In continuation of the last few years, Officine Panerai has continued to make some advancements in terms of the methods and materials they are using in their watch cases. In 2015 there was Carbotech, 2016 introduced a 3D printed Titanium, and in 2017 we are introduced to the PAM692 BMG-TECH. After speaking to some members of the Panerai team before seeing this piece I was ready to see something that was space aged and over the top. When looking at press pictures, I didn’t notice anything that space aged or different about it. In fact it looked very much like a brushed titanium or steel submersible. So what makes this Panerai PAM692 Luminor Submersible a technological advancement? Lets find out.
BMG is another brain child of the Panerai Laboratorio di Idee. Continuing with the theme we saw on the Panerai teasers about “It’s what you don’t see”, the BMG material is something that doesn’t look all that different when you first look at it. When you dig a bit deeper you finally can understand how revolutionary the material really is. BMG which stands for Bulk Metallic Glass has been used in the case, bezel, and winding crown. This secret material that looks dark grey in color features some useful qualities that make it perfect for a submersible watch: extreme resistance to wear, high strength, and superior lightness.
The BMG material is made from a special glass like alloy which prevents crystallization, so that the atoms do not arrange themselves in regular geometric structures. Just imagine the villain in the movie Terminator 2, liquid metal glass consisting of zirconium, copper, aluminum, titanium and nickel. This liquid glass alloy is subjected to a very high pressure injection process at a high temperature and then flash cooled in a matter of mere seconds giving the atoms no time to arrange in an ordered, regular structure which would be present in normal crystals. This chaotic structure of the BMG material gives it the properties that we were mentioning earlier. It can handle great amounts of external shock, repels corrosion and even resistance to magnetic fields.
In speaking to Panerai representatives, the PAM692 BMG-TECH, can handle almost any type of abuse. It has been tested to withstand an amazing amount of stress including drops from different heights and continue to work as expected.
When I saw the actual watch in person and compared to another watch which used titanium in the case, I could see minor differences visible to the naked eye. But for the most part the properties discussed earlier can only be seen with a microscope. The BMG-TECH did have a noticeably smoother glass like finish in my opinion even though it has a brushed look to it. It definitely feels very light even though it is a robust 47mm submersible watch.
As with the new PAM1305 or PAM1389, Officine Panerai has utilized the new P.9010 Automatic In-House movement which is thinner than the older P.9000. Since the P.9010 is only 6mm thick it allows the PAM692 to have a smaller 1950’s case. The P.9010 movement features a 3 day power reserve, consists of 200 components with 31 jewels, and oscillates at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour. The case back is made of solid titanium and features the FIRENZE 1860 and Torpedo men etched into the middle.
The PAM692 BMG-TECH Luminor Submersible features a deep blue dial, date at the 3 o’clock position and a sub-second dial at the 9 o’clock position. The markers on the dial use a new polished finish and are a bit larger than older submersible models. It’s a very minor change but it is noticeable when compared to previous submersible models. To make it even easier to read the time and length of immersion, Panerai uses two different types of Super-LumiNova on the markers.
Personally I have never owned a submersible watch but this is one I would definitely consider. Being a sucker for blue dials combined with the BMG-TECH case makes it a winner in my book. The combination works really well even though it is not the first time a Panerai submersible has used this combo. The PAM692 is going to be a regular production piece in their lineup and have a MSRP of $10,100 USD.
LUMINOR SUBMERSIBLE 1950 BMG-TECHTM 3 DAYS AUTOMATIC – 47mm
MOVEMENT Automatic mechanical, P.9010 calibre, executed entirely by Panerai. FUNCTIONS Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, calculation of immersion time. CASE 47 mm, BMG-TECHTM. DIAL Blue with applied luminous hour markers. Date at 3 o’clock, seconds at 9 o’clock. POWER RESERVE 72H. WATER-RESISTANCE 30 bar (~ 300 metres).