Panerai’s new performance watch is inspired by free diver Guillaume Néry
Guillaume Néry does not relax in the same way you or I do. He is a French free diving champion, specialising in deep diving, and a multiple world record holder. In 2002, he became the youngest ever free dive record holder, diving to a depth of 87m below the surface of the ocean using his fins alone – no tanks, no respirator, just him, his lung capacity and a watch strapped to his wrist.
“I know most people would call it ‘extreme’ but we have such a high level of safety, we can control a lot,” Néry told Esquire on a free diving trip in the Mediterranean in 2018. “But we need to accept that you cannot control everything. It’s like a sailor crossing the Atlantic. The boats are full of technology and you can predict the weather but still, you’re in the wild – and that’s the same thing for me.”
One thing that can be controlled however is the timekeeping at depth. Last month Néry, as a brand ambassador for the all-action, high-end watch brand Panerai, helped reveal a new timepiece – the Luminor Marina 44mm Guillaume Néry edition. The piece, as you would expect is seriously water resistant - up to depths of 300m.
The new timepiece is in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the watchmaker’s iconic Luminor model, and comes with the company’s trademark “cushion” case in sandblasted titanium with a black dégradé dial. Due to the critical importance of legibility for a diving watch the dial includes patented luminescent properties allowing for an intense glow in the depths.
Since its founding in Florence in 1860, Panerai has built its reputation for high-quality diving watches thanks to a decades-long partnership providing watches for the Italian Navy and its specialist diving corps.
The design for the Luminor was developed by Panerai in that time, but were protected by the Military Secrets Act for many years before finally being launched on the international market in the mid-nineties.
Officially 70 years old, the new Luminor Marina 44mm Guillaume Néry Edition will only be produced in a limited run of 70 pieces, and will be powered by the brand’s hugely impressive Caliber P.9010, a self-winding in-house movement.
The movement is equipped with double barrels for a three-day power reserve and a quick time adjustment function that can move forward or backward in increments of one hour and is connected automatically to the date indicator.
The new watch is equipped with a strap made from black recycled PET material with white stitching and a trapezoidal pin buckle. A white rubber technical strap, the very first to feature luminescent “Officine Panerai” personalization is included with each watch, along with a screwdriver to remove the buckle and a recycled plastic box engraved with the Guillaume Néry’s signature. The caseback also includes a rather striking engraving of the freediver’s silhouette .
Each piece now comes with Panerai’s new 70-year warranty, to ensure that if you’re going to take it for a swim, it’ll hold up just fine.
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