12 Best Panerai Submersible Watches (Perfect For Adventures!)
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Best panerai submersible watches

12 Best Panerai Submersible Watches (Perfect For Adventures!)

Panerai. The name conjures images of Sylvester Stallone and Arnie sporting these statement pieces with arms the size of, well, action movie stars. With that classic cushion case and the distinctive crown guard, it’s rather easy to spot the Submersible and see why it’s such an iconic timepiece. 

The proudly oversized diver comes in various forms and iterations for you to pick and choose from. In recent years, Panerai has even dabbled in precious metals…

About Panerai Submersible Watches

The Panerai Submersible fits into the catalog as the hardcore diver, being able to withstand a respectable 300m of water depth. Distinctively Panerai, the smallest in the contemporary catalog, measures a robust 42mm in diameter. 

While the Submersible used to be a steel diver only, in recent years, the company has begun experimenting with different case materials. Today, you’ll find a Submersible fashioned from yellow gold, Carbotech (composite material based on carbon fiber), and even bronze for that vintage flair. 

Other recognizable features include the patented crown guard and large sword hands, and keeping with a ‘yesteryear’ theme, all the date features lack a Cyclops. 

Panerai is also fond of partnering with other brands to release special editions, like the ‘Submersible S Brabus Blue Shadow Edition’ produced in conjunction with the German engineering company known for making ridiculously fast (and large) Mercedes AMGs and boats. It seems to fit the overarching philosophy of Panerai perfectly. 

History of Panerai Submersible Watches

Panerai itself hardly needs an introduction, but in case you are in need of one, the Italian company (Officine Panerai) finds its origin in 1860 at the hands of Giovanni Panerai. Initially, some models (like the Radiomir) were manufactured by Rolex (yes, that Rolex), while Panerai helped with the design. 

The largest client Panerai had in the 90s was the Italian Navy, and when the Navy eventually stopped purchasing Panerais, it created a problem, a rather large one. But a plan was looming back at the Panerai HQ… Why not sell to civilians?

After producing a limited run of 700 Luminors for the Italian market, and as the story goes, Mr. ‘Sly’ Stallone himself was completely in love with the Luminor the first time he saw it in 1995 that he purchased one for himself and his peer. The peer in question was Richemont CEO Mr. Johann Rupert, who, after spending some time with the Luminor, decided to buy Panerai. Not a watch, but the entire company. 

Eventually, the Submersible saw daylight in 1998. Initially, it was a revised Luminor with some diving attributes added, like the “L’Egiziano” bezel found on a watch that Panerai produced for the Egyptian Navy back in 1956. 

Since then, it’s been a mainstay in the lineup, and while the size certainly creates an intimidating demeanor, it’s loved by collectors and enthusiasts alike. 

Even my mother likes it, weirdly. 

Other Notable Panerai Watches

The first words that come to mind when thinking about Panerai, unfortunately, are size, heft, and “Way too big for me!”. This is rather disappointing since there is way more to their models than pure size and heft. 

The Radiomir is perhaps the most famous of their offerings which was introduced as the ref. 3646 in the 1940s. The Radiomir sports a large cushion-shaped case, a dial with luminescent numerals and indexes, wire lugs, and the distinctive four large Arabic numerals design. These were originally used by the Royal Italian Navy but became available to the public later on. 

The Luminor finds its origin in 1949 when Giuseppe Panerai designed a new luminous material that was less destructive than tritium-based substances called Luminor. The Luminor also has its own distinctive features, like the patented crown guard. The Luminor Due is a more versatile option, usually featuring a smaller case, and in recent years, Panerai has experimented with colors and finishing methods with this line. 

The 12 Best Panerai Submersible Watches

1. Panerai Submersible Steel Black Dial (ref. PAM02683)

1. Panerai Submersible Steel Black Dial (ref. PAM02683)

We kick the list off with a bang. The PAM02683 is constructed in steel, as many believe all divers should be. However, it’s elevated with the addition of a ceramic anti-clockwise rotating bezel graduated for time-elapsed diving, 

The deep black dial is home to the subtle use of light blue on the ‘SUBMERSIBLE’ and ‘300m/1000ft’ scriptures and the small seconds hand. Other recognizable features of the Submersible are present, like the skeletonized sword hands and the patented crown guard. 

Within the waterproof case sits the P.900 caliber, which is presumed to be the OP XXXIV caliber with a new name. The self-winding movement offers 3 days (or 72 hours) of power reserve.

2. Panerai Submersible Carbotech™ (ref. PAM02231)

2. Panerai Submersible Carbotech™ (ref. PAM02231)

If you prefer to sport a stealthy Panerai, perhaps the PAM02231 fashioned from Carbotech™, which is a composite material based on carbon fiber and also features a black Titanium caseback. The dark case is matched with a similar shade on the ceramic uni-directional bezel.

Similar to the aforementioned model, it has a black bezel with the same touches of light blue on the ‘SUBMERSIBLE’, ‘300m/1000ft’ scriptures, and the small seconds hand. To finish off, the 42mm Submersible is the patented crown guard, which, in case you didn’t know, was featured on early Luminor models back in the 40s and 50s, and the locking lever allows for an even tighter seal. 

3. Panerai Submersible Bianco (ref. PAM02223)

3. Panerai Submersible Bianco (ref. PAM02223)

Something that most Paneristi (fans of Panerai) know is that you don’t often find models with a white dial, which is a shame since it creates a gorgeous timepiece. The PAM02223 sports the recognizable 42mm Submersible case matched with a white-on-white dial earning it the nickname “Bianco”. 

Unlike the two previous models, there is no ‘pop of color’ on this dial. Subtle black lines encompass the hour markers and skeletonized sword hands. Also, parting from the ceramic bezel pattern we’ve seen up until now, we have a brushed steel anti-clockwise rotating bezel with a graduated scale. The P.900 caliber, along with its reliable three-day power reserve, takes care of timekeeping duties. 

4. Panerai Submersible QuarantaQuattro ESteel™ Verde Smeraldo (ref. PAM01287)

4. Panerai Submersible QuarantaQuattro ESteel™ Verde Smeraldo (ref. PAM01287)

The world we live in is filled with eco-friendly options and electric cars. There is even an electric Hummer now, and in case you do drive one of those and want a fitting timepiece, perhaps the Submersible QuarantaQuattro ESteel™ Verde Smeraldo is the perfect option. 

The steel used for this reference is constructed from eSteel™, a recycled steel offering. In fact, 52% of the total weight of the watch is recycled, or 72 grams of the 137 grams. Sticking with eco-friendliness, the Submersible sports a dark green dial, ceramic bezel insert, and strap made from recycled PET.

Apart from these green features, the Submersible is identical to others in the line-up, featuring skeletonized sword hands and a distinctive crown guard.  

5. Panerai Submersible BMG-TECH™ (ref. PAM02692)

5. Panerai Submersible BMG-TECH™ (ref. PAM02692)

If you aren’t exactly green, why not go for the real Hummer? Or, in this situation, the PAM02692. The 47mm case is a significant increase from the models featured earlier but isn’t steel like the Hummer (probably). 

The ‘BMG’ in the name refers to the ‘bulk metallic glass’ used to construct the case. Designed to give you the look and feel of regular steel with plenty of upgrades, such as increased resistance to scratches and lighter weight. 

BMG is an alloy with a disordered atomic structure produced when the high-pressure and high-temperature injection process is paired with a rapid cooling effect, which stops the mineral from settling in an ordered pattern. The end result? A light and robust material. 

Back to the PAM02692! It features a deep blue dial matched with the large white hour markers and skeletonized sword hands. Finishing the robust feel is a thick rubber strap for those oceanic endeavors up to 300m below sea level.   

6. Panerai Submersible Bronzo (ref. PAM00968)

6. Panerai Submersible Bronzo (ref. PAM00968)

Bronze is a material we rarely see in the watch world, unfortunately, and only certain companies can pull it off, if we’re being honest. The first bronze Submersible (named the Bronzo) was released as the PAM382 in 2011 and instantly became a fan favorite. The fourth iteration of bronze Submersibles was released as the PAM00968, limited to merely 1,000 pieces. 

Unlike the earlier Bronze offerings, the newer one featured a ceramic bezel insert as well as a thinner case thanks to the P.9010 movement. But if you are capable of benching 415lb, don’t worry; the case still measures a whopping 47mm in diameter. 

A linear brush finish matched with the matte dark brown dial and natural patina the copper offers creates a distinctive design you won’t be able to find just everywhere. 

7. Panerai Submersible Goldtech™ (ref. PAM02164)

7. Panerai Submersible Goldtech™ (ref. PAM02164)

What about a bit more bling? The PAM02164 is fashioned from Goldtech™, which is different from regular gold thanks to the addition of copper and platinum. These additions create a unique aesthetic while also extending the lifeline of the case. 

The 42mm gold case is matched with skeletonized gold hands with matching applied hour markers. Unlike other offerings on the list, the bling is properly emphasized by displaying a polished finish compared to the brushed finish we typically see on Panerais. 

Despite this, the timepiece retains its diving capabilities of 300m of water resistance thanks to the golden trademarked crown guard. Behind the DLC-coated screw-down caseback beats the P.900 caliber offering a robust 3-day power reserve. 

8. Panerai Submersible Marina Militare Carbotech™ (ref. PAM02979)

Back to a stealthy approach, the PAM02979 is the perfect offering to fit the bill. That said, a 47mm case might not be stealthy to some, but those who love the brand know what to expect. Fashioned from the Carbotech™ with a circular brush finish, it does look like something out of a military film. 

The dial also features the ‘Marina Militare’ scripture, something we don’t see very often. This symbolizes the relationship between Panerai and the Italian Navy, and watches with this scripture are highly sought-after thanks to limited production numbers. 

A matte black dial displays the time, the date, and a small seconds at the 9 o’clock position. Matched with a black rubber strap to really hit the dark theme home, and unlike other models on this list, it is powered by the P.9010 caliber, an evolution of the P.9000 but still offers the distinctive 72-hour power reserve.  

9. Panerai Submersible Forze Speciali (ref. PAM02239)

9. Panerai Submersible Forze Speciali (ref. PAM02239)

The PAM02239 offers an improvement in functionality compared to other models with the addition of a chronograph and a ‘Time to Target countdown’ function. This function, as the name suggests, would time the arrival of ‘the target’ – man, you gotta love a watch company that is so disgustingly itself. 

Inspired by the elite Italian Forze Speciali (Special Forces), the Forze Speciali features a 47mm case constructed in DLC-coated titanium. A blue ceramic bezel insert, along with hits of yellow on the outer perimeter of the dial, provides visual intrigue in case the size wasn’t enough. 

For such a ‘war themed’ watch, it remains rather symmetrical, with a chronograph subregister at the 3 o’clock position and the small seconds displayed at 9 o’clock. The incredible functionality of this timepiece is thanks to the in-house P.9100/R movement, which still offers that all-mighty 72-hour power reserve.  

10. Panerai Submersible Luna Rossa (ref. PAM01039)

10. Panerai Submersible Luna Rossa (ref. PAM01039)

Panerai has been known to sponsor teams and collaborate with companies, and one of the contemporary offerings is the PAM01039, produced in collaboration with the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team as they head into the American Cup. 

Sporting similar wearing dimensions as other Panerais at 47mm in diameter but is finished in black Carbotech™ along with a matching Carbotech™ bezel. Setting it apart even further from the rest is the fact that it’s the first GMT on the list. The functionality of which is displayed in an enthralling nature thanks to the red GMT hand contrasting greatly against the matte Carbotech™ dial. 

Other than this subtle crimson hint, this Submersible is no different from the rest with its patented crown guard and lug profile. 

11. Panerai Submersible Mike Horn Edition (ref. PAM00984)

11. Panerai Submersible Mike Horn Edition (ref. PAM00984)

Mike Horn is a South African-born Swiss professional explorer who is known for some amazing feats, like a 6-month solo journey around the equator without any motorized transport. Fitting that a hardcore watch company would make him a hardcore watch for all his adventures, and so, the PAM00984 sees daylight. 

The case, crown guard, bezel, and case back are all fashioned from EcoTitanium™, which strap is made of recycled titanium – I’m sensing a theme here. 

This design is perhaps the furthest from the rest on the list due to the omission of a ceramic bezel insert, but it does create an understated look to this limited timepiece. The case and lugs are finished with a polish method, whereas the bezel seems to be sandblasted, which is a fitting metaphor for an explorer wearing a watch worth well above $10,000. 

Classic Panerai features remain like the 47mm size and well-known crown guard. The hour markers and hands are also handsomely filled with luminous material, creating a clean and legible dial in the dark. 

12. Panerai Submersible S Brabus Black Ops Edition (ref. PAM01240)

12. Panerai Submersible S Brabus Black Ops Edition (ref. PAM01240)

The partnership between Brabus and Panerai is one that just makes sense. In case you don’t know, Brabus is brash. Assertive. They design the types of cars to wake the neighborhood but cocoon the driver in German luxury. Remind you of anything? Personally, I see Panerai as such, not making any apologies for who or what it is. 

Inspired by the Brabus “Shadow Black Ops” series of boats, the PAM01240 was the first of the collaboration between the two companies, and it went hard. A 47mm Carbotech™ case paired with a fully skeletonized P.4001/S caliber which creates visual intrigue like no other on the list.

Red accents on the time and GMT hands, date aperture, and small seconds sub-register create a sporty feel while the flipside of the case reveals the off-center oscillating weight finished in tungsten which is bound to create a better wearing experience. 

Other than the 3-day power reserve we expect from the Submersible at this point, it also offers a world-time function, a GMT, and a power reserve. Really, this is all things to all those who often travel in their 1,200-horsepower boat. Or car. 


I was never fond of Panerai, to be completely honest. I could never really understand their overarching philosophy. Doing a ton of research and looking at multiple of their current and vintage offerings has changed that completely. 

I do, however, love anyone and everything that’s so in and of itself that they become predictable. How many things in your life are so dependable that it becomes predictable? 

What can you expect from your Submersible? Well, you can get steel, gold, carbon fiber, and even bronze. It’ll be big, chunky, long-lasting, and will always put a smile on your face as you know you bought a watch to suit you.  You’re unapologetically you, and so is your Submersible. 

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