Each of Panerai’s new Luminor Submersible 1950 Carbotech watch, also known as PAM 616, is unique due to its case. The PAM 616’s Luminor-style case is made of Carbotech, a carbon fiber composite that has never been used in watchmaking before.
Carbotech is used to make the case, the rotating bezel and the lever bridge which protects the winding crown; the composite was designed to enhance both the aesthetics and the performance of the material. To form the plates of carbotech from which these components are made, thin sheets of carbon fibers are compressed at a controlled temperature under high pressure together with a high-end polymer, PEEK (Polyether Ether Ketone), binding the composite material and making it even stronger and more durable. The carbon fibers used are very long to ensure great aesthetic uniformity; the sheets are superimposed and pressed together in such a way that the fibers of each layer are set at a different angle to the ones above and below it. This produces a stripped matte black appearance which varies according to the cut of the material, resulting in each watch being truly unique.
With this structure, the mechanical properties of Carbotech are much higher than those of similar materials or of other materials used in watchmaking, such as ceramics and titanium. Carbotech is lighter than other materials commonly used in watchmaking and much more resistant to everyday wear and tear. It is also hypoallergenic and non-corrosive.