...with a fellow Panerist...well fellow...don't know if I am that much of a Panerist anymore. Only 2 PAMs left in my colelction and not being aware of the last three years of models numbers.
We discussed the deathening silence, post-SIHH. No long threads on what "SE to get", "what to sell to get this and that", no "Called the AD to get on the list of PAMxxx...". First time in many years actually.
But I am not surprised. The Panerai evolution had to go this direction in order to stay as a niche brand, but still make enough money for the shareholders to let the production wheels keep on going.
Panerai has been poluted by fakers and it has undoubtedly provoked the brand immensely. Add the Italian Bandidos, who unloaded so many faked up garage pieces onto the market and fooled the most. Panerai themselves inclusive!
Richemont merely bought a brand, not knowledge so to speak. They had no chance knowing what they would experience from the collectors nor from common man, when they took over from Cartier in 1997 So they HAD to create a Panerai "of their own", that being the inhouse "P´2000-generation".
I respect the way Panerai is thinking, as they are a business as many other businesses. They have enjoyed 5-6 years being the most wanted brand, but I believe they will see new times occur now – only natural to evolve instead of just sit back and press up production numbers. Maybe Panerai will see a stagnation for a couple of years and then the final proof if the brand has become a steady player...or merely a "fad" lasting 15 years?
That said, I believe many other brands will see great challenge the next coming years. Too many brands are making too many "stupid" watches these days, don't make me mention the "watches made from scrap metal from Titanic" here.
And mind you: in ten years time we will look back at all these carbonfiber watches and think the same when we see a Ford Escort R4 with huge rear spoiler.
Of course, these are my personal observations...My 2C's.