New and Reviewed: Panerai Submersible Elux LAB-ID

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Panerai releases a new mechanical Submersible with a special luminescence dial called the Elux LAB-ID.

We attended a session organised by Panerai Singapore and was privy to the novelty before the launch date (June 15). Here is our hands-on impressions of the novelty with our photographs.

New and Reviewed: Panerai Submersible Elux LAB-ID PAM01800

The Panerai Submersible Elux LAB-ID PAM01800 retails for SGD 142,700 inclusive of GST. Limited-edition of 150 pieces, with an availability of 50 pieces per year over three years.

The case, dial and hands

The case is based on the Panerai Submersible. However, what is new is the case incorporates not only the usual crown protector, but an additional cover which swings up to reveal a button. This is located at the 8-9 o’clock position. More on this button later.

Also new is the case is made from an alloy which Panerai calls Ti-Ceramitech. This is a ceramicised titanium with a patent pending by Panerai and is is a result of a 7 year development process. The titanium is ceramicised through a process called Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation. This process transforms the titanium alloy surface into a dense ceramic layer. The technique yields a significantly enhanced hardness, and the resultant case is 44% lighter than steel yet has fracture toughness ten times higher than traditional ceramic. A material that can withstand high pressure, and very high thermal stress. The electrolyte oxidation also produces the case’s peculiar and striking blue colour, a shade inspired by the open seas.

The guard marked ELUX pivots at 8:30 o’clock to reveal the pusher for the on-demand LED illumination.

The trick up the ELUX sleeve is certainly the Power Light feature. Illumination via LED lights is available on-demand by pushing a button on the case located at the 8 o’clock position. The button is protected by a cover which pivots out to prevent accidental activation. Through this pusher, the watch illuminates using a mechanism using four dedicated barrels. These four barrels are wound as the watch is being wound and is part of the six barrel configuration, the other two barrels powers the timekeeping system. A push, which feels like starting a chronograph releases a spring which powers a tiny 8 x 2.3mm micro generator. The feel of the pusher is progressive rather than one with a click on activation. This generator uses custom made coils, magnets and a stator which drives a high speed rotor operating at 80 revolutions a second to generate a high frequency electrical current at 240Hz. The energy is then channeled to illuminate several indicators placed on the dial. These include the power reserve indicator and the indices. It also illuminates the moving elements such as the hands and bezel marker. As the electricity has to be conducted to the bezel which is movable and outside the watch case, it uses a magnetic drive system to transmit energy to light up the dot on the bezel.

As usual, the dial layout is very clear and legible, using large dot markers and very large hands with infilling of lume. In addition, the indices and hands are accented with green Super-LumiNova X2. The X2 designation denotes a new grade that ensures 10% higher luminosity after 180 minutes in the dark compared to the more commonly used Super-LumiNova X1. X1 is used to illuminate the blue-accents on the minute hand and dot on the bezel.

The movement

The movement is the P.9010/EL, which is essentially a conventional P.9010 movement with an added “power light” module. The P9010 base movement is standard caliber used in many other Panerai watches. It offers 3 days of power reserve running on two barrels. To this, the speciality of the additional 4 barrels driving the light generation system is added. A linear power light reserve indicator is also added.

The movement is not visible as the case back is sealed. And thus it is not possible for us to judge the movement finishing. Interestingly the case back is also in Ti-Ceramitech and is screw down.

Competitive landscape

The landscape for diving watches is, of course immense. This is a popular genre of watches, even when we narrow the field to only watches with a depth rating of 500m and above. And even in this rather crowded and competitive field, the Elux LAB-ID offers interesting and unique propositions. The 3 day power reserve is one. The case in Titanium Ceramic is another. But the killer spec from Panerai is definitely the Power Light Function. And as far as we know, there are only two other inhabitants offering LED illumination to the dial. The first is HYT. And the other is the De Bethune DB28GS JPS.

HYT is probably one of the earliest exponents of using an on board mechanically charged LED system to provide lighting to illuminate the dial. The H4 Alinghi was released in 2015 at a retail of SGD 127k, not far from the asking price of the Elux LAB-ID. HYT updated the collection in 2018 with more colours. This was the Metropolis. And later the HYT Flow was released in 2020, was also equipped with the technology.

However, the H4 collection is not in the current HYT catalog. The HYT system uses a very similar mechanical to electrical to light energy converter. A small spring stores the energy from the mainspring. A fully wound mainspring will last 12 seconds full light discharge in total. Or in a more typical push and release scenario, the LEDs will light up for about 5 seconds each, and the charge will last for multiple discharges. The big difference is the Panerai system will provide continuous lighting for up to 30 minutes on a single full charge. This is a massive improvement! And a significant advancement in energy generation and usage.

Concluding thoughts

This is an interesting offering from Panerai. Their Laboratorio di Idee have always offered interesting and innovative technology. The LAB-ID Luminor Carbotech was released in in 2017, followed by the LAB-ID Luminor PAM01700 with the introduction of the SuperLuminova X2 in 2020, and the Submersible eLAB-ID PAM1225 in 2021. And now the Elum LAB-ID leads the innovation in luminosity. Panerai has always been an innovator in the lume field. From their historical watches which used radioactive substances to pioneering the use of SuperLuminova and now with the energy-efficient electroluminensce panels used in this novelty.

The watch wears big. Of course. There is no way to hide the 49mm diameter girth. But it weighs light, due to the Ti-Ceramitech case. Feels very lithe and quite comfortable on the wrist despite its bulk. The 30 minute electric illumination system is an innovation. Couple with practical dive watch features like ultra high legibility, the 500m water resistance and the unique Panerai aesthetics make this one interesting watch. Certainly a very cool device to impress friends and family.

But is it worth the asking price, which is a hefty SGD 143k? Only you can decide. So tell us if you will be in the line to buy one.

Technical Specifications Panerai Submersible Elux LAB-ID


Movement: Automatic mechanical, P.9010/EL caliber,
13 3/4 lignes, 10.80mm thick, 55 jewels, Glucydur® balance- wheel stop, 28,800 vibrations/hour, Incabloc® anti-shock device, 6 barrels: 4 dedicated to lighting, 2 dedicated to time indication, 363 components.

Functions: Hours, Minutes, Small Seconds, Power Light function, Linear Power light reserve indicator, calculation of immersion time, stop-seconds for precise time setting.

Power Reserve: 3 days for time indication. 30 minutes for on demand Power Light Function.

Case: Diameter 49mm, Blue Ti-CeramitechTM case.
Blue Ti-CeramitechTM bezel. Screw Ti-CeramitechTM case-back. Sapphire crystal. Patented pusher protection system.

Strap: Blue rubber bracelet, STD, 26/22 Trapezoidal Titanium pin buckle.

Water resistance: 50 bar (~500 meters).


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