Why we love the Panerai Submersible 42

Why we love the Panerai Submersible 42

For Panerai enthusiasts with smaller wrists, anything in the 47mm territory, where some of the brand’s most interesting pieces live, simply aren’t wearable. But when Panerai unveiled a 42mm version of its Submersible in 2017, the 300-meter rated dive watch suddenly could fit well on more wrist sizes.

The key to the most Panerai watches for fitting on smaller wrists are the short lugs. These big-dial divers have a lot of presence and aren’t meant for those who want the classic Submariner diver look.

Photo by @yozgatian

The versions we love are the all-black (PAM 683) or blue bezel and grey dial (PAM 959), the 42mm Submersible is priced at $9,800.

The online-only limited edition Azzurro, Italian for "light blue,” combines the blue bezel of the PAM 959 and the black dial of the PAM 683. The PAM 960 offers a Carbotech case for a very nice stealthy look.

Dive watch looks done in the Panerai style

Panerai Submersible in 42mm

Photo by @peterloveone

The Submersible line works well for those who want a rotating bezel (absent from the Radiomir and Luminor lines) with ceramic insert to achieve the traditional dive watch look. With an automatic movement and date complication, the Submersible works for daily wear needs.

These 42 mm Submersible models do represent a departure from the old guard of Panerai case sizing. However this move towards smaller sizes is likely to bring in new buyers as well as die-hard fans of the brand’s heritage.

The overall look is still bold and has that heavy-duty appearance that tool watch aficionados crave. It’s still unmistakably a big watch, but the morning-to-evening comfort level has increased for anyone whose wrist is smaller than 7.5 inches.

Who the 42mm Submersible is for?

As much as watch enthusiasts say they choose watches for their own pleasures, it’s hard to deny that wearing a nice watch is an attempt to project a certain image. This is not a judgement, just a recognition that a great watch can make the wearer feel like he or she is projecting a personal style statement.

The Panerai Submersible in 42mm is ideal for those who want a dive watch with a recognizable look, but also want to stand out in a sea of Submariners. It’s a very sporty look with the rubber strap but that’s the vibe this watch seeks to project. It’s a purposeful watch and simply looks cool as a device.

Our friend, James Stacey, senior editor at Hodinkee summed up the feeling well after trying on the Submersible 42 at SIHH in 2017:

As a previously benched fan of the Submersible design, the appeal of a smaller version was undeniable and I still recall picking it up off the desk in Geneva, the smile growing on my face - it’s a Submersible, and it fits! Diehard Panerai fans may not care for this more casual expression of their beloved rough and tumble Submersible, but I was on board from the moment I tried it on.”

Although we don’t have rubber straps for the 42mm Panerai Submersible line, check our our strap for the 44mm version here. Luckily the 42mm Panerai will fit inside of our watch pouches and watch rolls, so be sure to check those out as well!

Cover Image Source: Hodinkee


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