In 2010, Panerai created an instant success by offering the Luminor Submersible in an ancient and beautiful material closely linked with the sea: ­ bronze. The gleaming cases began life sharing a similar appearance, but age and use would act on each to create a unique patina.

This year Panerai surprises us with another groundbreaking material, though this one is entirely space­ age, and each case fashioned from it is unique from the day it is born. The new material is dubbed carbotech, and the name carries trademark protection. Panerai says it has never before been used in watchmaking. The creation process leaves each finished case with an appearance that resembles wood grain, and no two cases are the same. Beyond the unique appearance, Panerai says that Carobtech provides exceptional technical performance.

Panerai Luminor Carbotech

The case, rotating bezel and crown-­protecting lever bridge are made with the new material. To form the carbotech plates from which these components are machined, thin sheets of carbon fibers are compressed at a controlled temperature under high pressure, together with a PEEK polymer (Polyether Ether Ketone), which binds the composite material, making it stronger and more durable.

The sheets, made using very long carbon fibers, are pressed together such that the fibers of each layer are set at a different angle to the ones above and below it. With this structure, the mechanical properties of carbotech are much higher than those of similar materials. Panerai says carbotech is lighter and more resistant to scratches, as well as hypoallergenic and not subject to corrosion. The finished case uses a solid caseback and is water resistant to 300 meters.

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Live images by Adi Soon.

The mechanical heart of the Luminor Submersible 1950 Carbotech is the P.9000 automatic caliber, developed and made by the Officine Panerai manufacture in Neuchâtel. The power reserve is 72 hours.

Bearing reference PAM00616, the new Luminor Submersible 1950 Carbotech is fitted with a black rubber strap, personaliZed for the first time by the OP logo in Panerai blue, and it is supplied with a spare strap and a screwdriver.

Panerai Luminor Carbotech

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