Why is luxury watchmaker Panerai working with gaming company Razer?
Panerai and Razer’s stealthy new watch has a very public message.
Collaborations don’t get much more surprising than the one between Panerai and Razer. One is a luxury watchmaker steeped in Italian naval history and the other is a technology company known for gaming hardware and consumer electronics. And yet here we are, with the newly released Panerai Luminor Quaranta Razer Special Edition PAM01353 — a watch that could only have happened because of how terribly we have treated our planet.
If there is one common goal that businesses from incongruent industries can all get behind, it’s sustainability. Panerai partnered with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO to develop the Panerai Ocean Conservation Initiative, made its packaging greener, launched a concept watch that was almost entirely made from recycled-based materials, and created eSteel, an alloy that also incorporates recycled materials. Razer formalised its commitment to the planet with a 10-year action plan in 2020, partnered with marine waste cleaning enterprise ClearBot, saved over a million trees, and set up a US$50 million Razer Green Fund to support sustainability startups like Bambooloo, a maker of bamboo toilet paper. Earlier in June, Razer and Panerai joined forces with Conservation International to support manta ray conservation.
“We share similar principles and philosophy - consistently seeking innovation with sustainable solutions,” said Panerai CEO Jean-Marc Pontroue. “And this has given rise to an unpredictable partnership which was first announced during RazerCon 2021.”
The PAM01353 is a 500-piece limited edition that takes the 40mm Luminor Quaranta and dresses it in Razer’s signature colours of black and electric green. It’s far from flashy — only the small seconds hand and strap stitching pop against the shadowy theme, though the grey Super-Luminova will give off the same neon glow in the dark. Razer’s three-headed snake logo can be seen (barely) above six o’clock, as well as on the solid caseback. The case is brushed eSteel with DLC coating, and the crown guard’s bridge also bears the Razer name. Wear it to a board room meeting or a League of Legends tournament — it won’t look out of place either way. Some may argue that the price points that the two companies position their products at are too disparate for this collaboration to make sense, but Razer CEO Tan Min-Liang sees it as “two best-in-class brands leveraging their weight and influence to spread a positive message about protecting the planet through ocean conservation.”
Razer has previously partnered with lifestyle and fashion labels like Tumi, A Bathing Ape and Fossil, so it’s not Tan’s first rodeo outside of endemic brands. More importantly for Tan, it is the message that this particular partnership embodies. “Around 80 per cent of gamers are millennials and Gen Z, so most of our audience is from that demographic, and they tend to demonstrate environmentally and socially conscious behaviour.”
It’s also a demographic that luxury watch brands have been eyeing lately, and the PAM01353 serves as an accessible introduction to mechanical timepieces. The P.900 is a straightforward, automatic movement that includes a date function at 3 o’clock, and a comfortable three-day power reserve and water resistance of 100m.
“‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’ I think this proverb describes perfectly the partnership between Panerai and Razer,” added Pontroue. “Only by working together is it possible to have a stronger impact on important topics. By joining forces it is easier to discover solutions that will improve not only customers, but also the planet.”
The Panerai Luminor Quaranta Razer Special Edition PAM01353 is available exclusively through Panerai boutiques and panerai.com