Panerai Submersible Marina Militare Carbotech PAM 961 Comsubin Special Edition

Source: TimeWerke Videos on YouTube.

The Submersible Marina Militare Carbotech, a new series in Panerai’s collection, is a “professional underwater watch” that deserves to be called a “survival instrument”, states the brand. This explains the text “survival instruments” inscribed on the case back along with an engraved image of a frogman like that on the PAM00979.

The watchcase is made of Carbotech, a material made from carbon fibre that is lighter than titanium and stronger than stainless steel. The material composition comprises extremely thin layers of carbon fibre bound by a special polymer. The dial is made of carbon and has a camouflage-type appearance.

The Panerai Submersible Marina Militare Carbotech PAM 979 is a regular production model and within the collection is a special edition model – the PAM00961.

The PAM 961 Submersible Marina Militare Carbotech “Comsubin” Special Edition. Limited to 33 examples. Photo: Panerai.

The PAM 961 Marina Militare Carbotech “Comsubin” Special Edition is limited to 33 examples and one key difference is the use of military green SuperLuminova on the hour markers, as well as the hour and minute skeleton hands with the overall look complemented with a military green rubber strap.

Is it odd to limit the PAM 961 to an odd number (pun intended) of 33 pieces? Well, not at all. The PAM 961 is special in the sense that it pays tribute to the brand’s partnership with the elite commando frogman unit of the Italian Navy – the Comsubin, also known as “Comando Raggruppamento Subacquei e Incursori Teseo Tesei” – the Teseo Tesei Diver and Raider Command Group.

Thirty-three was derived because in Comsubin’s history, that is the total number of Gold Medals for Military Valour awarded to its members. This Italian Special Forces unit had been deployed in the War in Afghanistan and the Iraq War, among other things.

The PAM979 (left) as compared with the PAM961 (Right). Images: Panerai.

The Comsubin is named after Teseo Tesei (1909 to 1941), who was a major in the Italian Royal Navy (Regia Marina) during the Second World War. Regarded as a war hero, this Italian naval officer was also a frogman and is credited for inventing the low speed torpedo – the “Siluro a Lenta Corsa” (SLC), also known as the “human torpedo” or “pig” – the maiale that was used during the Second World War.

In addition to its rarity and appearance as compared to the PAM00979 which uses grey SuperLuminova, what truly sets the PAM 961 apart is a short Special Forces military training experience provided to the owners.

In early September 2019, the 33 owners of the PAM 961 were invited to participate in an intense yet brief two-day experience with members of the Comsubin at the “Teseo Tesei” naval base in La Spezia, Italy.

Case back of the PAM00961. Photo: Panerai.

Under the direction of the Operational Divers Group (GOS) and the Operational Raiders Group (GOI), they wore their PAM961 and went diving, shooting and even took part in a zip-line passing across a 200-metre crevice on a 100-metre line. A visit to the Italian submarine rescue ship, the Anteo, was included.

The Comsubin’s coat-of-arms features a caiman and its accompanying motto is: “E fluctibus irruit in hostem” which means: “From the sea, we assault the enemy” when translated to English.