Judging by people’s reactions within the various Panerai forums and Facebook groups I lurk in, the Blu Notte (night blue) Panerai dial colour seems to be a hit. It’s interesting because many people these days are moving away from blue dials in favour of green. Also, Panerai hardly changes anything else with its watches. And yet, that hasn’t stopped them from playing around with their formula. Usually, to get a Panerai dress watch, you take a cushion-shaped stainless steel case, jam a movement in it, make up something about it on Instagram and there you are. This one seems a little different.
Panerai has given the Luminor Marina the Carbotech case treatment, and while that may not be new for the Luminor Marina, it’s certainly no less striking. Carbotech is Panerai’s proprietary carbon fibre-based case material. It’s made up of sheets upon sheets of carbon fibre that are layered with resin and then bonded under high temperature and pressure to become one piece. That means an incredibly strong and scratch-resistant case. It also means that each Carbotech case is entirely unique, as random reactions form the patterns of the case during the heating phase. Panerai’s even made the bezel and signature locking crown system out of Carbotech, and the cushion-shaped case measures 44mm.
The blue sandwich dial features the typical sunburst finish we’re used to seeing on dress watches. And why wouldn’t they do something like that, considering that there’s no help from a flashy polished case to help this watch stand out. The dial is clean and unfussy, wholly a Panerai design.
Inside the watch is the calibre P.9010, the successor to the P.9000 calibre. It’s automatically wound with a free-sprung balance wheel suspended from a balance bridge for superior shock resistance. It’s also got a 4Hz beat rate and 72-hour power reserve, and the movement can even be set forwards or backwards without causing damage. Believe me, that’s not as common on mechanical watches as you’d think. For this watch, the movement is obscured by a black titanium caseback. I’m not sure why Panerai did this, their movements are generally nice to look at, and it seems a shame to cover it. It does mean this watch is water-resistant to 300m though, that’s the same as Panerai’s Submersible watches, and this is definitely not a diving watch with its supple blue leather strap.
Panerai is only making 500 of these, and they’ll cost you $13,900.