The Panerai Submersible Bronzo Blu Abisso watch hands-on
In 2017 we reviewed the Submersible with a Bronze case and blue dial. Reference 671 was not the first of its kind. Rolling back in time, Panerai introduced the Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Power Reserve Automatic Bronzo PAM 507 in 2015 and, ten years ago, the story began with the Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic Bronzo PAM 382. To sum things up, Panerai has triggered the bronze case trend in watchmaking, and each model is highly sought-after, with the street prices skyrocketing from 2011 onwards. Today's catalog includes the Submersible Bronzo 47 mm reference PAM 968 with a matte brown ceramic bezel, so far, at least.
The "Bronzo" project is so successful in convincing Panerai and permanently including a Submersible with a bronze case in its product portfolio, and to offer a smaller option produced in just one thousand pieces per year, for the first time, too. It was unveiled during Watches and Wonders 2021. The 2021 new Panerai Submersible Bronzo Blu Abisso is 42 millimeters across, which is breaking news for the Bronzo, not for the Submersible collection as a whole; it includes a list of smaller timepieces alongside its bigger 47 mm siblings (without a doubt, it is a choice addressed to women and Asia, a key market for Panerai).
The Panerai Submersible Bronzo Blu Abisso stops at 42mm while measuring 14.37mm in thickness. At first sight, you'll easily spot how smaller it is once wrapped around your wrist. The new Blu Abisso wears smaller but retains a Submersible Bronzo's feel, given the once-called Luminor 1950 case is bold and thick; apart from the size reduction, the timepiece has the Bronzo-DNA we're familiar with. I'll always go for the 47 mm if you ask me, but I admit Panerai's design team did a great job in taking most of its signature and bigger 47mm without losing too much in comparison.
We've seen various dial options over the years, but this matte dark blue called Blu Abisso (Abyss Blue) is the best pairing to the bronze case so far. I like the matching standard Vintage Blue suede strap, but a dark blue rubber strap (you'll find one available as a replacement, but I can't confirm which option you're getting) is the best option for a professional 300-meter diving watch you expect to use as a daily wearer during the summer season. It's a pity Panerai keeps holding a date window on a dial this sleek and pure. Please, let's leave this kind of information to the wearable techs we use every day; as a military-inspired wristwatch, I won't use any date window on any basic Panerai watch.
The Panerai Submersible Bronzo Blu Abisso houses the P900 caliber, a P9000 inspired caliber, a manufactured movement, holding the main base specifications like a 4Hz frequency and three days of power reserve. The case back pairs a titanium ring surrounding a see-through sapphire crystal; the timepiece you see pictured here is a demo. If I had to suggest an upgrade, I'd instead recommend Panerai to ensure the watch a certification of accuracy, which is popular in this class of products; what do you think? Retailing at 15,500 Euros, the new Panerai Submersible Bronzo Blu Abisso is not an accessible timepiece by any means but helps you save a thousand Euros in comparison with a PAM 968, which is something to keep into account, assuming you're into a 42mm Bronzo rather than a 47mm, like for like in terms of performance and functions.
(Photo credit: Peter Tung for Horbiter®)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®