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It is by now old news that Panerai are marrying exotic and luxurious travel experiences to some of their most limited watches this year. And I have to say that I do envy the lucky clients that can dig out 35.000 EUR from the depth of their pockets to join these experiences that Panerai put on with their ambassadors. The experiences are unique, and the watches are all supercool.

During SIHH I had a chance to sit down with the man who put his name on one of the novelties. Guillaume Néry is the new ambassador for Panerai.
I must admit I had never heard of the dude before, but according to my French friend, he is a legend. Guillaume Néry is a world renowned freediver with several records and a huge social media following.

With a history like Panerai, building a relationship with a diver is just common sense really. And Guillaume Néry is also a personality that fit right into their already established partnership with Mike Horn, and their quest for a sustainable future for the oceans.

Guillaume Néry Panerai
Guillaume Néry Panerai

Who is this guy?

Guillaume lives half the year in Nice and the other half in the South Pacific, the French Polynesia. He has been diving non-stop for years, pushing boundaries, but then suddenly everything changed.

– In 2015, I had an accident and I stopped this quest of records, but I’m still diving. I’m still sometimes competing, but with another approach. I’m trying new experiences, which are not specifically like pushing world records limits, but more trying new things. Last year, I did a competition, I tried to go as deep as possible with almost nothing. Just a swim suit in the Mediterranean Sea.

– The idea was to make a challenge with my body and my mind to face the cold water and try to find deep inside of me the resources to find a good connection even in very hostile conditions.

– I mean for me, free-diving is like a philosophy. It’s like a lifestyle. I can enjoy just going a few meters, and just relax as much as possible. Trying to feel the connection with the sea and the ocean.
I can also enjoy exploring new places and encounter wild animals. The Sperm Whale, for instance, was very special.
Sperm Whales are very special because of what they mean to us. They are the are the animal that can dive the deepest and they can stay under for more than one hour, on one breath. On top of that, they look very special. Their looks are in between a space creatures and a submarine. They’re also very, very intelligent animals in the way they communicate, and the way they interact.

The experience

These are the exceptional sentiments and feelings Guillaume Néry and Panerai will try to convey to a group of privileged clients that will travel with him to his home base on the island of Mo’orea in the French Polynesia. It is here the 15 clients will get a unique opportunity to dive with the legend.

– I think that, at the end, that’s the best way to get people to really understand what it means. To experience. I really love that new way of sharing with the customers. Creating experience.

– There’ll maybe be people that never tried a mask on in their life. If after two or three days I can give them just a taste of the magic, I think they will remember for the rest of their life the meaning of what they had just bought. It’s not just a watch, it’s a story.

Check out the new film by Guillaume Néry

The watch – PAM983

Clients will be accompanied by a glorious Submersible for the experience. A P.9100 flyback chronograph movement sit in a 47 mm titanium watch case with a matte black DLC coating. A ceramic rotating bezel surround the highlight of the watch, a beautiful textured blue degradé dial with sea-foam green coloured accents and hands.

In my opinion Panerai may be pushing their limits whit the direction of marketing and selling these watches, but it is a bold move. And I applaud both the sympathetic and well-intentioned ambassadors and the design of the watches. I really, really hope they can pull it off.

PAM983
PAM983

Check also Guillaume Néry on Facebook

Yesterday I read a post on Facebook, from a lady that had just bought her first Panerai. She had debated the purchase with her watch friends and she was hearing that the watch was not Panerai enough. It apparently did not have enough DNA as the purists say.
Good for her, she still treated herself with the 40 mm Panerai.

Panerai PAM048

Do not throw the first stone

Then I remembered that I was going to pick up my newest purchase today. And you simply won’t find a modern Panerai with more DNA than that one. And I must reflect a little bit on why.

First and foremost, I am a collector. I buy watches for several reasons, most importantly that I like them. Then there needs to be an x-factor. The collectability factor. A limitation, a historical piece, a detail on that model that doesn’t come around too often or simply that the watch speaks to me (I’ve done another piece on the subject – read it).

Now this Panerai that I am getting today ticks all the boxes. For some time now I have been looking for a Radiomir with a dial that I actually like. I am not very keen on the California dials and such.

At SIHH last year Panerai released two controversial Radiomir watches. Well, at the start they weren’t controversial, but they soon became the most discussed watches of last year. I don’t believe that Panerai really wanted the focus that came in the aftermath of the thoughts on the watches by, the eminent guru of all things Panerai, Jose Perez.

I decided I wanted one or the other. And today I got the PAM720.

Panerai Radiomir PAM 720

PAM720

This watch was on its release kind of a disappointment. It was supposed to be a replica of the 3646C, one of the earliest Panerai watches. Developed for and worn by Decima Flottiglia MAS, who was an Italian commando frogman unit during the second world war.
But the watch had the wrong hands upon its release. They were not blued like on the original 3646C. They appeared gold on all the pictures from Geneva.
The watch was then forgotten by everyone. Even the Paneristis kind of forgot this one.

Then when the watch recently hit the stores Panerai had changed the hands to the correct blued version, like on 3646C.

The backdrop of these watches involves the history of both Italian and German WW2 divers. And the controversy was actually about this war history of the manufacture.
I will not go into it in detail as Perezcope did a superb article on it.
In my opinion people should read up on their war history and their Swiss watch history before they criticise Panerai for this release. So if you don’t like these watches over some distant war history, you can suck my balls too.

I must say that I love this reedition of the 3646C. Limited to 500 pieces it is hard to come by. I also like the fact that the design is so true to its origin. The domed crystal, the beige fauxtina and the blued hands. In the Radiomir case with the onion crown it is just beautiful and pure Panerai.

Panerai Radiomir PAM 720

Panerai Radiomir PAM 720

And here I am, dissing purists.

I like purist watches. But I do not like the message that purists push about what is correct and what is not. No matter if we are talking watches or tits.

I love the PAM 684, a 42 mm gold Submersible. Any Panerai purist would frown. Right?

DISCLAIMER: Note that I am using “Panerai purist”, not “Paneristi” as I find most of them to be liberal, thoughtful and cool.

Panerai PAM684 Submersible

 

This year I attended SIHH in Geneva for the first time. It was a crazy week and I needed some distance to it before I could write about it. Being a noob in that environment is hard. What to do, were to go, who to talk to – that was my questions before I left my safe office. Thanks to a couple of hardened friends I figured out I had to be everywhere, do everything and talk to as many people as I could. And I did.

For those of you who have not been there, SIHH is a watch fair were brands unveil their novelties for the year. Dealers, journalists and VIPs join in on the fun for the whole week. I was invited by Richemont and went there as a journalist. Before I left I had a wish to see brands and watches that I have never seen or rarely see in Norway. Brands like Audemars Piguet, Kari Voutilinen, HYT, MB & F, Ulysse Nardin, Greubel Forsey, and many more, does not have a Norwegian dealer and is hard to find and study in the flesh here. The SIHH fair is also an opportunity to see and experience rare watches that I will probably never see again, like the new L’ASTRONOMO by Panerai.

Here is my list of what to remember if you decide to go to SIHH (based on hard learned experience):

DOs:

  • Learn the 3 kiss greeting – you may find a norwegian hug cozy, but it is very inappropriate.
  • Hang with a young crowd – they will often say “whaaat….you don’t look forty!” – It’s really amazing.
  • Go to Vacheron Constantin for morning coffee. They have the best barista and coffee in the building.
  • Dress nice. Remember that it is only Kristian Haagen that is allowed to wear beat up cargo pants. He’s earned it, you haven’t.

DONT’s:

  • Not everyone understand Scandinavian humour, and don’t use irony. Ever.
  • Never take off your shoes in public after a long day in the Expo hall.
  • Most important. Never drop a 1 mill EUR watch on the floor – It went well, not a scratch to the watch, but I thought for a second the lady would have a heart attack. I guess I will be banned from ever going to SIHH again.

So that’s it. Learn from a noob.

The rest will be a picture heavy feature. I always intend to give you good quality shots of watches. So it may take some time to load page.

Best of SIHH 2018

SIHH is also an overwhelming sensory experience. All the brands represent themselves with luxurious stands showcasing their watches and novelties.
From the second I entered the massive expo hall I was like a kid in a candy store. Design, artwork, food, drinks, loud music and watches just kept coming at me. Non-stop. So much fun!

Some brands had more interesting novelties than others, and I will try to give you my honest opinion on the best ones. Bare in mind that I like a classic look but I am also weak for modern madness. You’ll seewhen I expose my favorite novelty at the end of this post.

Panerai

If you followed the releases this year you may ask why Panerai is on my best of list. And you are absolutely right. They did not release anything very exciting this year. But what they did was to renew their whole base model lineup. What that means is that they decided to spend SIHH this year scrapping ebauche movements and introducing in-house movements on all their watches. I am all for that!

Also exciting is that they introduced 38 mm Luminor Due. For a smaller wrist  as they say themselves in their presskit. In Scandinavia that is a synonym for ladies. I will finally consider getting a Panerai for my wife.

IWC

Celebrating a 150th anniversary is not something you forget in the watchindustry. And IWC did not either. I had pretty high hopes for this year and I must say that I was a little disappointed at the beginning of the week. Their release was not what I had hoped for. But then I had the opportunity to spend almost an hour fondling their novelties. By the end of that hour I was sold.
What IWC did this year was to introduce lacquered dials on a wide range of their models. Pilots, Portuguese, Portofino, and Da Vinci will be seen in 12 layers of white or blue lacquer. And the new references inspired by the Pallweber pocket watches.

The Pallweber in red gold.IWC Schaffhausen Pallweber SIHH 2018

And the new perpetual calendar with the lacquer dial.IWC perpetual calendar 150th

The beautiful Annual Calendar Pilots watch.IWC Pilots annual calendar sihh 2018 blue

Jaeger LeCoultre

I guess no one could really miss the Polaris release this year. In the norwegian community it certainly stirred up the interest for Jaeger LeCoultre. I have always been a fan of vintage inspired watches, but lately there have just been too many. And as rumors started going about the Polaris being reintroduced a few days before the official release I was sceptical.
Jaeger LeCoultre nailed it! What a beauty. And about time they celebrated this iconic diver.

The MemovoxJaeger LeCoultre Polaris Memovox SIHH 2018

And the good looking golden chronographJaeger LeCoultre Polaris Chronograph Gold SIHH 2018

A. Lange & Söhne

While everyone was talking about the new and groundbreaking triple split I set my eyes on a classic beauty. First I want to say that I cannot be objective when it comes to A. Lange & Söhne. I love what they are trying to do. Making classic after classic and always with an eye for developing new and complicated movements. Always true to their design language and philosophy. You may call them conservative, but I find them to be nothing but uncompromising.

Well, the new Saxonia Moon Phase is nothing but beautiful. It comes in both white and pink gold.alangesohne saxonia moon phase sihh 2018

Another personal favourite was the new 1815 chronograph. I have said it many times. I love that watch.alangesohne 1815 chronograph sihh 2018

And I have to have the triple split in here. Front may look unsuspicious at first glance but the back reveals a complicated watch. Exactly what I am talking about. Design is classic, complication is groundbreaking.alangesohne triple split sihh 2018

alangesohne triple split back sihh 2018

Girard Perregaux

I have to say that I knew nothing about this brand before SIHH. Nothing.
Of course I had seen pictures and had heard about the brand, but I had never touched one, and I had never really buried myself in the details.
I found the Laureato Ceramic Skeleton to be very interesting. The Laureato is a classic GP design, but in the all black ceramic dress and light as a feather it was a nice acquaintance.GP Girard Perregaux Laureato Skeleton Ceramic SIHH 2018

Audemars Piguet

Already trapped in their own Royal Oak they did not release anything but this year. Not of importance anyway. I have no idea what happened to the rest of the references from this respected manufacture.
Still they continue to develop this line of watches with new technical achievements every year.

As with many of the other brands rumors started going in the days before SIHH and pictures of the novelties were revealed. I was once again sceptical before I had my appointment with AP.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Royal Oak Offshore. Even though I liked the reedition of the 1993 model of the Offshore my heart skipped a beat when I saw the new case and bezel on the Tourbillon Chronograph. Audemars Piguet is one of the houses that bring us contemporary design features and they are constantly reinterpreting their classic Royal Oak. Watch nerds find this irritating, but I find it refreshing. At least for Audemars Piguet. This has been a strategic direction for them with the Royal Oak for the last few decades. And I like their Rock’n Roll attitude towards their heritage.
I guess similar stunts for the Patek Philippe Nautilus would be heavily frowned upon, even by me.

Audemars Piguet SIHH 2018 Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph

Audemars Piguet SIHH 2018 Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph

The Offshore Chronograph in camo colors was interesting in the flesh.Audemars Piguet Offshore Camo

And of course the RD2 – the 6.3 mm thick perpetual calendar.Audemars Piguet RD2 SIHH 2018

Vacheron Constantin

To finish off with my choice for Best in Show 2018 – the introduction of a new line from Vacheron Constantin – Fiftysix.
Inspired by the ref.6073 from 1956 (of course) they now offer a 40 mm rounded case and almost sector like dials on this new lineup. This was really a much needed facelift to their Quai de l’ile models. I never could swallow that case. In my opinion they now have a much more elegant watch with the elegance I expect from the maison.

Here is the Complete Calendar in pink gold.Vacheron Constantin Fiftysix 56 complete calendar sihh 2018

And the Day Date in steel.Vacheron Constantin Fiftysix 56 day date sihh 2018

That pretty much sums it up. Remember to follow my Instagram for pictures of all the great watches from this year.
And visit my book store.

About a week back I traded one of my watches with another collector for his Panerai Luminor 1950 10 Days Automatic GMT Ceramica – PAM 335. 

I had never worn a Panerai before and I was curious about them. Of course I am familiar with the brand and their watches, but ten-twelve years back when I got into watches, I did not like Panerai. And I kept it like that for many years. They were obscenely large and lumpy in my opinion. While I liked the design of the dials, I still found them boring as they all seemed to look alike. I could not get my head around them. A GTG (get-together) with other watch nerds changed that in a millisecond when I laid eyes on three totally different Panerai watches. And now I was curious.

Like a true Panerai nerd – or Panerist as they are called – I will continue only using the reference of the watch – PAM 335.

PAM 335

My first impression of the watch is that it is manly. Like beard and buck knife manly. It is 44 mm excluding the large crown guard that all Luminors have. It is of course all black because of the ceramic material. And with the sapphire crystal dome it builds quite a height. A few seconds later, when the watch hit my wrist for the first time, I was sold.

PAM 335PAM 335

The PAM 335 sits beautifully on my wrist. It is very comfortable. Light, discreet, sporty and very graphic. I am slightly amazed that a watch of this size can be worn so comfortably. Hardcore Panerai nerds will only wear 47 mm watches, but that is just too much for me. I love the fact that you can have the Panerai DNA in a small package and I am eagerly awaiting the new Due casing that is slicker and does not build as much.

Well, back to the PAM 335.

PAM 335

Further on the PAM 335:

What is most striking on this watch is the black ceramic case. Bezel and crown guard is also ceramic. The ceramic material will not scratch easily and will allow you to wear the watch without any concerns. There is also an anti-shock device inside the movement. I am not a fan of buying an expensive watch and locking it away. I don’t do that. So this watch is the perfect beater. It can handle about anything you throw at it. Disclaimer – author is not liable if you decide to throw objects at watch or throw the watch itself 😉

A 10 days power reserve will allow you to forget that you have the watch for 10 days without missing a beat. There are three barrels inside powering this movement, so there is plenty of power. The linear power reserve indicator on the dial is lovely, and that brings up my favorite part of this watch. The dial. It is complex, yet refined. There is something about Panerai that makes them able to fit a lot of complications on the dial without messing it up. Breitling has one or two things to learn here. The fact that they have indicators for 24h, seconds, power reserve, date, a second time zone and time all bundled up in a readable and simple manner is amazing.

I love GMTs in general, and while that is worth a post in itself, I will now concentrate on this watch. The GMT function on this watch is so easy to use. It is practical and foolproof. I also love the seconds reset complication. If you should have the need to set the watch, just pull out the crown, and the seconds will return to zero. Eazy.

This is of course no dress watch, but in the one week I have not found one other negative side to this watch. It runs perfectly and it is rugged. It is top of the line Panerai and you deserve one as well!

pam335-5

Movement

Automatic mechanical in-house P.2003 calibre

8 mm thick, 25 jewels, Glucydur® balance

28,800 alternations/hour.

KIF Parechoc® anti-shock device.

10 days Power reserve

Three barrels

Seconds reset device

296 components

Functions

Hours, Minutes, Small Seconds, Date, GMT, 24h indicator, Power Reserve Indicator, Seconds Reset

Case

Diameter 44mm, Black Ceramic, Water Resistance to 10 bar (~100 metres). Smoked see-through sapphire crystal on the back.

Bezel and crown guard

Black ceramic

Dial

Black sandwich dial with luminous Arabic numerals and hour markers. Date at 3 o’clock, seconds and 24h indicator at 9 o’clock, linear power reserve indicator at 6 o’clock.

Strap

Buffalo, Black, Tone on tone, 24/22 MM Standard

More on the watch at Panerai.

ENDED: In a collaboration with the great manufacture Officine Panerai we offer two beautiful books for our Panerai Giveaway. Both books will be offered in a hardcover protective case. Read more about the books below.

To enter you have to visit and follow our Instagram and Facebook pages through the app on this facebook link. If you already follow us on one or more of our pages, then you just have to visit the pages through the app. To send off the price of the Panerai Giveaway we will need your email, so kindly share it with us. We will not share your private data with anyone. Go to our Privacy Policy page to see how we handle your private data, here.

The first book is a hard to get two volume works on the Special Editions of Panerai from 1997-2014. Every special edition watch is described over two pages with stunningly detailed pictures and every technical detail. This will be the reference guide of Special Edition Panerai watches throughout these years.

Panerai Giveaway - Panerai Special Editions 1997 - 2014 Book

Panerai Giveaway - Panerai Special Editions 1997 - 2014 Book

The second book is the brand new Orologeria Panerai. The book tells the story of the past and present of the Florentine high quality sports watchmaking brand. It consists of five essays covering five different aspects of the identity of Officine Panerai, each one written by a different author. The essays take the reader on a journey through the fascinating worlds which define the distinctive identity of the Florentine brand: the history, the technology, the sea and the design.

The essays by the five authors are accompanied by photographs of extraordinary beauty and evocativeness, covering various times and places as they retrace the steps which brought the Panerai legend into being.

 

Panerai Giveaway - Panerai Orologeria Book

Panerai Giveaway - Panerai Orologeria Book