One of the reasons that Panerai watches are instantly recognizable is that there is an overreaching design criterion that applies to (almost) all of the brand’s models. These include large cushion shape cases, clear legible dials with a smattering of oversized Arabic numerals, and (for at least for half of the collection) a bridge-style crown guard.
So, if a watch’s silhouette is basically untouchable, how do you create fresh new models? One way is to introduce new and innovative materials, which is precisely what Panerai did back in 2015. Let’s get acquainted with the Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 Carbotech PAM 616.
What is Carbotech?
Carbotech is Panerai’s name for a carbon fiber composite, which up until the PAM 616, had never been used in watchmaking before. Carbotech is essentially layers of carbon fiber compressed together at high pressure with a polymer called polyether ether ketone (PEEK) to fashion large blocks that can be cut and shaped as needed.
The resulting material is one that is not only super tough and durable but also one that features an intriguing wavy, almost marble-like pattern. Plus, due to the organic way the pattern forms, no two cases of the Panerai Carbotech PAM 616 will ever be the same. Aesthetics aside, Carbotech is also ultra-light, hypoallergenic, and corrosion-resistant – all good things to be when your primary purpose is to sit on a wrist and go scuba diving.
Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 Carbotech PAM 616
To create the Luminor Submersible 1950 PAM 616, Panerai shaped the Carbotech material into the familiar 47mm Submersible case silhouette, complete with a unidirectional rotating dive bezel and lever-operated bridge over the winding crown. Unlike other Luminor and Radiomir watches that are inspired by the vintage watches that Panerai produced for the Italian Navy, the Submersible is a collection of actual dive watches.
As such, the Luminor Submersible 1950 Carbotech PAM 616 is water resistant to 300 meters and offers plenty of lume. The black dial includes a date window at 3 o’clock, running seconds at 9 o’clock, and little pops of blue for some added color. Protecting the face of the Panerai Submersible Carbotech is a flat sapphire crystal that barely protrudes above the bezel.
Flip the watch around, and you’ll see a titanium caseback with hard black coating that shields the automatic P.9000 caliber inside the watch. Operating at a frequency of 4 Hz (28,800 beats per hour), the in-house P.9000 caliber provides users with a 72-hour power reserve, thanks to its twin barrels.
Completing the Carbotech PAM 616 is its highly comfortable black rubber strap, with accordion components for optimal fit and a blue OP logo to match the dial details.
The Luminor Submersible 1950 Carbotech PAM 616 manages to maintain the fundamental elements that make up a Panerai watch while bringing something completely new to the table. For fans of carbon fiber and large statement-making watches, the PAM 616 is an ideal choice indeed.