The Latest Panerai Submersible Has Lighting On Demand

Officine Panerai was the brand that launched the “large watch” craze that began in the early 1990s, long before Sylvester Stallone got involved and before anyone else started making oversized watches. Prior to them, 38mm was considered jumbo, and then suddenly, 44mm was the new normal and everyone else was playing catch-up. Since then, watch sizes have come down. However, Panerai is still doing their thing, and they may have outdone themselves with their latest offering, the Submersible Elux LAB-ID, the world’s first fully mechanical watch with electrical luminescence.

Yes, you read that correctly and no, there are no batteries. This is not your father’s push-button background illumination. This technology took 8 years to develop, and several patents are pending. The watch houses 6 barrels, 4 of which power the lighting system through microgenerators that convert mechanical energy into electricity, and 2 that are dedicated to time indication. The P.9010/EL caliber is 31mm in diameter and 10.80mm thick, has 55 jewels and a power-reserve of 3 days (roughly 72hrs), plus 30 minutes of on demand lighting.


Not to be bested by the inner workings, the 49mm case is made of Panerai’s proprietary Ti-Ceramitech, crafted from ceramized titanium. It took 7 years of research and development and they have filed a patent for their titanium ceramization process through Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation to achieve a very distinctive blue hue. This process transforms the titanium alloy surface into a dense ceramic layer. The technique yields a significantly enhanced hardness, and the resultant case is 44% lighter than steel yet has fracture toughness ten times higher than traditional ceramic.

The dial features a linear Power Light reserve indicator, as well as the emblematic sub-seconds register that Panerai is known for. Now, are you ready for yet another patent pending element? The large pip on the unidirectional bezel also lights up even though it is not directly connected to the power source, and it does this without compromising the case’s 500 meters of water-resistance. Just in case the electrical luminescence is not enough, the hour hand and indices have SuperLuminova X2 surrounds, and the minute hand and bezel pip are surrounded by SuperLuminova X1.

The Panerai Elux LAB-ID PAM01800 comes with a matching blue rubber strap, with trapezoidal titanium pin buckle, and is a limited-edition of 150 pieces. 50 pieces per year are going to be made available over three years and the price is $96,300. Panerai

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Based in Montreal, Quebec, Marc has been an enthusiastic watch collector for well over three decades. Having witnessed and participated in the birth of the internet watch community, he has played a role on multiple watch forums and his articles have appeared on-line and in print since the late 1990s. Today his passion for all things horological is as pronounced as it has ever been, while he continues his never-ending search for watch next.