Research in watchmaking works toward mechanics improvement, but also toward esthetics. Materials is an important field for research for both directions.
The new Carbotech case material, introduced by Panerai, answers to the need of a light and resistant case. In order to produce the plates of carbotech that form each of the components of the case, thin sheets of carbon fiber are compressed at a controlled temperature under high pressure along with the polymer PEEK (Polyether Ether Ketone), creating a stronger and more durable composite lighter and less corrosive than titanium or ceramic. Collectors will appreciate the fact that each carbotech case will be different from the other, due to its peculiar production process.
The new meteorite dial on the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar aswers intead to the need of new esthetic solutions. Meteorite is not a new material on watchmaking, but is the first time that we can see it in a classy watch, and also in a stainless steel version, with an astronomical complication such the moon phases. Jaeger-LeCOultre meteorite dial will have a limited production due to the fact that they all come from a single stone found in Sweden, adn coming from somewhere between Mars and Jupiter…
Also Parmigiani Fleurier introduces a meteorite dial for its Tonda 1950 case: the natural grey-colour of the meteorite has been turned to a beautiful, deep blue and black.