SIHH 2019 - Panerai Submersible BMG-Tech PAM799
Since Jean-Marc Pontroué joined Panerai as new CEO last year, many things have changed. The man who has revolutionized Roger Dubuis, transforming it into the most technologically advanced brand of the Richemont Group, has made his mark on the Italian brand too, in terms of product offering and communication strategy. Two thousand nineteen is the year of the Submersible, which has laconically become the "Panerai Submersible." A smart move, considering how long did it take to pronounce the name of any Panerai watch before.
The Italian brand boasts two world's first in watchmaking: one is the Carbotech, the other being the BMG. If the first one looks quite familiar to watch enthusiasts, it seems the BMG has not yet earned the popularity it deserves. The BMG or Bulk Metallic Glass is Panerai’s extent to watchmaking of a zirconia, copper, aluminum, titanium non-crystalline nickel alloy. It is, on paper, the best possible option if you're looking for a timepiece that's far more resistant than a stainless steel case (and quite lighter too).
The BMG outperforms any steel alloy when it comes to robustness and resilience and preserves case and lugs from micro-deformations and dents that usually occur after a shock. It is no coincidence the first and only application of this technology so far, in this sector, has been reserved to a Panerai Submersible which, by the way, is no longer part of the Luminor 1950 collection. From a technical standpoint, the big news is that the brand’s designers combined these two technologies in one watch for the very first time: the 2018 Submersible BMG-Tech comes therefore with a case crafted in BMG, and a bezel made in Carbotech.
A flat black dial has replaced the glossy blue one of the original Luminor 1950 BMG and the indexes’ blue hue is completely new. The indexes clearly draw inspiration from those once used on the Panerai Lab-ID PAM 700, and they introduce an original hue of blue, among modern professional Drivers’ watches. They are in light blue (or "ocean blue", as declared by Panerai) Super-Luminova®. The combination of a case crafted in BMG, whose appearance resembles that of polished titanium, the bezel in Carbotech and the ocean blue filled indexes and hands creates an appealing combination, close to perfection if we exclude the presence of that tiny date window.
The 2018 Panerai Submersible BMG-Tech is powered by the same P9010 in-house caliber that equips the outgoing model: boasting three days of power reserve, it has nice technical features such as the one that lets the wearer set the hour and minute hands independently. Rather than an entirely new model, the new Submersible BMG-Tech looks more like a refined aesthetic update (though not a replacement of the current one, I hope, that still looks stunning). If you love modern Panerais, the choice of coupling BMG and Carbotech is original and suggests this new Submersible, along with the other 2019 new releases, is paving the way to unexpected scenarios of product innovation at Panerai.
(Photo credit: Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting by Peter Tung)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®