April 24, 2020
by David Bredan
2020 sees Panerai debut not one, but two new materials, both in the Luminor Marina 44 format. The Panerai Luminor Marina Fibratech 44 PAM01663 premieres a case crafted from mineral fibers produced by the fusion of basalt rock. Yep, you read that right.
Model: Luminor Marina Fibratech 44 PAM01663
Dimensions: 44mm-wide, 15.65mm-thick
Water Resistance: 30 bar (300 meters)
Case Material: DMLS titanium case, Carbotech bezel, crown and lever
Crystal/Lens: sapphire crystal obtained from corundum
Movement: Panerai Caliber P.9010, 200 components
Power Reserve: 3 days
Strap/Bracelet: Panerai Sportech, additional rubber strap
Price & Availability: $16,000 USD
Fibratech, as Panerai explains, is “made from unidirectional mineral fibers produced by the fusion of basalt rock. These fibers, bonded with polymers, become thin layers that are superimposed in a precise orientation and then consolidated through a pressure- and temperature-controlled process.” How the resulting watch case feels on the wrist remains to be judged in a Wrist Time review.
The brand seems excited to have this high-tech discovery be more than a one-time thing and turn into the next generation of Panerai Fibratech watches. The Luminor Marina FibratechTM (PAM01663) is, apparently, the first of many more to come. This is interesting because, typically, high-tech materials used in the greater luxury watch industry remain ingredients exclusively reserved for “halo pieces,” as opposed to stuff designed for long-term, serious production, even if the latter is what actually serves as real proof of the value of the innovation — and not the lofty claims made in press releases. Here’s hoping for more Panerai pieces with proprietary materials.
Panerai has proven its ability in bringing novel components into more regular production, and the Panerai Luminor Marina Fibratech 44 PAM01663 is a fitting example of that. Its bezel is crafted from Carbotech, a multi-layered carbon composite material that the brand has been using for its watch exteriors in recent years. This time around, Carbotech is used for the lever of the crown bridge, as well — a neat little touch, for sure.
Sandwiched between a graded blue dial — all the rage these days — and a micro-sandblasted titanium caseback is Panerai Caliber P.9010 that provides three days of power reserve, replenished by a self-winding rotor. The operating frequency matched to this extended power reserve is the modern 4 Hertz rate, which renders the 72-hour reserve that much more impressive.
The Panerai Luminor Marina Fibratech 44 PAM01663 is priced at $16,000 and there’s no word of it being a limited edition. Check out the brand’s website for more.