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Panerai seeds Swiss industry with recycled options for watchmaking

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Panerai’s research and development team has been working for years to put the operation on a more environmentally sustainable footing and, for 2021, its work has borne fruit with a watch made almost entirely from recycled materials.

Just under 99%, by weight, of the Panerai Submersible eLAB-ID is made from “materials integrating a high rate of recycled elements”, the company says.

Its case, sandwich dial and bridges are composed of EcoTitanium, a recycled titanium alloy that is a lightweight aerospace-grade metal made of more than 80% pure recycled content.

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It also uses 100% recycled SuperLuminova on its dial and hands and 100% recycled silicon for its movement escapement.

Even the gold of its hands and the watch’s sapphire crystal contain recycled material.

The recycling industry is predominately focused on massive scale projects such as reusing plastic bottles or bags.

Micro-engineering in the watch industry requires recycling on a different scale, so Panerai challenged partners and suppliers to embark on a journey of experimentation and exploration.

“We will be very happy if all our peers in Switzerland and around the world get in touch with the same suppliers to use the same materials,” said Panerai CEO Jean-Marc Pontroué.

“We don’t want to be the only one doing this. Acting alone won’t save the world,” he adds.

Panerai’s eLAB-ID is a 44mm watch housing an automatic P.900e movement with three day power reserve.

Its case and grey sandwich dial are made from EcoTitanium and its strap comes from recycled fabric.

The watch is not expected to go on sale until next year, priced at $60,000, for a limited edition of 30 pieces.

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