This year at SIHH2017, Panerai has introduced this new Panerai PAM700 that’s all about new materials and technological innovation. This watch comes from their “Laboratiori Di Idee”. Official name for Panerai PAM700 is Lab-ID Luminor 1950 Carbotech 3 Days (diameter 49mm). This watch is extremely technically advanced; there are no oils or liquid lubricants of any kind, anywhere in the movement, and it comes with a 50-year guarantee – yes, a 50-year guarantee.
The Carbotech case measures 49mm in diameter though it’s very light and has a matte finish. The sandwich dial has a coating of carbon nanotubes on the dial, which almost entirely absorbs all the light that hits it, making it extremely black. The dial and hands are lit up with blue Super-LumiNova and since you cannot print on the nanotube-coating, the words “Luminor Panerai” and LAB-ID are printed directly on the crystal.
This new special/limited edition is limited to only 50 pieces and comes with the classic 1950 design of Luminor collection. This is the only part of the watch that stays true to Panerai collection. Panerai draws inspiration from its own past and combines them with high technology watchmaking.
Every component of the new Panerai Lab-ID denotes the ability of this chemical element to create materials with phenomenal properties.
Carbotech is dense and has uneven blackness which varies with the cut of the material. It is because of the variation of blackness that makes each example unique, just like our fingerprint. In addition, Carbotech is light in weight, hypo-allergenic and not subject to corrosion, as well as having exceptional mechanical properties.
To form the sheets of Carbotech from which these components are made, very thin sheets of carbon fiber are pressed together. These are done at a controlled temperature under very high pressure with organic polymer PEEK (Polyether Ether Ketone), which links the composite material. To achieve great visual conformity, the carbon fibers used are very long. With these, the mechanical properties are further enhanced compared to other high-quality watchmaking materials; such as titanium or ceramics.
Let’s talk a bit about the dial: it’s being created from a material called Vantablack, which has been getting a lot of coverage lately. It’s “the blackest substance on earth” and it consists of an array of vertically oriented carbon nanotubes. Vantablack absorbs as much as 99.965% of the radiation that hits it and we’re wondering if Panerai has used Vantablack or one of the other available carbon nanotube coatings here.
Movement: Running perfectly without Lubrication
The most impressive thing about the Panerai PAM700 is that there are no traditional oils or greases used anywhere in the watch, which is what allows Panerai to offer a 50 year warranty. The new caliber P.3001/C (“C” standing for carbon) has bridges and mainplates made from a tantalum-based ceramic, which contains a high percentage of carbon making lubrication of the gear train pivots unnecessary. Additionally, the lever and escape wheel are made of DLC-coated silicon, eliminating the need for oil on the escape wheel teeth.
The use of tantalum and carbon containing ceramic also means not only is there no need for oils in the gear train, but there is also no need for traditional ruby jewels. There are only four jewels in the watch: the upper jewel and cap jewel on the upper balance pivot, and the corresponding two on the lower pivot. Usually these jewels have to be oiled exactly and correctly but the Lab-ID uses a surface coating of DLC on the bearing surfaces, eliminating the need for traditional oiling. That’s the main reason for staggering 50 year warranty.
Last, but not the least, the mainspring barrels (two of them) are also free of traditional oils or greases; instead, Panerai’s used a layer of different coatings, including DLC for the top layer. The only other thing we wonder about are the the keyless works for hand setting and winding, but from what we can see of the wheels in question through the caseback, Panerai seems to have done without traditional greases or lubricants there as well.
Other things you should know about the New Panerai Lab-ID P.3001/c:
- Spring Barrels: The two SPRING BARRELS have a multi-layer coating, the uppermost one being DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon).
Bridges and Plate: The BRIDGES and PLATE are made from a composite material integrating a Tantalum-based ceramic.
Escapement: The main components of the ESCAPEMENT are made of silicon and the wheelwork has a special DLC coating.
Anti-Shock Device: A surface coating of DLC on the jewels means that the Incabloc® ANTI-SHOCK DEVICE needs no further lubrication.
Conclusion: Panerai PAM700
The new PANERAI PAM700 LAB-ID is supplied with a black leather strap, with contrasting sewing in the same blue as the luminous details of the dial. The watch is a limited edition of 50 pieces and retails for €50,000 (approximately $53,470 at time of publishing). For more information, visit Panerai online.