January 16, 2017
by Kenny Yeo
2017 is clearly the year of new materials for Panerai. At SIHH 2017, Panerai announced the LAB-ID Luminor 1950 Carbotech 3-Days, which claims to have a 50-year guarantee from the movement needing any kind of lubrication. Here also is the Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 BMG-Tech 3 Days Automatic (PAM692), which features an all-new material called BMG-TECH. On first impressions, at least by looking at the press images here, it is hard to tell what is new about the watch and BMG-TECH. It looks just like a regular stainless steel Luminor Submersible 1950 watch but with a blue dial and the fancy words “BMG-TECH” on the dial. It is not even the first Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 watch with a blue dial – the Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 Regatta (PAM371) from 2011 was one of the earlier Submersible watches to have a blue dial. So what’s the big deal?
BMG-TECH stands for Bulk Metallic Glass and it is a material with a disordered atomic structure made using a special glass-like alloy that contains zirconium, copper, aluminum, titanium, and nickel. The alloy is subjected to a high-pressure injection process at high temperature and then flash-cooled so quickly that the atoms do not have enough time to rearrange themselves in an ordered, regular structure.
It is this disordered structure that gives BMG-TECH its properties. It is harder and lighter than steel, and it is also extremely resistant to corrosion, external shocks, and magnetic fields. Panerai says it is so strong that it will preserve its appearance over time. But more importantly, this means that BMG-TECH is a great material for use in a dive watch, where strength and resistance, especially to corrosion, is imperative.
Now that you know what BMG-TECH is, let’s get down to the rest of the watch. The entire case – all 47mm of it including the uni-directional rotating bezel, as well as the crown and the device protecting the crown – are all made out of BMG-TECH. The case back, however, is titanium. The case design is identical to the older Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 watches, which is to say that it is big and brawny. The crystal is sapphire, and the watch has a water resistance of 300 meters – what else do you expect from a bona fide dive watch?
The Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 BMG-TECH 3 Days Automatic PAM 692’s dial is a rich shade of blue with applied luminous markers. There’s a date window at 3 o’clock and a running seconds sub-dial at 9 o’clock that has a matching blue seconds hand. All things considered, it is a very handsome watch and fans of Panerai’s Luminor Submersible 1950 watches should find it very easy to love this one.
While the design hasn’t changed much, the watch’s innards have. In place of the P.9000 calibre, the new Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 BMG-TECH 3 Days Automatic PAM692 watch has the new P.9010 calibre. The new P.9010 calibre retains all the functionality of the P.9000, but it is thinner and features a full balance bridge instead of just a balance cock for greater stability and reliability. Power reserve is 72 hours, or three days.
The new Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 BMG-TECH 3 Days Automatic PAM692 is one of the watches that we cannot wait to see and feel for ourselves in the flesh at SIHH 2017. The new BMG-TECH material sounds exciting and is a testament to Panerai’s relentless research in exotic and breathtaking new materials. Price for the Luminor Submersible 1950 BMG-TECH 3 Days Automatic watch is US $10,200. panerai.comKeep up with all our pre-, post-, and live SIHH 2017 coverage here and on your favorite social media channels with #SIHHABTW!