Having just debuted a Luminor with fancy “lume” and a sintered titanium case, Panerai is also unveiling another wristwatch in a novel material – the Luminor Marina Fibratech 44 mm PAM01663 with a basalt-fibre composite case.
Having been the focus of research in recent years as a lower-cost and ecologically-friendly alternative to carbon-fibre composites, basalt-fibre composites are light, strong, fire-resistant, biodegradable, and more cost efficient, making them increasingly popular in the automotive and aerospace industries.
The material starts with basalt rock that’s ground up, melted, and then formed into fibres. As with carbon-fibre composites, the basalt fibres are then mixed in a liquid polymer and baked in a special high-pressure oven, or autoclave, forming the composite material that can be machined to the desired shape.
Used for the first time in watchmaking with the Luminor Marina Fibratech, basalt-fibre composite is used for the case and crown-lock bridge, while the bezel, crown, and crown-lock lever are made of carbon-fibre composite (or Carbotech in Panerai parlance), giving the case a two-tone appearance with the carbon-fibre composite several shades darker than its basalt-fibre counterpart.
And as is usual for watch cases made of composite materials, the screw-down case back is titanium and screws into an inner case of titanium. Under the titanium back is the P.9010, a thin, in-house automatic with a three-day power reserve.
In keeping with current fads, the dial is dark blue, but with a smoked finish that darkens towards the edges. And in keeping with Panerai tradition, the dial has a “sandwich” construction.
Key facts and price
Panerai Luminor Marina Fibratech 44mm
Diameter: 44 mm
Height: 15.65 mm
Material: Fibratech case with Carbotech bezel
Water resistance: 300 m
Functions: Hours, minutes and seconds; date
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3Hz)
Power reserve: 3 days
Strap: Rubberised fabric; additional strap in rubber
Limited edition: No
Availability: At Panerai boutiques
Price: €16,000; or 23,500 Singapore dollars
For more information, visit Panerai.com
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