The Bronzo Is Back! Panerai Relaunches The Original Bronzo
The fan favorite returns via a limited production series.
Panerai aficionados (aka Paneristis) remember the good ‘ol days of Panerai. When meetups helped to establish a community that has now expanded far beyond the Panerai brand itself, some may say that the Paneristi community is almost solely responsible for launching the modern-day collector community. By taking the conversations offline (and many times over a frosty beverage) Panerai's Paneristi community helped bring collectors out of the shadows and into the fold.
Bronze is everywhere
Everyone and their mothers seem to be getting in on the bronze case trend these days. But many forget how we got to this point. Back in 2011, Panerai introduced the original bronze dive watch, the Submersible Bronzo. The watch that put bronze cased watches on the map. Except there was one key difference from bronze watches of today. At the time, social media as we know it didn’t exist to the levels it does today. Buyers of the 2011 variant flocked to forums to flaunt their new Bronzos, and it quickly became a cult hit.
Social media has played a considerable role in driving interest in the Bronzo. Accounts like @paneraicentral – run by our friend and occasional contributor Khalil Ghorbani (see articles HERE) only helped to further fuel interest in these pieces. And while Panerai has released some incredible watches over the last few years (see 2018 and 2019 releases), the bronzo has always been one unicorn which has eluded collectors and enthusiasts.
Flash forward to 2019, Instagram has taken over the lives of most watch enthusiasts, and nowadays purchases are influenced by what others posts on social networks. The one constant is the Panerai Bronzo. Eight years after its production, many of these pieces are now being posted to the social network only adding further fuel to their desirability.
Enter the Submersible Bronzo
This year, under the direction of CEO Jean-Marc Pontroué, Panerai has expanded their outreach to end-consumers, and the consensus is clear, we all missed the Bronzo! So to that effect, Panerai is relaunching their iconic bronzo. While this new model bears an uncanny resemblance to its older brother, there is one very distinct change in how the new piece will be delivered. Its ONLY available via Panerai's e-commerce site and only five pieces per quarter will be produced. Which if you're counting is five pieces times four = 20 pieces by the end of 2019.
As someone who’s purchased watches via Panerai’s e-commerce (read HERE), I can attest the process is easier than Amazon. The only difference with this new release it that it will be limited production. So if I were you, I’d run not walk.
About the new Bronzo
It's quite simple. There isn't a whole lot that separates this new Bronzo from the old one. Sized at 47mm and encased entirely in bronze, the new PAM00968 closely resembles the PAM00382 of years past but sees an updated black dial and ceramic bezel. The new aesthetics are closer to the PAM907 which was made as a one-off for charity.
Like other bronze cased dive watches, each PAM00968 will obtain a unique patina over time. Raw bronze looks very similar to yellow gold, but after exposure to the elements, bronze can acquire a natural patina. This usually manifests itself by a brown color and the occasional green patina which resembles the color of the Statue of Liberty.
Powered by the automatic P9010 in-house caliber, this 72-hour power reserve timepiece is sure to tempt the hearts and wallets of even the most astute Paneristi. The new PAM00968 Bronzo comes on a brown leather strap with a non-matching buckle made out of titanium (a curious choice of metal). Buyers also receive a military green rubber strap which is an ode to the Bronzos of past. This new Bronzo is also ready for a deep dive as its water resistant to 300 meters (almost 1,000 feet).
Pricing and availability
The new Panerai Submersible Bronzo (ref. PAM00968) is priced at $16,500 USD and only available via Panerai’s e-commerce. Panerai has advised that only five pieces will be made per quarter and that production will end at the end of 2019. Meaning only 20 of these precious Bronzos on offer throughout the year. Will this be the most collectable Bronzo ever?
(Photography by Pierre Vogel)