Carbon Fiber Dives Deep with Old School, Navy-Inspired Wristwatch

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Panerai PAM 616 Closeup

If you’ve been following along here at Carbon Fiber Gear, then you’ve seen your fair share of carbon fiber-inspired clothes and accessories. From Italian handbags, to running shoes, to commemorative moon boots, even suits of snake proof armor, it’s becoming quite obvious that our all-time favorite material has a bright and stylish future in the world of fashion.

Enter the 47mm Luminor Submersible 1950 Carbotech 3 Days Automatic Watch — or the PAM 616, for short — the latest edition to a growing list of high-tech carbon fiber attire.

PAM 616 straight on

The year is 1940. Panerai’s initial prototype, the “Radiomir,” worn by commandos in the Royal Italian Navy, has undergone rigorous tests, culminating in a wide variety of improvements to their creation — including reinforced lugs — so that the company’s marquee watch may survive deep, deep, deep underwater.

Ten years later, 1950, after a brand new self-luminous substance has gone above and beyond what that of the original radium-based paste of the Radiomir could do, and after further upgrades to each and every aspect of their once-and-still-celebrated creation, Panerai embarks on a brand new era of watchmaking with an updated case, aptly named the “Luminor.”

Old Luminor

Fast forward to today and Panerai has finally picked up where those initial innovators left off. Inspired by the design that rose to those Alp-like standards made by the Italian Royal Navy, they’ve updated the case, once again, by implementing a carbon fiber-based composite material that’s never before been used in the realm of watchmaking.

Called Carbotech, the material is made from stacking layers of carbon fiber, forming a block of it and then slicing and shaping that block to form the frame. (Which is why the PAM 616 has a striped appearance, stylistically different to the crosshatching found on your typical carbon fiber-based construction.)

PAM 616 super closeup

Water resistant to a depth of 300 meters, the PAM 616 also boasts — in addition to all the other items you’d expect to see on a nearly $20,000 wristwatch — a titanium back, a respectable p.9000 in-house made movement, a 72-hour power reserve and an enhanced rotating bezel, replete with small studs, that was originally invented for the satisfaction of another nautical force, that of the 1956 Egyptian Navy.

PAM 616 sideview

From past to present. From today into tomorrow. From wallets to wristwatches. Time and time again — pun well-intended — it seems that a use for carbon fiber can be found in almost any innovation, especially those that keep us looking good.

For more information on the PAM 616, you can visit the watch’s official website here.

[Source: Panerai, Bloomberg Businessweek]

Be sure to check out our carbon fiber store, where our specialty is in lifestlyle products.