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HomeFashionThe Mushy Energy of Panerai

The Mushy Energy of Panerai

Radiomir Annual Calendar Goldtech PAM01363
Radiomir Annual Calendar Goldtech PAM01363

The CEO position in a worldwide watch model is commonly an ambassadorial one too, particularly when collectors and retail companions are all the time in search of a bit of your time. Very often, these people complain when the highest govt goes too lengthy with out visiting worldwide markets. On this notice, it has been far too lengthy since we reconnected with Panerai CEO Jean-Marc Pontroué, so when the native public relations arm of the model requested if we wished a few of Pontroué’s time, we jumped on the likelihood. After all, WOW goes a good distance again with each Panerai and Pontroué.

Within the up to date period of this journal, Panerai had the Summer time concern cowl from 2013 all the best way to 2017. That is becoming as a result of the Paneristi – the accumulating clique most obsessive about the model – are notably sturdy in Singapore; in 2020 and 2021, amidst the turmoil of COVID-19, we discovered that the Panerai boutique in ION Orchard had turn out to be the best-performing boutique for the model on the planet (by the model’s personal off-the-record estimation). Given the scale of Singapore, this was superb to study…little doubt you, pricey reader, are considered one of these hardcore elites since you could have made it this far into the story. We in all probability made some hay out of this reality in the previous couple of years, and it gave us additional impetus to reconnect with the Swiss-Italian watchmaker.

Not for nothing, the opposite motive we relished the chance to satisfy Pontroué in Singapore was that the editors of this journal have recognized him since his days at Montblanc, which he joined on the flip of the millennium. I actually recall him main the press presentation on the model throughout the Salon Worldwide de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) in 2008, in all probability. Pontroué was most probably Product Technique and Growth Govt Vice President at the moment. No matter his title, he was undoubtedly a key particular person in product technique and growth, having minimize his tooth constructing the leather-based items enterprise for Givenchy, an LVMH firm. A lot of the present era of editors and writers in all probability acquired to know Pontroué a lot better in his years as CEO of Roger Dubuis, the place he developed the concept of HyperHorology, which in the present day defines that model. He joined the model in 2011 and shortly grew to become CEO, which was his position there for six years.

At Panerai, Pontroué succeeded the legendary Angelo Bonati, a person synonymous with the model’s up to date standing. Thus, he had some fairly massive sneakers to fill, whereas taking the model into uncharted territory and shaping his personal legacy. To his credit score, Pontroué envisioned a future for Panerai that was distinctly Italian, whereas increasing its core providing past the dive and navy heritage of the model. A key instance of recent challenges for Panerai will be seen in its deal with materials innovation, being within the vanguard of manufacturers striving to make use of extra recycled metal and titanium. He additionally introduced the concept of tying particular watches with particular experiences, which he pioneered at Roger Dubuis, to Panerai. We focus on this, and Panerai’s extra elegant flip with the Luminor Due with Pontroué on this prolonged dialog.

We didn’t get an opportunity to discuss Watches and Wonders Geneva so let’s start there.

You recognize Watches and Wonders Geneva is without doubt one of the solely probabilities we now have to current ourselves (and what we do) to the world. It’s the equal of couture week (within the varied style capitals) besides that we now have just one present. Now that we’re 60 manufacturers (displaying at Watches and Wonders Geneva this 12 months), the competitors is getting more durable and more durable so we now have to do quite a bit to impress the general public, the journalists, the sellers… your complete watch group. This is the reason for me it’s a inventive train…earlier than it was extra a promoting train however now that we’re increasingly more promoting out of our personal boutiques and retail companions, the Watches and Wonders Geneva present is about making an impression. It’s about speaking. The most important goal of (a serious worldwide watch honest) is capturing consideration, create buzz, generate social media site visitors… we aren’t solely right here to promote watches. Possibly 10 years in the past, watches have been the primary attraction…home windows at exhibitor’s cubicles filled with watches. Now, watches are nonetheless essential however the present is extra about storytelling. That’s the explanation to come back to the honest, particularly for the general public.

I used to be very impressed by public attendance over the weekend as a result of we had 3,800 individuals in two days. Some simply need to see the sales space however we had near 1,000 individuals who wished to check the watches. So they might sit down like we’re right here, with considered one of our representatives, to attempt, to check, to take photos… So it was a really spectacular publicity we now have acquired on the weekend, which was new for us.

So totally different from the general public days of the SIHH then?

We had them then? You will have a greater reminiscence than me. It was not very spectacular as a result of I don’t preserve any recollections of it! This 12 months, it was very properly organized; we had individuals queuing as much as enter our sales space as a result of we had, for safety causes, capability for under 100 individuals who may very well be inside (at anybody time). So Watches and Wonders Geneva has been a really fruitful train for us by way of model staging and site visitors publicity to loads of new communities.

For instance, I found we now have a Paneristi group in Liechtenstein (one of many smallest and richest nations on the planet – Ed). Have you learnt the place Liechtenstein is? At Watches and Wonders, I met the chief of the Paneristi in Liechtenstein, and I didn’t know we even had a group there! So, watch festivals are the events to satisfy individuals you wouldn’t have met in any other case, and I all the time have been an enormous fan. Having one event a 12 months the place Geneva is the centre level of all of the watch business makes loads of sense, proper? It’s good for Switzerland, good for Geneva, and good for our business.

And but you’ll proceed to point out new watches all year long, as you might be doing now in Singapore with the Brabus PAM01283…

For us, Watches and Wonders is a platform the place we don’t present every thing. Now we have events to stage new merchandise all 12 months lengthy. After Singapore, I will likely be in New York for the large boutique opening there and we now have one version just for New York, which we don’t present right here. The identical will likely be true of Watches and Wonders Shanghai (which may have wrapped by the point you learn this – Ed).

Submersible S Brabus Verde Militare PAM01283
Submersible S Brabus Verde Militare PAM01283

Coming again to the Paneristi, and fan communities generally, how do you have interaction with them on condition that they don’t seem to be a creation of the model?

It’s a excellent query. The Paneristi group was not created by Panerai, sure. It grew to become a motion that began within the US three years after the model itself restarted (circa 2000). So even in the present day, the boss of the Paneristi on the planet is a man I do know very properly, based mostly in Chicago. I’ve loads of contact with the Paneristi in all of the nations I go to the place I attempt to meet with them. Not on a regular basis. I all the time say that the Paneristi (or a group like them) is the most important advertising division a watch model can dream about having proper? As a result of we now have 30,000 members who know Panerai higher than any of us on the model.

They’re very loyal to the model; very supportive, and energetic in defending the model, and bringing in new members… Typically I meet members who’re very younger individuals, not the same old guys who’re my age, however the brand new era, you realize, and that is what I like very a lot. As a result of the son of the Panerista (the informally accepted singular for Paneristi – Ed) can also be now a Panerista. In Singapore, we met some younger guys, who got here (to a meet-and-greet with the model) and possibly they stole some watches from their fathers (to put on that night)!

We had, at considered one of our Panerai Experiences with (adventurer and conservationist) Mike Horn, a child who was 12. So, the daddy couldn’t come (and thus loaned) his Mike Horn watch (we presume this to be the Submersible Ecopangaea Tourbillon GMT Mike Horn PAM01108, however there are a selection of Mike Horn editions – Ed) to his son, who got here to have the Expertise. So, the assist we get from the Paneristi is totally natural (and occasions such because the Panerai Experiences usually are not Paneristi occasions, as such). The Paneristi are simply right here within the background to assist us but when they don’t like what we do, they are saying it additionally! You recognize that they are often very vocal after they don’t like what we do.

And so the right way to clarify that? It’s cultural… ardour shouldn’t be one thing you’ll be able to clarify. It’s like love. So, I believe it’s the identical dynamic with regards to the love for a model. You will have loads of good causes with regards to Panerai: the historical past, our Italian identification, the truth that we’re so spectacular. It creates a belonging spirit, which could be very distinctive to our model. There are manufacturers within the watch business a lot larger than us, regardless that we’re a part of the highest 15 manufacturers. Nevertheless, the sense of loyalty of the individuals who like Panerai is without doubt one of the highest within the watch business.

The Luminor Due with its new pastel shades, literally called Pastello. The blue version is PAM1309 while the pink is PAM01319
The Luminor Due with its new pastel shades, actually known as Pastello. The blue model is PAM1309 whereas the pink is PAM01319

Why do you suppose that is?

Now we have by no means studied rationally (about) the why. Possibly it’s as a result of we aren’t an enormous model, though we aren’t small… Possibly it’s as a result of we now have a sure proximity with a lot of our clients, although not all of them. There may be this heat (in our relationship with our clients) which isn’t standardized (or generic); you could have nonetheless the impression to be a part of a household. And we do occasions with them…

So, we do 400 buyer occasions per 12 months in our firm, worldwide. I don’t know the way many individuals we see at every one, possibly 100. In order that’s 40,000 a 12 months, in a really intimate method…(equivalent to on the Singapore Panerai buyer occasion the place) I believe I shook palms with roughly everybody who attended, and it was the identical in Bangkok (the place I used to be earlier than coming to Singapore).

The Luminor Due with its new pastel shades, literally called Pastello. The blue version is PAM1309 while the pink is PAM01319
The Luminor Due with its new pastel shades, actually known as Pastello. The blue model is PAM1309 whereas the pink is PAM01319

This love for Panerai additionally extends to a few of your extra well-known mates…

You recognize this film known as “Operation Fortune”? Nicely the star of that present, Jason Statham, who’s an enormous fan of Panerai, got here to our boutique in London two years in the past, purchased 4 watches and advised the employees there that he wants these watches for his subsequent film. We had no concept it was Operation Fortune, and also you see the watches within the film offered very properly. We by no means did something, we by no means paid Jason Statham…I used to be not even capable of thank him. We don’t even have his e-mail handle due to course he doesn’t give his e-mail handle when he’s at our boutiques. Even by means of his agent, it is rather sophisticated however it tells you one thing {that a} man like that, who represents very a lot what Panerai stands for – very athletic, very sporty – placing his personal watches into his films. That is what I name the gentle energy of the model.

Mr Statham is a longtime Panerai collector! However what about one thing new that maybe you could have by no means seen earlier than? 

The phenomena which is new for me is extra in the direction of women watches and women shopping for our watches…that is new clientele we now have. We didn’t have so many merchandise earlier than that have been appropriate (measurement smart) however now we now have the 38mm assortment, just like the Luminor Due for instance. We even have small issues just like the moon part. Now we have the straps from Prada, we now have some new pastel dial colors. For the primary time, within the boutique in New York, we now have a devoted space for girls.

This text was first printed on WOW Autumn Problem #70

For extra on the most recent in luxurious watches, click on right here.



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