By Nancy Olson
Panerai’s new 44mm collection of Submersible watches—the QuanrantaQuattro (Italian for “forty-four”)—comprises several references. Each features Panerai design codes we’ve come to know and love, like cushion-shaped cases and Safety Lock crown protectors, courtesy of the collection’s Luminor roots. I’ll focus here on the three eSteel models, though, just because I like their soothing tones, their affordability, and their commitment to sustainability.
First, here’s a short primer on eSteel: First used in 2021 in the Luminor Marina collection, eSteel is a recycled metal made from steel scraps, some of which are sourced from the watch industry itself. Its use reduces CO2 emissions, and despite being a recycled material, its properties are mostly the same as conventional stainless steel. Panerai’s vote of confidence in the material is evident in its expanded use. More than 50% of each watch shown here is crafted from eSteel. Good going, Panerai.
Panerai ESteel Submersibles
I’ll start with my favorite, the Blu Profondo (Deep Blue). As its name attests, its exterior is all about this ocean-inspired shade, here evident on the dial, bezel, rubberized crown and straps. The glossy gradient dial transitions from light to dark, giving it a dimensional quality I find much more interesting than a flat treatment. It features luminous hour markers and dots, with the date at 3 o’clock and small seconds at 9 o’clock. The dial is also clearly marked “eSteel,” subtly claiming the watch’s sustainable status. The crown protector, too, is marked, as is the brushed eSteel caseback, which is also inscribed “Automatic Divers Professional.”
The blue ceramic insert on the rotating bezel—a pretty good match for the dial—features a graduated scale. Inside, the 170-component automatic P.900 caliber offers three days of power reserve, and it is fitted with an Incablock anti-shock device. You may remember this well-respected movement from the Submersible 42 3 Days watches. The blue woven PET strap, another stride for sustainability, has tone-on-tone stitching and a steel buckle.
The two other eSteel models—the Verde Smeraldo (Emerald Green) and the Grigio Roccia (Rock Gray)—share salient details with the Blue Profondo. The Verde Smeraldo features green accents, while the Grigio Roccia features gray. Incidentally, if these colors look familiar, you are correct: they are the same as those used for the eSteel Luminor Marina models. I’ll also note here, that the green model leans much more toward a British racing green rather than emerald, in my opinion, and the strap color, rather than a match, is complementary. I like it.
The watches are water resistant to 300 meters, so compliant with ISO standards and an additional strap in a corresponding color made of recycled rubber is also sold with each watch. It retails for $13,900.