This year’s Watches & Wonders (formerly SIHH) was a virtual affair and for obvious reasons. That was a bitter pill to swallow when it came to Panerai’s new Luminor Marina Fibratech PAM1663. Replete with cutting edge materials and luminous details, this boundary-pushing wristwear begged to be experienced in person. It represents the latest and greatest from a brand that continues to break ground after 160 years of watchmaking.
Immediately distinguishing Panerai’s new model from any previous fare is the use of Fibretech, a high-tech composite based on mineral basalt fibres. To create it, basalt rock was fused to produce unidirectional fibres, which were then binded with polymers to form thin layers. Next, the layers were moulded and consolidated by way of a pressure-and-temperature-controlled process to establish a unique shape. The resulting aerospace-grade case material is reportedly 60% lighter than steel and supremely resistant to corrosion. This is the first time it’s being used in a watch.
And what a watch it is. Featuring a gradient dark blue dial, matte grey textured finish, Carbotech bezel, crown bridge lever, and rubberised blue strap, the Luminor Marina Fibratech PAM1663 combines performance and aesthetic to wondrous effect. Because of its utterly unique moulding process, the watch is more or less impossible to replicate. Measuring in at 44m, it comes powered by in-house automatic P.9010 calibre, which delivers a whopping 3-day power reserve. Sealing the deal is radiant Luminor, a type of Super-Luminova that’s considered the best in the industry.
Not one to let innovation go to waste, Panerai will presumably release more Fibratech watches in the years to come. Each one will host additional cutting-edge materials and technologies, the kind of which have kept this brand at the forefront of the diving watch industry for countless decades. In the meantime, we have the Luminor Marina Fibratech, a watch that’s quite literally second to none. It’s limited in supply (and backed by a 70-year warranty) so don’t hesitate to snag one, should you have the means.