For some people, their first exposure to Panerai was the 1996 film Daylight starring Sylvester Stallone. For me, it was mooring up in the Isle of Wight during the Cowes Yacht Week. There, I saw multiple pale blue flags with the Panerai logo. Before long, I came across the yacht Eilean that Panerai lovingly restored on commission. Interestingly, this was the same yacht featured in the Duran Duran video for “Rio.” Since my intro to Panerai, sailing has been a key identifier for the brand, even more so than the Marina Militare for me. That is why this new Panerai Luminor Marina Carbotech Luna Rossa is an exciting release.
This new model extends Panerai’s partnership with Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli as the official sponsor of the Italian sailing team at the 37th America’s Cup. Regatta racing is frenetic and can be exciting, but it accounts for such a small portion of recreational sailing. The last regatta race I took part in was over ten years ago, and to be brutally honest, I do not remember if we won or came in last. For anyone other than the skipper, all you can focus on is winching, transferring weight from port to starboard, and not falling off. Yet, I find the America’s Cup highly engrossing and look forward to next year’s competition.
To celebrate the upcoming 37th America’s Cup in 2024, this new Panerai Luminor Marina Carbotech Luna Rossa ups its lightweight technical credentials. While the blue sunray-brushed dial and the red small seconds hand resemble the previous Luminor Quaranta in DLC steel, the Carbotech case is much lighter. Furthermore, with the gray sub-dial with concentric grooves, the new watch aligns with the previous Luminor Chrono (PAM01519). The red stripe on the hybrid rubber/textile strap takes inspiration from Luna Rossa’s official color codes. It also echoes the red stripe used by Luna Rossa’s clothing sponsor Prada, another Italian luxury brand.
One selling point of this new Panerai Luminor Marina Carbotech Luna Rossa model is its Carbotech case construction. The case displays a unique pattern resulting from applying thin strips of carbon fiber one by one with a binding agent. Once bound, the material is superheated in a pressurized oven for a specific time. Carbotech is not new to Panerai, however. Indeed, the brand has been using it since 2015. But this application on the new Luna Rossa edition demonstrates the practical use of a strong, light case. You need a featherweight watch that can take a few knocks at sea without showing signs of wear, even despite the large 44mm cushion shape.