Material science and engineering play a very crucial role in Haute Horlogerie as high-end watchmakers constantly explore ways to push the boundaries of innovation and set new standards. It’s not uncommon for brands to spend millions to develop new alloys and other materials with special properties for their latest creations. However, Panerai has managed to achieve something truly unique and give a completely different perspective to engineering new materials for watchmaking. Debuting at the 2021 Watches & Wonders show is the Submersible eLAB-ID, which is constructed from 98.6% recycled-based materials by weight. Now, read that carefully. Only 1.4% of the materials used in constructing the watch is new. Panerai describes the innovative timepiece as “the watch with the highest percentage of recycled-based material ever made.” What Panerai has done is mind-blowing, to say the least.
The 44mm case of the Submersible eLAB-ID has been made from recycled aerospace-grade titanium alloy, which Panerai likes to call EcoTitanium. The same material is used for making the sandwich dial and the bridges on the movement inside. That’s not all, even the silicon parts in the escapement and the SuperLuminova used in dial and hands are also recycled. The sustainable watch is paired with a recycled Grigio Roccia fabric strap that features a trapezoidal EcoTitanium buckle. The springs in the movement are the only tiny things that are not made from recycled materials in the watch. The watch showcased by Panerai is a concept as of now and the company plans to make 30 examples of the eco-friendly piece starting in 2022. Be ready to shell out $60,000 if you want to add one to your collection.