This weeks release of the new Panerai Luminor Submersible Automatic Acciaio ‘E-Commerce Micro-Edition’ is certainly one to raise a few eyebrows within the watch industry. For the first time in Panerai’s history, the watch will only be sold exclusively online, with the watch not available through Panerai boutiques or Authorised Dealers. The move represents a slow change in the way the watch industry conducts itself and a willingness to adapt to change. The Panerai Luminor Submersible Automatic Acciaio ‘E-Commerce Micro-Edition’ PAM731, with its limited edition blue dial, is certainly a handsome watch, and a very capable divers watch.
Panerai continue to sell watches online, but the PAM731 ‘E-Commerce Micro-Edition’, limited to 100 pieces, cannot be bought in stores – and this represents a very first for the Italian company. The move symbolises a sudden shift in relation to sales and distribution. This also represents a change in attitudes towards online e-commerce, but also the changing views of the use of media and advertising as opposed to third-party retailers.
While the release isn’t exactly ground-breaking and changing the face of the watch industry over night, the move does represent a 1 degree turn in the right direction. The change is also being replicated by other brands, which is wholly a good sign. For example, the Omega Speedmaster “Speedy Tuesday” limited-edition watch made for Fratello Watches sold out in a few hours thanks to the Instagram hashtag #SpeedyTuesday. The benefits of the e-commerce route brings about convenience, competitiveness and comfort of the online buying experience for the customer, and creating an easy e-commerce interface can create certainly now make or break a prospective watch brand.
The watch is complete with a fantastic blue dial, giving a little something extra instead of the standard edition black. Asides from the blue / black dial change, the watch practically remains the same as the standard edition PAM01024. The watch has a diameter of 44mm and made in steel (‘acciaio’ means steel in Italian). The watch is of course water-resistant to 300m, and features the Luminor’s cushion-shaped case with the signature Panerai crowd guard device and the rotating brushed steel bezel quickly identifies as a Luminor Submersible and unmistakably as a dive watch.
The PAM731 is powered by the exclusive Calibre OP XXX, a COSC-certified automatic movement beating at 28,800 VpH (Hz) with 50-hour power reserve. The movement powers minutes, hours, date display at 3 o’clock, and a seconds sub-dial at 9 o’clock. The watch features sapphire crystal glass with magnified cyclops over the date display, and skeletonized minute and hour hands with luminescent coatings on the hands, 12 & 6 o’clock positions and dot-hour markers – ensuring perfect legibility for when diving. The watch is brilliantly rounded off with a black caoutchouc (rubber at its natural form) with the option of a black and blue canvas strap.
The watch is very nice divers watch, that is unmistakeable. However, the real beauty of this watch lies in the story and the pursuit of a changing watch industry. The limited edition watch release is only available online – the first of its kind at Panerai, and therefore perhaps an intergal watch as the catalyst of change. The watch release is unlikely to shake the very foundations of the watch industry, however the move represents a step forward for e-commerce in the watch industry.