Panerai, a luxury watch brand, unveiled its new watch, the Submersible S Brabus eTitanio PAM01403, featuring a 3D printed watch case. The timepiece was produced in partnership with Brabus, a German luxury engineering group that’s specializes in high-performance vehicles, and joins the growing trend of luxury brands incorporating 3D printing into their manufacturing processes.
Panerai and Brabus have been in partnership since 2021, and together wanted to create disruptive and technologically advanced limited-edition watches. Their collaboration finally bore fruit after three years of development, resulting in one of the most innovative timepieces on the market.
“When we speak about [this] partnership [with Brabus], it’s not just about a logo, it extends to the highest levels and smallest details. We offer each other complementary skill sets and synergies in terms of products, sales and key markets. The ideas, materials and technologies of our brands will be a vehicle for developing concepts that are both disruptive and spectacular. All of these elements will come together to create results and added value to the benefit of our clients, in terms of service, retail concepts and calibers.” said Panerai CEO Jean-Marc Pontroué.
Digging into the technical aspects of this wristwatch, what caught our attention first was the 3D printed 47 mm case. The case was printed using metal laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) and used eTitanio, a 100% recycled titanium powder from pre-customer alloy. By using 3D printing, Panerai and Brabus were able to reduce the weight of the case to 23.6 grams (a weight reduction about 30%), while retaining strength comparable to a traditionally manufactured case. Even though the watch has 3D printed components, it can still withstand 30 bars of pressure (~300 meters below the water’s surface), enabling its when diving or during other recreational activities.
Aside from 3D printing, the watch incorporates other impressive technology and aesthetic aspects. It boasts Panerai’s patented polarized date display, a unidirectional Carbotech rotating bezel for calculating immersion time, and a three-day power reserve with a sapphire crystal disk indicator filled with Super-LumiNova™. More subtley, Brabus alludes to their origins with the lattice work on the clock’s face— reminiscent of a car’s grill— and it’s logo displayed prominently in the center— reminiscent of a car’s hood ornament. The watch also comes with a black calfskin strap and a recycled PET strap for any business meeting or SoulCycle class the wearer may be attending.
Panerai is only producing 177 pieces for this limited-edition drop— a nod to Brabus’s founding year 1977— and comes in at USD$51,000. While this watch is out of my price range, it’s one of the coolest watches I’ve seen. I would love for other everyday-watch manufacturers explore 3D printing in their manufacturing practices, and see them produce a watch with 3D printed components. I know we recently reported Apple is allegedly using 3D printed components in their latest Apple Watch. There’s the potential to see a larger trend emerge as the cost of the technology drops. We are curious to know what you think. Is this just a trend for luxury brands, or do you think brands like Apple and Fossil will take up the 3D printing torch as well?
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