SIHH 2019, the “new” Panerai era? (Part III Final). “Thoughts and Reflections”

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Well, now it’s time to offer the personal impression on the novelties of the SIHH 2019 regarding Panerai. I’m going to stick to the models presented officially by the brand at the fair, otherwise I would extend it too much and I would have to upload more images. I think for this “Three-Post” it’s fine. Also in this last post I do not want to upload many photos (only wrist shots from my friends Marc & Joe and focus more on the written criticism. There will be time to make more reviews for sure! Now my interest is to make clear my general opinion about the new direction of the brand. I think we are facing a new milestone. That is sure.

Probably because I come from the fashion world as a photographer and been on many catwalks. Maybe that’s why my vision of international fairs is very different from what people normally see. Yes, I am a watch collector, but I am also a photographer and I was a designer years ago from a important international brand in US, so I have some experience “behind the scenes”. After all, watchmaking is the same as fashion; sell design and style only in the case of watchmaking not only the quality of the material but also the mechanics of the object.

What usually happens in the haute horlogerie fairs? Well in these fairs brands show what is the trend, or one of the trends that will take that year or that new production does not mean that what they show is what will be seen during the year; in fact, if you notice almost all the brands usually show exclusive models for the fair or limited series, and then there is the normal production that during the year is sold in the Boutiques, Dealers or Online.

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As you see, this year 2019 have one “Trend” about the texture and design base in the dial… you see?

I read in forums and in social media groups that many people are criticizing the Panerai new models has shown at this fair. However, they are not realize what is seen at the fair is not ALL will be done in the future, but a small sample (the same happens for example on the international fashion show, many people are scandalized by the models at they show, but then during the season of the year, those same designers “develop” the idea and made designs based for the street). Specifically, if we look at the watches are criticizing, many of these, are precisely the watches are presented in Ultra Short editions limited to 19 pieces or little bit more (35). More general and compare with the rest of brands that is what is happening if we open a little more the look we will realize that other brands are doing exactly the same. Does it mean that all brands are wrong?

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Sometimes, some brands do something “special” not for make bigger sale, but for show is capacity or for sueprise the world. Why not? this are a way for say Ey! I´m here! Panerai from some yeas ago decided not use precious stones, or excentric designs, Panerai bet for NEW MATERIALS, like Richad Mille in the past.

Remember, Panerai exist as a ENTERPRISE for Sell, not a machine for made pieces for collector. You must understand for Panerai need make money and made some pieces we like (like vintage editions or innovative editions, the brand need make money and success for do this, and honestly, the collectors groups dont make rich the company because not are MASSIVE COMMUNITY, only a small group of crazy funny mans and womans in this world poblation.

Maybe we should be a little more detailed and realize that panerai in this fair has done several very important things. It has reduced the diameter of the watches without reducing the thickness of them following the premise that the ceo of the company said in their first interview a few months ago. “Keep a male watch.” In this way he demonstrates that he is listening to the world of the street and is accepting the suggestions that come from outside.

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This year, Cartier has surprised by turning his “Santos” model and making a more modern (skeletonized) erasing the dial and with transgressive version. The innovation are the word of this year.

On the other hand I have noticed the criticisms of these new models are usually coming from people who are over 35-45 years old. This shows we who are older I include myself among them we like more the designs of yesteryear because they are the designs that emerged as a novelty in the era in which we were more younger and “match” with our trend age.

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Somebody remember when Panerai show the first “Submersible”? in this times many people hate the model for “too modern”…

Does anyone remember the jump of the 1950 luminor Vintage cases or Luminor Marina with the new “Luminor Submersible” cases? I’m sure there was a lot of excitement too and probabbly have people “hate” one bezel in the case, no numbres, etc… ; and now? many people falling in love when appear the “Bronzo” like a Iconic grial (also after Panerai, many brands start to make bronzo models!). Now these new designs with new colors and new forms are no more than a door that opens to the future. And does not mean that Panerai’s DNA will be lost, it means the company must continue to manufacture watches according to the new generations. For the conservatives there will always be the regular series that Panerai does every year.

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Audemars Piguet this year broken his timeline designs with a big noveltie in all; the “Code 11.59” this new line are really diferent vision than the Gérald Genta age in AP.

If we are truly authentic paneristis, we must have two visions; one is the vision of the personal & selfish collector in what design is concerned, but we also need to have a vision consistent with reality. Paneraí, is a commercial brand and therefore must sell watches and the collector is not enough to maintain a company of this caliber.

See in this video the evolution of the Mike Horn Ambassador Collection, I think are Logical and always open for made new designs or return to his root.

The big brands when a fair arrives, usually show what they are capable of doing by showing their most daring models and their future trend in some line of the company. This year Panerai, has hit the table, all have raised their eyes (other brands) and have seen that appears in the landscape of innovation a legendary brand and that now will also be contemporary to new trends. That’s why at SIHH 2019 one company has been one of the most viewed and admired brands

His name; Panerai.

Now I have a good list of thoughts on the new Panerai models in the SIHH, but suddenly I thought; Hey! Erwan!, you have two Panerai Lovers, Paneristi Brothers and Crazy Friends, I call them the BLUES BROTHERS for the color of the brand and because whenever they meet in the GTG or Paneristi Day the revelry is guaranteed. They are also big connoisseurs of the brand.

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Yes crazy pics, but when Marc and Joe are talking about watches, both are specialist and serious people for talk about.

So, since my thoughts are very similar to those of Joe and Marc, I preferred to ask them to give their personal opinion. And then I give to all of you his opinion with some images.

Marc, aka “laphroaig007”

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Paneristi from long years ago, Marc are collector and trully lover of the brand. At the pics, with the Panerai embassador and explorer Mike Horn and the CEO of Panerai JM Pontroué.

“SIHH2019 was the first one totally on the hands of the new CEO of Panerai, Jean-Marc Pontroué. For sure, this man of marketing and luxury had to make a strong impact on customers but also within the company he’s running itself and also among competitors !
For sure, we can assume he did his job in doing so for this SIHH2019.
2019 was for me the year of 3 major steps :

1. Submersibles finally have become a full model line for Panerai.

2. Radiomirs were launched with an amazing patina-replica steel.

3. Prices have been raised up largely.

Some older paneristi might complain because of colorful models, somehow strange combinations, and also because of general high prices. So what is my opinion today about this edition of SIHH for Officine Panerai.

First, I’d like to point out that they really did a great job in putting into lights the ambassadors they have. They achieved this by launching specific Limited Editions for 3 Submersibles, real ones, with very small quantities, but also by adding true unbelievable and almost never to be lived Experiences : buy one the 19 Mike Horn watches and you’ll go with him for some polar expedition ! Buy one of the 33 Marina Militare Comsubin and you’ll be invted to go on a commando boot camp with them. Last, buy one of the 15 Guillaume Nery and you’ll go experiencing deep diving in Polynesia with him…

Second, the global marketing message, about Submersible, was so clear and loud this year that it attracted many more people on the Panerai stand. At least compared to the last two years.

Third, the Officine seems to finally have understood that they need to regulate millesimation and keep it meaningful. They have decided to launch very few Limited Editions, and therefore emphasize “regular” production with millesimal, one typical fact about Panerai watches. Also, selling some models in boutiques only will help regulate discounts by authorized dealers. What I mean is these moves may in fact impact positively the value of our Panerai watches in the future.

Fourth, Panerai showed to many competitors this year that they were not afraid of innovating, both on products and materials but also on improving the “customer experience” associated with a watch. This is quite new in the watch industry whereas it has been widely spanned across other industries.

Final point is about prices. This is my only big concern about SIHH2019 for Panerai. Price range for Panerai watches should be € 5000 to € 15000, but it seems the brand has decided to go over this limit. Future will tell us whether they were right and kept on selling or not.

As a conclusion, I do not ask people to agree or disagree with me, I was just willing to give my opinion as a loyal French Paneristi customer of the Officine Panerai. “

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Joe Bab, aka “joebab13”

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Joe are Paneristi from 10 years ago and have seen the brand really evolve for 3 years. In the last paneristi day of Hong Kong Joe began to feel the sick in his veins about Panerai. lover of the boats, the sea and the navigation.

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Joe with Mike Horn, Embassador of Panerai also Explorer and JM Pontroué, CEO of Panerai

“This year marks a new era and that’s what the brand wanted by naming JM PONTROUE ex former CEO of Roger Dubuis. I had the chance to participate in Hong King PDay and discover first-hand the submersibles and the experience that goes with it. For me it was a revolution and a real stroke of marketing strategy from the new CEO.

No more limited editions of 500 or 1000 pieces on which many buyers scour the market of opportunity. Finally real limited series. As for my feelings about new models I would say that it is very positive for the luminor, radiomir and submersible range.

The submersible range is put forward especially thanks to the modeles experience and its models derived in edition shop. However, there are some very nice surprises for me like the new radiomir california with the dial aged and its new bracelet and the luminor marina on steel bracelet and its vintage side which gives it a real legitimacy.

For the overall balance of the watch I preferred the model in 42mm. Finally we arrive on the new submersibles …. and the waouhhh. They are wonderful to see that the design and marketing department has had to work hard to release such a range in such a short time. as Marc said the 3 modeles experience are successful my preference goes to the MM Comsubin for which I literally cracked so my second is Mike’s horn model that reminds some Lab-id.

Finally the collection luna rossa is simply beautiful whatever the declination of materials Carbotech, DLC or Ceramic.

To conclude I would say that this new SIHH will appeal to old paneristi, moreover a bit like Audemar Piguet paneristi broke out on social networks and shouted at the death of the brand. I think it’s the opposite and with this new collection Panerai will know a crazy year and explode sales, certainly it will not be thanks to the first fans of the brand but thanks to new customers that the narque will atrair either by the slightly bling-bling side of some submersibles as well as the 42mm models”

Wrist shots and others

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And for Finsih one interview at SIHH with the CEO JM Pontroué made by WatchAdvisor

TITULO PART III

Sources: Watchadvisor/Rolex/Audemars Piguet/Piaget
Panerai/Richard Mille/Marc R./Joe Bab/Erwan Grey

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