Mention the name Panerai and you’ll hear a racuous cry of celebration across the globe. Calling themselves the Paneristi, (they even have their own forum), these fans are the best advertising Panerai could ask for. The acolytes gather online and in person from countries as far flung as Australia to the Netherlands to trade tales and share their Panerai watches. In front of a Paneristi you don’t want to rake on their beloved brand or you might risk starting a brawl.
The Paneristi have so much clout that Rafael Alvarez, the new U.S. President, acknowledged that Panerai develops based on feedback from the disciples. What the Paneristi want, they get. They may protect the brand with their lives but they also don’t cut Panerai any slack if they find out they’re cutting corners with the watches. Witness the furor that went on when someone opened up the back of his PAM318 “Brooklyn Bridge” edition limited to 150 pieces only to find a scratched and unfinished movement inside. Panerai fans were not only disappointed but some were extremely pissed off—and rightly so.
But back to the real story. [Read more...]