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Review of the Panerai Submersible Carbotech PAM960 Dive Watch

Review of the Panerai Submersible Carbotech PAM960 Dive Watch

panerai submersible carbotech PAM960

The Submersible line contains the toughest and most no-nonsense watches in the entire Panerai catalog. They are robust, big, sporty, and undeniably militaristic. With the Panerai Submersible Carbotech PAM960, the unconventional Italian luxury watchmaking house clearly doubled down on the toughness factor, while also making one of the lightest, sleekest, and coolest looking divers watches we’ve ever seen.


We recently acquired a Panerai Submersible Carbotech PAM960 here at Diamonds By Raymond Lee in Boca Raton and we simply can’t take our eyes off it. There’s so much going on with this watch in terms of design, functionality and material that we had to put together an in-depth, hands-on review.

Note: If you are interested in purchasing this Panerai Submersible Carbotech PAM960, please contact us for pricing. You can also come into our showroom in Boca Raton to try it on. 

blue panerai submersible dive watch


Carbotech is Panerai’s proprietary carbon fiber-based material. It is designed to enhance performance, both in terms of durability, longevity, and weight, as well as to look completely badass.

To create this material, Panerai compresses thin sheets of carbon at a controlled temperature and under high pressure while combining a high-end polymer called PEEK (Polyether Ether Keto). This process binds the composite material, thus making plates of “Carbotech” that are stronger, lighter, and more durable than carbon fiber by itself. These plates of Carbotech are then used to form the components of the watch through layering. In the case of the Panerai Submersible Carbotech PAM960, the case, bezel and crown protectors are made entirely from Carbotech. This renders the watch virtually indestructible to force and makes it invincible to corrosion.

But it’s not only about resistance, the Carbotech material is extremely lightweight. Durability plus lightness is what avant-garde materials for watches of the modern time are all about. Panerai nailed it with Carbotech.

When it comes to diver’s watches, the Submersible Carbotech is very hard to rival. Not only is it hardwearing, long-lasting, and comfortable, but it also has aesthetics and functionality that will blow you away, above and below sea level.


As with any respectable diver’s watch, the Panerai Submersible Carbotech PAM960 has 300 meters (or 30 bars or 1,000 feet) of water resistance.

For context, the average recreational diver goes 39 meters below sea level, basic scuba certifications are at depths of 9-18 meters, and a deep dive is considered 30m for the average diver.

A Navy Seal will be certified to dive 39 meters and professionals divers (aka commercial divers usually only go to 200 meters.

As such, the watch’s water resistance is way more than enough.

Now, beyond its stellar water resistance, we have to talk about its aesthetic design and lume, as this watch only gets sexier and sexier the deeper you dive.

Light vs Dark

In a light setting, you’ll see a case that is an uneven matte black charcoal and a dial that is jet black. It’s an all black watch that makes for a strong, contemporary, militaristic look.

To complement the black and give the watch some pop and “life”, you have beautiful sky blue accents. The blue really gives the watch immense personality. The color scheme is stunning. The blue contrasts with the black in such a powerful way…

…and when things go dark, whether that’s at night or deep underwater, those sky blue accents completely steal the show.


Super-LumiNova coats the hour markers, the large skeleton hands, the running seconds sub-dial, and the indicators at the top right of the bezel.

In the dark, everything turns turquoise. Against the black, it has legibility in the water (or at night) like we’ve never seen before. The lume shines with incredible authority.

Panerai also added a very nice touch to make readability even more of a breeze. The minute hand’s tip and the lumed pearl at the top of the bezel turn a proper lime green in the dark (rather than blue like the rest of the lume). It really helps make telling time, or even more importantly, timing immersion, so damn easy. Any diver will tell you that the two most useful components when you are underwater are the bezel and minute hand. The luminescent color distinction is fantastic for this. 

Overall, this is a watch that looks just as good in the dark as it does in the light. In fact, it might even look more impressive at night. Understandably so, as no one does lume better than Panerai

You really need to appreciate Panerai’s approach to luminescence. They were among the first to migrate lume into watchmaking. Panerai took the invention of radium, which was a self-sustaining source of illumination that was invented in the late 1800s and developed a luminescent paint for the watches they were supplying the Italian Royal Navy. Fast forward to today and they are still the best in the business when it comes to lume…

Panerai Submersible Carbotech watch

Now, let’s talk about the case, bezel, dial and bracelet in more detail.


Unlike other Submersible watches, which are quite oversized at 44mm or 47mm, the case of this Panerai Submersible Carbotech PAM960 is 42mm (in diameter). It’s not small by any means, but a 42mm watch is far more wearable for the vast majority of us. 

That being said, it has more wrist presence than the standard 42mm dimension suggests. Lug to lug the watch is 52.5mm, with a 22mm spacing between the lugs. With the large, wholly-iconic Panerai crown guard, it is beefier than normal 42mm watches. Yet, still, nowhere near the size of it 44mm and 47mm siblings.

As for its height, it is 13mm thick. While it is not “thin”, it is thinner than most Panerai watches and it is definitely considered slender among the Submersible line.

In terms of design, when you take a close look at the case, you will see it has that 1950s Panerai case style. This style of case came back into play at Panerai back in 2002 (historically this case style was best known on the Italian Navy Combat Watch 6152).

You’ll also notice the Carbotech’s layers have an interesting look. It’s almost like a natural woodgrain finish.

One of the special points about the case of the Panerai Submersible Carbotech is that due to the process of creating the Carbotech material, no two watches are the same, aesthetically speaking. Think of it like our fingerprints.

On the wrist

On the wrist, the case sits comfortable thanks to its wonderful ergonomics and incredible lightweight. And although it’s not thin by any means, it’s not unwieldy or excessively thick. When our team at Diamonds By Raymond Lee in Boca Raton tried on the Panerai Submersible Carbotech PAM960, we all agreed this is one of the most wearable Panerai watches of all time. Again, it’s not just because of the size, but the lightness of the carbon composite case too.

Locking Lever

Panerai’s locking lever is a design icon in and of itself. It is located on the crown guard.

It works like this…

You pull down the locking lever, which then decompresses the crown seal. As soon as you pull the lever, you will be able to wind the crown and set it. When you push it back into place, it compresses the crown seal and the crown is no longer windable. 

This kind of system is extremely tough to drown because it is so obvious when it is not sealed. It would be hard to miss that the lever is out (it sticks out very noticeably) before jumping into the water. Moreover, it offers more protection than the standard shouldered crown guard, and because you don’t have to pop and screw the crown in or out, it’s easier to work with if your hands are wet or sweaty.


The Panerai Submersible Carbotech has a unidirectional rotating bezel for timing immersion underwater. All you have to do is line up the luminescent pearl with the minute hand and you have a 0-60 minute count-up timer (the blue lines run for the 0-15 minute mark for precise calculations within that time frame).

Note: Average dive time is 40-50 minutes, so the functionality is perfect.

If you’ve played with other diver’s watches, then when you rotate the bezel of this watch, you will instantly notice that it sounds and feels better than anything in the business. Panerai is the standard for dive bezel quality.


The dial has a jet matte black finish and all of the appliqués are blue. The appliqués are simply shallow cylinders made of blue material. The polarity of the blue on black makes legibility beyond easy. And as mentioned earlier, everything on the dial is very generously supplied with lume, so this applies to both dark and light settings. 

What’s also cool is how the dial is not sandwiched. The applied hour markers rest above its surface, in a very noticeable way. It’s not flat like most watches. So when you see the dial from a side view, you will see the appliques protruding, standing above the dial. It makes for a very three-dimensional look.

All in all, it’s one of the cleanest, most uncluttered, visually appealing dials around.

Functionality-wise, it has a hacking stop-seconds and a quick set system so you can rapidly cycle the date.


The case back is made of titanium and it has a lot going on with its engravings. In particular, you will see the SLC (manned torpedo) used by Italian Navy combat swimmers during World War II (Panerai is known for their military history, and the DNA of that is still strong within the Panerai Submersible & Luminor lines).

The V on the back corresponds to the watch’s launch date, which was back in 2019.

Underneath the titanium caseback rests what Panerai calls the Calibre OP34.


The movement is a Valfeurian, which is a Fleurier movement manufacturer in Fleurier, Switzerland. It is a company within the Richmond group, for which Panerai is also a subsidiary. Fleurier builds movements for other members of the Richmond group, not just Panerai.

While Fleurier typically does entry-level movements, in recent years they have been making increasingly more sophisticated movements, like the one within this watch.

The OP34 is an automatic winding movement with a three-day power reserve. The OP34 beats away at 28,000 vibrations per hour while pivoting on 25 jewels. It features the hacking seconds and the stop-seconds. It is an extremely tough movement thanks to its Incabloc® anti-shock device, designed for sports watches that may receive high impact. Moreover, it has a minimal configuration, which is the reason why this watch can be sub-14 millimeters thick.

panerai submersible review


Panerai watches come with various strap options. For the Panerai Submersible Carbotech PAM960, you have orange, dark blue, and light blue. We have the light blue, which, in our opinion, is the best of them all as it matches and complements the blue accents of the dial and bezel perfectly, while also contrasting the cool black case and dial in the same manner. It really gives the watch a standout, sporty look.

The strap is super comfortable as it is made from soft corrugated rubber. The ridges and grooves sit perfectly on the wrist and allows for a lot of breathability. Moreover, the ridges give the bracelet the perfect flexibility and the notches on the tail end ensure that the keeper doesn’t slide up or down.

As for the buckle, it is made of black DLC titanium. DLC stands for diamond-like carbon, which is extremely resistant to scratches, scuffs, and wear over time. You’ll never have to worry about the strap coming off or the buckle breaking. Not a chance.


No one can deny this watch is cool and very well designed. Nevertheless, it isn’t a watch for everyone. This is a watch for someone who appreciates an ultra-sporty, militaristic-style luxury watch with a fresh color scheme. It’s not your typical luxury sports watch by any means, yet nothing Panerai does is standard. They are very unconventional in their approach to watchmaking, which is what makes them so great. They’ve been pioneering watches since as far back as WWII.

All in all, if you like Panerai, you will love this watch. Guaranteed.

If you are interested in this Panerai Submersible Carbotech Pam960, please contact us. It comes with all of its original papers and its original box. This exquisite, lightweight, hard-wearing, high-impact diver’s watch by Panerai is in perfect condition.


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