Panerai has been recognized in recent years for its forays into both avant-garde, high-tech case materials and bolder dial colorways. The Luminor Marina Carbotech Blu Notte, an online-exclusive limited edition unveiled this week, is the Florentine-rooted brand’s latest example of both those mission statements. It is the first model in the Panerai portfolio to combine a Carbotech case with the sun-brushed blue dial that the maison refers to in its Italian parlance as “Blu Notte.”
The 44-mm case, in the familiar barrel-shaped Luminor silhouette, is made of Carbotech, a material Panerai inaugurated into the watchmaking world in 2015, with a structure designed to enhance both aesthetics and performance. It attains its distinctive look through a process that compresses long, thin, aesthetically uniform sheets of carbon fibers at a controlled temperature under high pressure together with a high-end polymer called PEEK (Polyether Ether Ketone). The latter binds the composite material, making it even stronger and more durable. The sheets are superimposed and pressed together so that each layer’s fibers are set at a different angle to the ones above and below it, resulting in the material’s warm, matte-black surface with fine variations that makes each case unique. Mechanically, the finished Carbotech is lighter than both ceramic and titanium, more resistant to corrosion, and hypoallergenic. The case features the patented safety-lock crown-protection device in the same material and a a sapphire crystal formed of corondum.
The Blu Notte dial beneath that sapphire crystal has a lustrous sun-brushed finish that imparts to it a suitably nautical character — as Panerai puts it, “like rays of sun filtering through fathoms of the sea.” Constructed in Panerai’s signature sandwich style, the dial hosts numerals, indices, and black steel hands coated with white Super-LumiNova that glows green in the dark. The small seconds display at 9 o’clock, parallel to the date window at 3 o’clock gives the dial a harmonious, symmetrical look.
Behind the solid caseback beats Panerai’s in-house, automatic Caliber P.9010, with a bidirectional rotor and two spring barrels to store a power reserve of 72 hours, or three days. Like other Panerai manufacture movements, it is fitted with a device for stopping the balance wheel to more precisely synchronize the watch while setting it, as well as a system for quickly adjusting the hour hand forward or backward without interfering with the running of the seconds hand — a useful feature when changing time zones or in the event one needs to quickly adjust the date.
The 300-meter water-resistant case is mounted on a matte-finished, alligator leather strap in the same Blu Notte shade as the dial, with a trapezoidal pin buckle in titanium with a black DLC coating. A dark blue rubber strap is also available. The Luminor Marina Carbotech Blu Notte (Ref. PAM01664) is limited to 500 pieces and priced at $13,900.