Among the bigger names in fine watchmaking, skeleton dials are par for the course. They show off the mechanics inside, offer an intense level of structuralism and appeal to the kind of performance-oriented collectors that adore Richard Mille and Roger Dubuis. In fact, there are just a handful of maisons that haven’t opted for a skeleton in their closet – a number that’s just gotten smaller courtesy of Panerai.
For the first time, the Ex-Florentine watchmaker, an icon of restrained Italian flair, has built a skeletonised automatic movement. That’ll come as a shock to many Paneristi out there, but before they burn all their Mare Nostrums in protest, it’s worth pointing out that there’s a solid reason behind the new Submersible: it’s been built to celebrate the watchmaker’s partnership with Brabus.
Brabus, as a bit of background, makes some of the most extreme day boats around, ones that look more fitting for military stealth insertions than a day’s relaxed fishing. That includes the Shadow 900, which lent a good deal of its aesthetic shade to this new timepiece, the Panerai Submersible S Brabus Black Ops Edition.
All but a slight grid has been taken off the dial, offering an unobstructed view of the P.4001/s skeletonised movement underneath. There’s a lot going on, though the salient info is all outlined in bright red, taken directly from its nautical inspiration. The movement’s not as intricate as some, but the skeletonization emphasises the sheer depth of the cavernous 47mm Submersible case like never before.
The case itself is one that Panerai has used before in one form or another. If you know your high tech grains, you’ll recognise the brand’s Carbotech™ material across both case and bezel, both lightweight and hardwearing. It’s also water resistant to 300m, which makes this a true dive watch. With Panerai, that’s not always the case.
Complete on a grey hybrid fabric strap, very obviously stamped with the Brabus name, this isn’t the Panerai we’ve all grown accustomed to. Whether that’s a good thing or not, I’ll leave up to you but the bottom line is all 100 of this limited edition will be gone in no time. Even if it will set you back £40,400.
Price & Specs:
Model: Panerai Submersible S BRABUS Black Ops Edition
Case/Dial: 47mm diameter, Carbotech™ case, skeletonised dial
Water resistance: 300m (30 bar)
Movement: P.4001/S calibre, automatic, 31 jewels, 341 parts
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 72h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, polarized date, GMT, am/pm indicator, power reserve indicator on the back, seconds reset, calculation of immersion time
Strap: Bi-material with grey fabric
Price/availability: £40,400, limited to 100 pieces
More details at Panerai.