Panerai Submersible S BRABUS Black Ops Edition.
Panerai Submersible S BRABUS Black Ops Edition.
Image: Supplied

BRABUS Black Ops has a decidedly clandestine, special-forces ring to it. It is also a fitting name for a timepiece from the brand that once supplied the Italian Navy with precision diving instruments, covered by the Military Secrets Act.

Three years in development, the Panerai Submersible S BRABUS Black Ops Edition (PAM01240) is the result of a collaboration between the Swiss watchmaker and the high-end, luxury automotive company BRABUS, best known for transforming a full Mercedes-Benz range into unique, state-of-the-art, high-performance machines. Its Classic 6-Star Restoration programme involves unparalleled nuts-and-bolts, historically authentic rebuilds of rare Mercedes that are the envy of any classic-car enthusiast.

The name of the watch, however, is derived from the Shadow range of luxury dayboats in the BRABUS marine division, created through an alliance with award-winning Finnish boat builder Axopar in 2017. These are super-fast, super-agile luxury cruisers meant for island hopping or as tenders for superyachts.

Numerous parallels can be drawn between the worlds of motoring and watchmaking. Both value intricate machinery and design excellence, and both trigger intimate, emotional connections. This is especially true when it comes to the development of the chronograph for trackside timekeeping in the early days of motor racing. It is for this reason that there are ongoing collaborations between these two worlds. Added to this are watchmaking’s even more significant links with the ocean and the development of essential tools for early navigation and exploration, making Panerai and BRABUS a brilliant pairing.

Panerai's electing to present its first skeletal movement in this Submersible S also makes perfect sense for a collaboration with the masters of performance tuning. Through continuous innovation over 44 years, BRABUS is renowned for getting more displacement, more horsepower, and more torque out of every engine. 

This finds beautiful expression through the exposed works of the P.4001/s automatic calibre of this special edition Submersible. The new movement is based off the P.4000 calibre, designed and created at the Panerai manufacture in Neuchâtel.Panerai and BRABUS are both makers of functional and stylish tools.

Viewed side by side, there are striking similarities between the design language and character of watch and boat. To highlight the innovation and high-end composite materials used by both brands, gunmetal-grey Carbotech was chosen for the 47mm case and unidirectional rotating bezel. This is a signature colour of BRABUS, along with red, which is used to accentuate the minute, hour and small seconds hands, the frame of the patented polarised date-display window, and the GMT and AM/PM indicators.

Grey Super-LumiNova fills all indices and hands.In the absence of a dial, the Panerai Submersible logo is silkscreened onto the sapphire crystal. The new movement features an off-centre tungsten rotor visible through the case back, which allows for bi-directional winding of the two spring barrels while the watch is being worn. Made for living life to the extreme, these pieces are water-resistant to 300m, and have a handy three-day power reserve as indicated between 10 and 11 o’clock.Available in a limited run of only 100 pieces, the Panerai Submersible S BRABUS Black Ops Edition comes with two straps — a bi-material version, and a Sportech strap with a velcro closure. Also included are tools to swap the straps and buckle.

POA, or RLG Africa 011 317 2600. For more info also visit

 From the November edition of Wanted, 2021.

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