We are all yearning for adventure after a year of being cooped up working indoors – some of us have taken to this in different ways, from living vicariously through our favourite YouTube stars or Netflix dramas (the author has recently taken to the Korean drama Hospital Playlist), to escaping through video games (personal favourites being the fantasy world of Midgar in Final Fantasy VII Remake and dropping into Soviet-styled Verdansk through Call of Duty Warzone). Anything that captures or represents a sense wanderlust is a welcome reprieve from the lockdowns and isolation we have lived through, and Panerai might just have the answer to your thirst for travel and adventure with the new Panerai Submersible Chrono Flyback – J.Chin Edition and the J.Chin Xperience Edition.
Jimmy Chin’s exploits seem like that of someone who has lived many lives – he has been a part of numerous expeditions to Everest, as an adventurer himself, or as a key member of a crew documenting the quest. Chin and some of his expedition partners are the only people to have skied down the South East Ridge Route of Mt Everest, also making him the only American to have performed a ski descent of Mt Everest. Outside his Himalayan odysseys, he has climbed and skied in places like Pitcairn Islands, Antarctica, Borneo, Mali and Baffin Island, just to name a few. It is only fitting then, that someone like this has a proper adventurer’s watch as a tribute to someone who has seen so much of this planet. Most notably, one of his recent documentaries was Free Solo, documenting Alex Honnold’s free-climb ascent of the 3000ft El Capitan in the Yosemites – a risky endeavour where one slip could mean certain death.
Speaking to this collaboration, Jimmy Chin said “So much of my work has to do with storytelling that will broaden the understanding of the world around us. I was attracted to collaborating with Panerai because of the brand’s unique story and long heritage of creating tools that enable exploration and I’m honored that Panerai created two watches that take inspiration from my journey”.
The two versions of the new release from Panerai in tribute to Jimmy Chin are: PAM01207 in brushed titanium, limited to 100 pieces, and PAM01208 – the Xperience edition in DLC titanium, limited to only 14 pieces but comes with a special surprise for those lucky owners.
Both watches are done in the style of the Submersible collection, sized at 47mm with its distinctive crown guard giving additional presence on the wrist. To the left are the chronograph pushers that give it its distinctive look and feel. The dials of the watches look utilitarian, with the PAM01207 given a matte grey dial, whilst the Xperience edition PAM01208 is given a fume effect – grey at the centre, fading to black at its periphery. The Xperience edition is further delineated by its titanium and ceramic bezel, whereas the PAM01207 is an all-titanium bezel. Both watches will come with two straps – both are already mounted with a bi-material strap with a rubber base and a grey technical fabric inlay featuring tone-on-tone stitching, as well as a strap with recycled plastic featuring light blue stitching.
The caseback is solid, featuring an engraving of imagery that symbolises Jimmy Chin – a Mountain in the background, with an American flag, and crossed skis – imagery that represents his achievements and his origins as an adventure athlete.
Powering the watch is the P.9100 column-wheel controlled chronograph movement with flyback function, and 3 days of power reserve. In addition to these features, the movement features an unusual central minute counter, and also has a seconds reset function, enabling precise setting to a timing signal, ie: an atomic clock.
As mentioned, the Xperience Edition comes with a little surprise for the new owners – an expedition to Jackson Hole, Wyoming USA, where Jimmy Chin resides for much of the year. This will be an opportunity to travel (presumably once the pandemic situation has been resolved) and form a personal bond with the man himself, and to be taken through his expeditions through his eyes. Photography, which forms much of his professional career, will also be the subject of an in-depth seminar by Chin, giving hands-on experience to the attendees of his works.
As items that are inspired by a sense of adventure and wanderlust, it is hard to go past this watch that symbolises all that is good about exploring the world today. Panerai has found a great ambassador in Jimmy Chin, and undoubtedly have created two watches that make one feel like an explorer. These experiences attached with a watch will no doubt form key connections with the future buyers that will make them inseparable from their owners, forming powerful bonds between owner and the Laboratorio de Idee for years to come.