The year 2015 was full of surprises for Panerai. Beside the upgraded versions of the present series, there were a remarkable number of successful “Special Edition” models. Undoubtedly, one of the most unique models of Panerai in this regard is the “Luminor Submersible Carbotech PAM00616” which is made of a brand new and never-used-before material; “Carbotech”
The innovative models of the luxury watch brands are highly popular nowadays. Of course, the most benefited participant to this trend are the customers. Panerai gets in the competition with it’s patented material Carbotech. Named after the combination of the word Carbon and Technology, the material sports a totally different visual appearance and feel when compared to conventional Carbon watches.
At the moment, there are two main methods for manufacturing carbon watch cases. The popular method is Forged carbon which is highly praised with it’s light weight and sporty character. However, some already started to call it an “abandoned” method due to the problems regarding durability in time. The complicated processes of baking and forging the carbon layers come up as additional drawbacks for most of the brands.
In the meantime, Panerai joins the game by a totally different method. Though Carbotech reminds the NTPT(North Thin Ply Technology) from Richard Mille, the heavier and softer feel does not allow the material to be an exact copy. With this method, thin layers of carbon are put on top of each other to get a heterogeneous structure. After several physical and chemical processes, the case gets formed up.
Let me clarify the “ heavier and softer “ part.. The NTPT(North Thin Ply Technology) Richard Mille models are extremely light weight time pieces. There are watches with a total weight of 40, 30 and even 20 grams..! The model RM27 has a density of “< 1“ causing the watch practically float on water.
Although the Carbotech versions feel lighter ( and more comfortable as a matter of fact ) than the standard Submersible models, they do not feel extremely light weight at all. 47mm case diameter feel pretty comfy on the wrist.
Regarding the material’s feel; the passings between carbon layers are softer than the RM’s similar products. It feels like touching a blade with your thumb to test whether it’s sharp or not. I have to admit, I like that soft feel better. Let me add another info; Due to the production technique, Carbotech watches never look exactly the same with their case material pattern.
The uni-rotational bezel and the crown guard are also made of Carbotech. The crystal is made of sapphire and the case back is made of DLC treated Titanium. Unfortunately, the solid case back prevents the beautiful in-house caliber to be seen.
The details on the dial are simply stunning. The numbers and the writings are designed in a creamy color instead of plain white which looks quite neat. Carbotech writing in matching blue color with the dots in the small second’s sub dial is another cool trick. The watch is rated WR300M.
The watch is powered with the in-house automatic caliber P.9000. which we recall from several Panerai models. 28 jewelled caliber beats at 28800vph and it offers three days power reserve when fully wound. The caliber lacks the quick set date function however, it sports a useful feature for the frequent travellers. The first position of the crown allows the user to adjust the hour hand in one hour intervals without altering the position of the minute hand.
The watch comes on a 26mm/22mm rubber strap. The blue logo on the strap is an exclusive detail for PAM00616.
Beside it’s unique and high tech material, Luminor Submersible Carbotech also attracts attention for being a standard model instead of a limited edition one. Till now, Panerai used to limit the production numbers of their sensational models through a one year only time frame. Carbotech is going to be produced 500 pieces for first year. It seems the production will continue for the coming years. We will see in time, if this decision will make way to different Carbotech models.