Panerai’s roots are military, supplying diving watches to the Italian military during WWII. From this year’s Mare Nostrum to last year’s chronographs like the Radiomir 1940, the company extends the utility of its DNA into high-end watches. This year’s Luminor Submersible 1950 Carbotech 3 Days Automatic, a mouthful to say, is no exception. The Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Day models are identifiable by the peg markings on the uni-directional bezel, which is based on a 1956 design made for the Egyptian Navy. Other models come in Titanium, and this year introduces the composite material Carbotech, which not only reduces the weight of the 47mm watch, but also makes each one unique.
No two Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 Carbotech watches look the same because the Carbotech process produces varying aesthetic results. The end result is a historic military design using space age materials, a fusion of past and future, a one-of-a-kind watch that is immediately identifiable as Panerai. Carbotech, a trade mark designation, is a new material in watch making. The case, rotating bezel and the lever bridge around the crown are made from this material and reveal a varying matt black, carbon pattern. In addition, the cutting of the material increases the variance of patterns, giving each watch its fingerprint-like identity.
The material process begins with thin sheets of carbon fiber, which then bind with a high end polymer, PEEK (Polyether Ether Ketone), and are compressed at high temperature. The sheets of carbon fiber are piled on top of each other with the fibers set in a different direction of the sheet above or below. The combination of materials and their arranged structure makes a tougher, more resilient final product than carbon fiber alone, ceramic or titanium. In addition, Carbotech is lighter, non-corrosive, and hypoallergenic. It will not scratch, and any event, which would be on an almost unimaginable scale that could break the watch, would also likely leave the planet uninhabitable.
The Neuchâtel Panerai manufacture supplies the P.9000 automatic calibre, which inhabits several Luminor 1950 and Radiomir models. Its twin barrels provide power to a 4 Hz escapement that will last 3 Days (72 hours); a feat worthy of incorporation into the actual name of the watch. The in-house calibre P.9000 has 28 jewel and 197 components. Its free-sprung, Glucydur balance wheel is resilient to temperature variations and has adjusting screws. A one-piece rotor covers the movement and employs an automatic ratchet device to wind in both directions. The movement at 13 ¾ linges diameter is approximately 31mm and sits diminutively inside a 47mm case, but allows the small seconds to be closer to the dial’s center.
Don’t let the beauty of the new material and the dial’s color scheme dissuade you from the diving ability of this watch. The 4mm thick crystal and 300m water resistance coupled with a black rubber strap means this watch is ocean ready. On the side of the strap, the letters OP (Officine Panerai) appear in Panerai blue. Just as the watches of old were made to dive, so the Luminor Submersible 1950 Carbotech 3 Days Automatic continues celebrated function in a new form.
The price of the Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 Carbotech 3 Days Automatic – 47mm PAM00616 is set at 17.500 Euros. It will be available this October. More details on Panerai.com.