While the latest Panerai Submersible Bronzo will no longer be limited edition, the new design promises that every watch will age differently and look unique over time.
If the latest Bronzo was a human, it would be the lovechild of Halle Berry and Aquaman, with Chuck Norris and Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli as godparents. If you’ve been living under a rock, Miyazaki is responsible for many beloved and unforgettable Japanese animation films such as Totoro and Spirited Away.
Panerai’s iconic rough and tough vibe blends anachronistic Steampunk elegance together for a sublime feel of futurism and fantasy. With 161 grams of heavy metal to its large 47mm wide case and that big trademark crown-locking lever, the fourth-gen Bronzo continues to ooze brooding military manliness. And with all that sun-kissed copper alloy, a dark face and matte brown ceramic bezel, it also emanates style and sex appeal.
So the previous iterations were limited edition and much coveted. Many collectors were prepared to give up their firstborns to get their hands on one of these Bronzos, especially the Luminor Submersible Bronzo PAM 382 which was released in 2011. We jest about the firstborns, but not about the feverish attention garnered by these timepieces. Like its maritime pedigree as diving watch for the Royal Italian Navy since 1860, admiration for these go far deeper than 300 metres, and it continues to be Panerai’s most collectible timepiece in terms of sell value.
And now Panerai has made the Bronzo available to everyone. While some might grumble that it is no longer special, the Italian watchmaker has ensured that this edition has a feature that will make each watch exclusive to its owner.
Back to that later. First – a quick rundown of what’s different and new about this 2019 Bronzo.
- The Submersible is no longer part of the Luminor range and stands on its own. Thus all lettering on the dial has changed to reflect this.
- The rotating ceramic bezel is micro-sandblasted to a matte brown finish.
- In place of the white and blue ivory, the new Bronzo features a caramel tone of ‘lume’.
Moving on to the pièce de résistance of the new Bronzo – the new case, made of phosphor bronze which is mainly copper, starts out as a warm shade of brown when new but distress and change over time to give hints of blue-green patina for that magical antique treasure feel.
A linear grain finish to the brushed bronze is also done to encourage a controlled progress of a patina that is beautiful to behold but still protective of the watch structure. The brand expects every Bronzo watch to mature gracefully (read: oxidise) to “…give a unique character to each example”.
And if you don’t like how your Bronzo looks later on in your journey together, word has it that you can have it refreshed and start anew.
Some background, and quick history lesson on Panerai to round up.
Images courtesy of Panerai, artwork by Curatedition, all rights reserved.