Altered Carbon — Panerai Luminor Marina Carbotech PAM 1661
Officine Panerai reveals the Luminor Marina Carbotech PAM1661 as part of the re-launch of the Luminor Marina collection
If you are thirsty for watch novelties, here is a nice tall drink. Also, it happens to be blue. Silliness aside, this watch confused us when we saw it because it reminded us so much of the Carbotech PAM700. That was the famous Panerai watch released in 2017 that bears a 50-year warranty. Well, there are certainly similarities, especially in the case material and the distinctive blue colour, but PAM1661 is an entirely different watch. For one thing, this one is a Luminor Marina while PAM700 is a Luminor 1950. Crucially, this watch is very wearable 4mm, and is likely available to the average collector because it is only limited by production capacity.
As a brand, Panerai has been distinguished by several winning choices over its lifetime. This includes its characteristic usage of large Arabic numerals at the 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions, paired with a signature sandwich dial. Basically, that dial type indicates that there are two layers at work, with the top one etched out to create numerals and makers, thus revealing the SuperLuminova below. While Panerai certainly does not own this technique, it is quite closely associated with the brand. A detail such as this is important to the Paneristi community, as it would be to any serious collector. PAM1661 has this type of dial, just as PAM700 did.
Speaking of layering, this also applies to the case, because Carbotech is a high-tech composite material, featuring layers of carbon in alternating alignments. These come together in a high-pressure temperature-controlled environment using a binding matrix based on PEEK (polyether ether ketone). PEEK is typically used for medical implants in humans, for those who are interested in that sort of thing. For a watch such as PAM1661, there is also an interesting aesthetic component at play in terms of look-and-feel. Basically, each watch will be slightly different.
Those familiar with PAM700 should note that this new model does not share the same movement. Sandwiched between the dial and the DLC-treated titanium caseback is the automatic manufacture calibre P.9010, which is common to many Luminor Marina collections. Its virtues should be well known to all Paneristi, and general collectors too. Now, there is at least one other Luminor Marina model in Carbotech at present, but this is the only one with a sandwich dial, and is one of only three Carbotech-cased models with such a dial. The other two are PAM700 and PAM1038, both playing at different levels.
Panerai Luminor Marina Carbotech PAM 1661 Specs and Price
Movement Automatic Panerai calibre P.9010 with date; 72-hour power reserve
Case 44mm in Carbotech; water-resistant to 300 metres
Strap Panerai Sportech, black with blue stitching