96. That’s how old I’ll be when the warranty on one of these watches runs out. This year is all about the Luminor in the 2020 Panerai collection, with a number of exciting new references that have been released so far. We focus on two highlights within the collection, the Panerai Luminor Marina PAM01117 and the Panerai Luminor Marina Fibratech PAM01663, both 44mm watches in the classic Luminor case shape and offering some impressive new features.
First, the PAM01117, and straight out of the gate we have a 70-year warranty period to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the original Luminor. That’s right, if you buy it today, you’ll have a warranty till 2090. It’s an impressive show of confidence from Panerai in their product, and one you might wish was standard across the industry. Regardless, the PAM01117 is sure to be the life of the party in any nightclub (the next time we are allowed in a nightclub), thanks to the almost supernova radiance of the Super-LumiNova (now you know where it gets its name) that is liberally applied to the dial, hands, case and strap.
Turning to the interesting innovation found in the PAM01663, and we have a watch with a case made from mineral basalt fibres, a first in watchmaking. Born in the brand’s Laboratorio di Idee, the new material is reportedly 60 per cent lighter than steel and is formed by adding basalt rock to a temperature-and-pressure-controlled environment, thus producing a polymer with a uniquely striped pattern that reminds of carbon composite blocks. While it all sounds very complex and like it was made by boffins in lab coats, Panerai have produced a video that tells the story of the material in the language of a sci-fi thriller, which is a must-watch right here.
These highlights show the direction that Panerai is taking this year with the Luminor collection, at once looking back in celebration of the 70th anniversary, while simultaneously fixing their eyes forward with the pioneering materials they are using. It’s a direction that’s right in their sweet spot, and sure to fan enthusiast flames.