From May 21 to 22, 2019, Panerai held a lively and exciting ‘Contemporary Hero Survival Timing Tool Exhibition’ at the East Coast of Shanghai · Minsheng Art Terminal. The exhibition venues turned into a dark and mysterious sea floor. Countless life-like shells displayed the outstanding timepieces of Panerai’s four series, the most popular of which was the newly launched SUBMERSIBLE stealth series. In order to learn more about the design inspiration and uniqueness of the SUBMERSIBLE stealth series. We interviewed Alessandro Ficarelli, the product director of Panerai.
Mr. Alessandro Ficarelli, Product Director, Panerai
Watch House: This year Panerai launched the new SUBMERSIBLE stealth series. What is the difference between it and other series? What basic elements does it follow from other series?
Alessandro Ficarelli: This year we have integrated Panerai’s series into four major series: Radiomir series, Luminor series, Luminor Due series and Submersible sneak series. The Radiomir series is the earliest model launched by the brand, so this series is a classic retro style; Luminor series is equipped with Panerai’s most representative crown guard at the crown; and Luminor Due Due watches are designed with a slim case; all Submersible sneakers launched this year are professional diving watches. This series of watches has professional diving performance, with a unidirectional rotating bezel to calculate the dive time. It was inspired by a professional diving watch called the ‘Great Egyptian’ made by Panerai for the Egyptian Navy in 1956. The Stealth Series is also expressing the adventurous spirit that loves the outdoors and is passionate about diving. And we will be the first to apply innovative materials to the sneak series.
Watch House: Panerai has always been at the forefront of the industry in terms of materials, and introduced CARBOTECH carbon fiber composite materials, BMG-TECH metallic glass materials, can you introduce the characteristics of these new materials?
Alessandro Ficarelli: Panerai is a pioneering watch brand. In our Neuchâtel watch factory, we have a Laboratorio di Idee, and every year we research the innovative materials that can be applied to watches. . In addition, the innovative materials used by Paner Marine are not only in the design of the appearance, but also in consideration of the durability and functionality of the watch, because we are a brand from the Italian Royal Navy, and the outstanding functionality is our The biggest feature.
For example, this BMG-TECH metal glass watch on my wrist has the biggest characteristics of impact resistance and wear resistance. In the creative workshop, we will do a test on the BMG-TECH metal glass material: dropping it from a high place, we can find that the BMG-TECH metal glass is almost harmless.
CARBOTECH carbon fiber composite material is a composite material based on a very long carbon fiber, plus some polymers. We have applied for a trademark for this innovative material. In appearance, we can see that every carbon fiber composite watch has a unique texture; in terms of performance, they are also impact resistant and very light.
Watch House: Panerai is constantly trying to create watches with new materials, and they can lead the trend. After taking the lead in trying materials such as carbon fiber, heavy metal glass, and titanium, will Panerai continue to look for new breakthroughs in materials?
Alessandro Ficarelli: At this year’s Geneva watch fair, we launched a watch with an environmentally friendly titanium case. This material was first introduced into the fine watchmaking world by Panerai, and it does not require the extraction of natural resources and is refined from recycled titanium. In addition, the strap of this watch is also made of recycled PET resin. Secondly, this year we launched a carbon fiber watch in cooperation with the Luna Rossa fleet of the America’s Cup. A large number of carbon fiber materials are used on the hulls of some contemporary sailing boats, so we used the same materials on the watches and inlaid the sail canvas of the Luna Rossa fleet on the dial. Because of the existence of the Panerai Creative Workshop, we have been developing new materials. At next year’s Geneva watch fair, we will also show some watches made of new materials.
Watch House: The Panerai brand is inextricably linked to ‘Ocean’, and this year’s new ‘Sneak’ is a professional diving watch series. What do you think are necessary for a professional diving watch?
Alessandro Ficarelli: First of all, what you need is a unidirectional rotating bezel and very clear hands and time scales. Because visibility is poor underwater, you need to use the bezel to calculate the dive time to ensure there is no danger. Second is the luminous function. Panerai’s luminous is very representative. Our Stealth Series watches are coated with a very clear and bright luminous material on the hour hand, minute hand, hour mark and luminous point for calculating the dive time at 12 o’clock. Panerai’s most famous crown bridge design is also a must-have feature. If you accidentally hit the crown under water and cause inaccurate travel time or water problems, it is very dangerous. The bridge protection can effectively improve the watch’s dive safety index. The most important thing is the waterproof depth. The waterproof depth of our stealth watches is basically 300 meters. Before leaving the factory, we will test the watch 30% deeper than the original water resistance.
Watch House: Panerai’s brand style is very clear, and the shape is particularly prominent. We can recognize them only by the case, the time scale or the crown. Which detail design of Panerai watch do you most appreciate?
Alessandro Ficarelli: The design of all the classic elements together is something I really like. But if I want to say favorite, for me personally, these are the two elements: the classic sandwich dial design and the highly recognizable Panerai crown bridge design. Because even if you can’t see the Panerai brand logo, you can directly recognize that this is a Panerai watch.
Watch House: Although Panerai has not officially launched women’s watches, more and more female customers have also begun to choose Panerai, so does the Panerai brand have plans to create unique features for female consumers? What about watches?
Alessandro Ficarelli: Panerai is a masculine, bold and bold watch brand. Although there are no plans to launch women’s watches, they are indeed favored by some female customers. Just now I received two female guests, both of whom carried 47mm Panerai stealth watches. Although we will not launch women’s watches, the Luminor Due series includes 38mm diameter watches. For Panerai, the 38 mm diameter is a relatively small size, but for other brands, the 38 mm diameter can be said to be a normal or larger size. In addition, we also provide different colors of crocodile leather straps for customers to choose from. My wife wore a 42mm Panerai watch. With a pink alligator leather strap, the look of the entire watch has changed. Panerai is indeed a men’s watch brand, but it also offers a variety of choices for different customers. Therefore, although the brand does not have women’s watches, it is also popular with female consumers.
Summary: As a premium watch brand that innovates constantly and dares to challenge, Panerai has brought a lot of surprises to everyone, both in terms of watchmaking skills and innovative design of models. This year Panerai’s new SUBMERSIBLE sneaker series has taken a place in the professional diving watch circle. If you are thinking of getting a dive watch, pay attention to the Panerai SUBMERSIBLE stealth series.