Carbotech has been kicking around the Panerai catalogue for a few years now, I first saw it on 2015’s Submersible 1950, the PAM 0616, and the composite material has shown up on bezels and dials in a few places since. One of the more notable executions was 2017’s LAB-ID — a concept piece with a whole lot of carbon-ceramic and tech crammed into its Luminor case, an expensive, limited edition to be sure, but one backed with a 50-year warranty. This latest Luminor, the Marina Carbotech 44mm PAM 01661, is the clear descendant of the LAB-ID, at least when it comes to the visuals.
The case, all glorious 44mm of it, is an instantly recognizable silhouette, and a shape that’s at the heart of Panerai’s DNA. Shine some light onto the watch though, and there’s no bold reflections or polished surfaces. Instead, we’re treated to the alternating layers of carbon fiber which are then mixed with polyether Ether Ketone, squeezed and heated to come up with the marvelously light (the watch is a mere 96 grams), but also super tough and, very cool-looking Carbotech. For the first time, Panerai has paired this new-school material with one of their old-school sandwich dials filled with electric blue SuperLuminova, which gives the familiar Luminor a distinctly fresh feel.
The watch (rated to 300m like a proper diver), is fitted on a Sportech rubber-with-a-fabric-pattern strap with bright blue stitching. It’s worth pointing out that the buckle is DLC-coated titanium, not Carbotech. The movement hidden behind the solid black caseback (also titanium) is Panerai’s now standard micro-rotor automatic, the P.9010, which, even though it might not be up to the Panerai LAB-ID levels, is still an impressive movement with a solid three days of power reserve.
The PAM 01661 is an excellent example of how to keep a familiar face looking up to date, and to ensure ongoing relevance. The combination of bold, bright looks, classic heritage and super lightweight makes this watch as fresh as a summer breeze.
The Panerai Luminor Marina Carbotech 44mm PAM 01661 is not a limited edition and has a retail price of 12,500 Euro.
Automatic P.9010 Calibre, three days of power reserve, 28,800 vph.
Carbotech, 44mm wide by 14.5mm tall, black DLC-coated titanium caseback, rated to 300m.
Black, sandwich structure with blue Superluminova.
Panerai Sportech, black with blue stitching. Comes with additional rubber strap.