Just released by Panerai is the new Luminor Marina Carbotech Blu Notte PAM 1664, a 500-piece limited edition exclusively for the brand’s e-commerce store. The resilient yet super lightweight watch is done in a 44mm Carbotech case, which is the carbon fiber composite that Panerai has used for the past few years. This is the first time Panerai has matched a Carbotech case with a blue dial, and the result is a handsome and well-proportioned watch that I’d absolutely wear on a regular basis.
Carbotech is a carbon fiber composite used by Panerai for about six years now, favored for its lightweight durability and almost Damascus steel-like pattern created by the material’s layering process. The process of creating Carbotech involves layering sheets of carbon fiber that are held together with a polymer resin and then heated and pressurized.
Panerai was smart to realize that not everyone in the watch community is a fan of the beige “fauxtina,” and last year’s Luminor Marina PAM 1313 was appreciated for, among other reasons, using white lume against the quite beautiful blue dial. By basically taking the dial of the PAM 1313 and putting it in the Carbotech case found on the PAM 1661, Panerai has struck a successful balance of moodiness and contemporary style. While the previous Carbotech pieces have all had black dials with blue lume, the new PAM 1664 breaks with the tradition by going with the blu notte dial. Still, it doesn’t look out of place next to the previous iterations, as the common themes of blue and black still remain.
The dial is a deep blue that almost looks black in very low light but otherwise shines. The sandwich dial has lume on the indices, numerals, and hands. The white lume is really nice against the blue of the dial, but it glows a radiant green once activated. Personally, this is one of my favorite dial configurations and color schemes from Panerai. I’d say I wish the brand would do more Blu Notte dials, but I do think there’s something special about its rarity.
The satin-finished blue dial does lend some dressiness to the PAM 1664, a vibe that is punctuated with the matching Blu Notte alligator leather strap as opposed to a sportier fabric strap. (Note that the pin buckle on the strap is actually done in titanium with DLC, not Carbotech.) Still, the 300m of water resistance ensures that this is a true dive watch, no matter how dressed up it is.
Beneath the titanium case back is the automatic P.9010 movement, a staple of the Panerai lineup since 2016. Composed of 200 parts and 31 jewels, the P.9010 operates at 28,800 vph and features two barrels that help achieve the 72-hour power reserve. One downside to this movement (as of an update sometime in 2020) is that there isn’t a hacking seconds function. There is, however, an independent hour hand that can be adjusted forward and backward and is also used to set the date.
The PAM 1664 case measures 44mm-wide, about 13.5mm-thick, and has a lug-to-lug of 54mm. While it’s certainly on the larger side of what I usually wear, the light weight of the Carbotech goes a long way in improving comfort and wearability.
The Panerai Luminor Marina Blu Notte PAM 1664 is a fresh and contemporary watch that really is the brand at its best. Innovative materials, an instantly recognizable case shape, and an altogether lovely dial come together in a piece that I honestly would enjoy wearing regularly. Limited to 500 pieces and only available via the brand’s e-commerce page here, the Luminor Marina Blu Notte PAM 1664 is priced at $13,900. You can learn more and shop this watch at panerai.com.