For generations, Panerai has pioneered advancements in contemporary watchmaking. The brand has consistently proposed novel proportions, materials, and technologies with transformative and far-reaching impact. That track record continues with what may prove to be its most disruptive offering yet. With the introduction of Submersible eLAB-ID™, the watch with the highest percentage of recycled based material ever made, Panerai is poised to lead a movement toward more environmentally responsible watch manufacturing.
Submersible eLAB-ID™ is an unprecedented achievement in the history of the watch industry. A total of 98.6% of its weight comes from materials integrating a high rate of recycled elements. Its case, sandwich dial and bridges are composed of EcoTitanium™, a recycled titanium alloy that is a lightweight aerospace-grade metal made of more than 80% pure recycled content. Panerai Submersible eLAB-ID™ is the first watch to use 100% recycled SuperLuminova™ on its dial and hands and 100% recycled silicon for its movement escapement. Both are obtained through dedicated, small-scale recycling processes that reuse raw material waste. From the sapphire crystal to the gold hands, most of the major components contain recycled based material.
A marvel of innovation and dedication, Panerai Submersible eLAB-ID™ is a major accomplishment for Panerai and a tribute to the creativity and tenacity of the Laboratorio di Idee, the research and development incubator that drives the brand’s technical advancements. More significantly, Submersible eLAB-ID™ is an opportunity for the watch industry to understand that making a watch using predominantly recycled-based material is possible, thus reducing the need for virgin material extraction and its associated high environmental impact.
Panerai invites collaboration with other brands or partners eager to work toward creating a more sustainable future based on a circular use of natural resources.
Sourcing the recycled materials needed to build a watch from scratch required Panerai to establish a new supply chain. To realize the ambitious scope of the Submersible eLAB-ID™ project, Panerai challenged partners and suppliers from the watch industry and categories as diverse as aerospace and automobiles, to embark on a journey of experimentation and exploration.
Many of them had never worked with such high levels of recycled content before but did so to help bring the watch concept to life.
“We will be very happy if all our peers in Switzerland and around the world get in touch with the same suppliers to use the same materials,” said Panerai CEO Jean-Marc Pontroué. The looming environmental crisis will have a global impact, and it will require a global effort to combat it. Panerai is prepared to lead the effort in the watch sector.
With Submersible eLAB-ID™, the brand has created a model that will serve as a blueprint for others to follow and build upon. “We don’t want to be the only one doing this,” said Mr. Pontroué. “Acting alone won’t save the world.”
Panerai Submersible eLAB-IDTMn Suppliers
Siltronix ST is a company that specializes in high tech silicon products and processing. Within the scope of the Panerai Ecologico project, Siltronix ST marshaled all its resources and knowledge to deliver a 100% recycled solution for silicon components.
The critical function of silicon components in the watch movement, namely the escapement, leaves no room for error when it comes to the characteristics and quality of the material. Siltronix ST has been able to achieve the required quality with consistency. The material it produced is used in the escapement wheel and anchor.
Sigatec is the main indipendent supplier of silicon components for the watch industry. The minute it was presented with the project, Sigatec was fully committed to the objective of making parts from recycled silicon.
The company’s profound knowledge of the silicon transformation processes allowed for very efficient development of a global recycled silicon solution. The company produced the escapement wheel and anchor.
EcoTitaniumTM, a subsidiary of the metallurgical solution supplier Aubert & Duval, specializes in the production of titanium alloys. The first Panerai watch made out of recycled titanium, debuted in 2018 and was the first collaboration between Panerai and this partner. Aubert et Duval has made a major commitment to titanium recycling by starting a dedicated production unit to deliver aerospace-grade recycled titanium. Significant work has been done in order to provide a consistent raw material able to meet the requirements of the watchmaking industry. The case, dial, movement base plate and bridges are made out of EcoTitaniumTM.
ProCadrans developed several technologies and overcame significant technical and processing constraints to deliver a dial made out of recycled materials with a stunning appearance. The dial is made out of EcoTitaniumTM and recycled SLN. A breakthrough laser technology was used to inscribe details without using varnish.
The attractive surface of the dial is composed completely of EcoTitaniumTM. The diverse creative disciplines and materials used in the production of the dial made for a very exciting challenge and ultimately a successful outcome.
SuperLuminovaTM is a very sensitive material. Monyco has significant expertise applying the precious luminescent substance to dials, hands and other watch components. The skills needed to apply SuperLuminovaTM includes the artistic perspective of a painter and the technical facility of a watchmaker. Additionally, Monyco helped collect SuperLuminovaTM for recycling.
Novo Cristal is Panerai’s recycled sapphire partner. RSA Le Rubis is the producer of the sapphire crystal rough. The total integration of the sapphire crystal production within their Group allows them to have the control on every single production step, since the production of the powder used for the crystal growth and it played a central role in their ability to produce recycled sapphire components.
The sapphire crystal has been elaborated and shaped into the final glass for great readability of the dial and high scratch resistance.
RC Tritec is the leader in producing luminescent materials for watchmaking. Luminescent pigments are high performance materials and very sensitive to a long list of external factors, making their recycling no easy task. In particular, achieving consistent color and luminescent intensity from recycled material was a complicated task.
The sheer commitment of RC Tritec to collaborate with Panerai on the Ecologico project has made the collection of SuperLuminovaTM scrap materials and recycling of the precious pigment a success.
Ugitech is a France-based steel manufacturer. It has been able to respond to the requirements of the project very quickly. Ugitech has been able to offer various recycled steel grades in response to Panerai’s specific project requirements.
Ugitech’s guidance and expertise with respect to the various steel alloys was invaluable. Its materials have been used both for casing and movement components.
The strap, made from recycled plastic, is completely manufactured by Morellato. It is a perfect representation of the supplier’s values: quality, know-how and innovation. These values are reflected in the company’s high-quality production inspired by the most fundamental of Italian traditions.
The watch case, base plates and bridges of the movement, all made from EcoTitaniumTM, have been machined entirely at the Panerai Manufacture in Neuchâtel. Every aspect of the watch movement, including assembly, product testing and quality control are performed by Panerai.
The complexity of the project, both technically and logistically, required the project and support teams at the Laboratorio di Idee to commit fully, from the establishment of technical solutions to the final product, including identifying partners and technological support.
Panerai Submersible eLAB-IDTM Technical Specifications
- Automatic mechanical, P.900e calibre, 12 ½ lignes, 4.2mm thick, 17 recycled jewels, 5 jewels, 28,800 alternations/hour.
- Incabloc™ anti-shock device.
- One barrel. 161 components.
- Hours, minutes, small seconds.
- Unidirectional rotating bezel for the calculation of diving time.
- Three days.
- Brushed EcoTitanium™, 44mm diameter.
- Safety Lock crown protection device (protected by trademark). Unidirectional rotating bezel in brushed EcoTitanium™ with polished knurling, micro-sandblasted engraving.
- Screwed caseback in EcoTitanium™.
- Grey sandwich EcoTitanium™ with luminous hour markers and dots. Small seconds at 9 o’clock.
- Recycled Grigio Roccia fabric with light blue stitching and trapezoidal EcoTitanium™ buckle.
- 30 bar (~300 meters).