Pushing the Boundaries
Part of Human Nature is to push things as far as we can possibly beyond our own understanding, curiosity will never get the better of us and it would seem Panerai are no exception to that rule.
It has almost become part of the ritual every January not only to see what new models Panerai will be releasing but also what new technology will be introduced to the world. This year has seen the further development of the Carbotech material we saw last year, with a few slight tweaks here and there and have now been brought the LAB-ID PAM00700 before us.
The LAB-ID introduced at SIHH 2017 is a Luminor 1950 however this is where our familiarty with this watch begins and ends. The case is a gigantic 49mm and made out of Carbon but not in the usual methods we are used to with Panerai as well as other brands who use this ever popular material. The manufacturing method that Panerai use for the Carbon sees very thin sheets of the material pressed together using a specialised method which has the end result of each piece looking unique whilst being light weight. Carbotech isn't a new concept to us this year, we did see the introduction of PAM616 at last years SIHH with the material being introduced onto the Submersible 1950s case which creatins a huge amount of buzz and chatter with this new style material and with these models finding new homes within the last few months, excitement really is building up.
What is new this year is what goes on behind the scenes, the things you can't see. Carbon is a material of special properties that Panerai have been trying to extract and make work for variety of different reasons. The dial on the new PAM00700 features Carbon Nanotube technology which causes the dial to absorb light creating a drastic deep black colour causing the electric blue Lume to stand out even further.
The other new addition to this years stand out piece is possibly going to change the outlook of future models we may see from Panerai as they have introduced a movement that would need no servcing for 50 years. This is all possible due to specialised coatings on movement parts using Carbon. Using the Carbon in this method causes less friction and ultimately the use of no external lubrication and only four jewells within the movement. Until these watches start to come through, the true nature of the beast wont be fully known however with a only a Special Edition run of 50 pieces, this model is certainly going to go fast.
Written by Christian O'Rourke