800 is priced at £92,400 in a limited edition of 150 pieces that will be released at a rate of 50 per year over the next three years. Considering that this has the feel of a concept watch, that’s a surprisingly high number of pieces being produced. Which is cool because usually when brands release concept watches we lament that very few people will ever get the opportunity to own one.

Price and Specs:

Model: Panerai Submersible Elux LAB-ID
Ref: PAM01800
Case: 49mm diameter, blue Ti-Ceramitech™ (ceramic titanium)
Water resistance: 500m (50 bar)
Movement: Panerai calibre P.9010/EL, automatic, in-house, 363 parts, 55 jewels, Glucydur balance wheel, Incabloc anti-shock device, 6 barrels: 4 dedicated to lighting, 2 dedicated to time indication
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 72h
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, power light
Strap: Blue rubber (26/22mm) with titanium pin buckle
Price: £92,400, limited to 150 pieces

More details at Panerai.

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About the author

Michael Sonsino

As Digital Editor for Oracle Time, Michael needs an eye for detail, which makes it a good thing that his twin joys in life are miniatures and watches. He's a lifelong fan of fine timepieces, especially those of a more historic nature - if it has a twist of Art Deco, all the better. Recent purchase: Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-Interpretation. Grail watch: Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921.