The high-end Panerai LAB-ID Luminor 1950 case is made of a composite material based on carbon fibre; the dial is covered with carbon nanotubes; and the movement works without any lubrication thanks to the mechanical properties of carbon composites. In particular, the Luminor 1950 case – 49 mm in diameter – is made of carbotech, a composite material based on carbon fibre whose dense, uneven blackness varies with the cut of the material, making each piece unique.
The structure of carbotech enhances both the appearance and the performance of the material, which is used to make the case and the bridge device with its locking lever protecting the winding crown, thus helping to ensure the watch’s water-resistance to 10 bar (a depth of about 100 metres).
To form the sheets of carbotech from which these components are made, very thin sheets of carbon fibre are pressed together at a controlled temperature under very high pressure with the organic polymer PEEK (Polyether Ether Ketone), which links the composite material, making it yet more resistant and reliable.
The carbon fibres used are very long, so as to achieve great aesthetic uniformity. The sheets are superimposed and pressed together in such a way the orientation of the fibres of each layer is out of phase with the one below or above it. This structure has the effect of increasing the mechanical properties of carbotech compared to those of similar materials or others often used in high quality watchmaking, such as ceramics or titanium. Carbotech is actually lighter and more resistant to external stresses, as well as being hypoallergenic and not subject to corrosion.
The dial has the classic sandwich structure invented by Panerai, in which the luminous substance – in this case blue-coloured Super-LumiNova – emerges through the openings made in the dial corresponding to the hour markers and the small seconds dial, ensuring excellent visibility and legibility.
In the Panerai LAB-ID these characteristics are further enhanced by the innovative materials used: the dial has a coating of carbon nanotubes, used for the first time for the display dial. The optical properties of this special coating have been specially developed to absorb light, reducing reflection to a minimum and giving the dial a particularly deep black appearance.
Because it is not possible to print or stamp a dial with these characteristics, all the figures are formed directly on the dial crystal, to which a double anti-reflective treatment has been applied.
The new Panerai LAB-ID has a P.3001/C hand wound calibre with a power reserve of three days, now presented for the very first time in an extraordinarily innovative version, semi-skeletonised, completely without additional lubrication and with only four jewels.
By using a wide range of solutions, specially devised for the individual parts of the movement and associated with the unique properties of carbon, the plates, bridges, barrels, escapement and anti-shock device use self-lubricating and dry lubricating materials, and are hence exempt from any liquid lubrication.
These solutions are so revolutionary and reduce so dramatically the need for maintaining and overhauling the calibre that Panerai guarantees it for no less than 50 years!
To remove the need for further lubricating the main bridges and the plate, these components are made of a completely new material: a low friction composite which integrates a Tantalum based ceramic. This new generation of composite is notable for its high percentage of carbon which minimises pivot friction, making jewels and their related lubrication unnecessary.
Also eliminated is the need to lubricate the escapement as a result of making the main components from silicon and applying a special coating of DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) to the wheelwork. The four jewels of the Incabloc anti-shock device are also applied with a surface coating of DLC .
Most of the P.3001/C movement of the new Panerai LAB-ID can be seen through the large porthole protected by a sapphire crystal which is set in the back of the watch, enabling the power reserve indicator to be read.The movement’s distinctive features include a balance wheel which is no less than 13.2 mm in diameter, fixed by a bridge with twin supports and oscillating at a frequency of 3 Hz, and the device which stops the balance and returns the seconds hand to zero (seconds reset) when setting the time, so that the watch can be perfectly synchronised with a reference signal.