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Time to service your watch - what to do now?? Here's the skinny..... (more >>)

January 16 2007 at 4:16 PM

Aurelio S.  (Login AurelioS)
from IP address

So, your beloved tuna can is on the fritz. What to do? I've had a few folks ask me from time to time if there's something
specific to do, so I figure why not share some tidbits with the gang? To get it serviced, there's a few things I would
recommend you do that can help facilitate sufficient attention and an expedient turnaround time for you.

Here's what I do:

1) I freak out. It's a bummer!! Seriously, these are very mechanical items, and they WILL need servicing every so often -
whether something breaks or not. Some folks like to go by the "If it ain't broke, why fix it" axiom. Not me - if it's 5 yrs+ in
age, then why not 'a few weeks at the spa'? Oils break down inside, and seals wear down. The sky is blue, people climb
mountains, watches will need servicing. Don't forget, polishing is included in the general overhaul (about $550-575. + tax
these days) - so you're essentially getting back a like-new watch

Anyway, when I know she needs work done, I call one of the service mgr's to discuss what's going on, then get his e-mail
addy. Know what? I'll save you some time: Tony Garaguso is one, and a great cat as well... his contact info:
(v) 917-606-7014
(f) 646-230-7807

2) I spell out in the e-mail exactly what is wrong in a clear and concise manner (meaning short, sweet and to the point), which
will also include the tracking # of the package that's heading back to him... of course, I send it in to HIS attention; not just
to Panerai service. This can save a day or two, since Panerai themselves take in about 275+ watches per month; it can take
some time for your watch to get checked in from the receiving and staging areas.

Also, make sure you put ALL of your contact info on there. This means e-mail, office and cell #'s. Yes, some folks still forget

3) Now, I PRINT my e-mail and affix it to a small package that includes ONLY the watch. No need to send in on a strap - just the
watch head alone. Simply put, less items to 'get lost' Some folks would just drop off the watch at a local AD because they don't
want to be bothered. Personally, I would rather deal direct to save time - dealers will sometimes wait until they have a few watches
to send in so they can go in as 'batches'; that could add an extra week into the equation. Also, I have more control over knowing
the progress of my repair. How to send it? Well, the safest shipping method is probably USPS Priority/Registered Mail - but that's
up to you. Send it in directly to:

Attn: Tony Garaguso
111 Eighth Avenue, Suite 500
New York, NY 10011
General phone: 1-800-628-8119
Fax: 1-646-230-7807

Btw, on the box, I put "PASC" - if you put 'Panerai Service' on it, the delivery guys just might know what's inside

4) After sending the watch out, I wait until a day AFTER they receive it - Tony can be a busy guy - before calling him.
Essentially, I want to make sure he has it and if there are any questions. So, to recap so far - I've called him,
e-mailed him, sent him the watch with my e-mail print-out and then called afterwards. Yes, that's right - you follow up. I'll
get to why later on.

At this point, the watch will be processed and will receive its own service order number. They will review what's wrong, and
get back to you within about 7-10 days from that time with an estimate in the mail. If you don't hear back from them by then, I
would call and follow up. At that point, if you need to call, make sure to ask for the service #, in saving time in the future if
need be.

Anyway, this form will need to be faxed back to authorize the servicing, and they will ask for a credit card number at that time.
After that, expect 4-6 weeks. Lately, they've been a little jammed up... remember, they're now taking in 275++ watches/month,
so servicing can possibly take 1-2 weeks longer.

About 2 weeks afterwards, I would check in to see how its progress is going. Yes, the follow-up I mentioned. Well, in a nutshell,
things can slip thru the cracks at any organization - well run or not. Until someone from PASC beats ME to a phone call (I've had
it happen a few times - there's a handful of folks there that are amazing) on a consistent basis, I will follow up where need
be. There will hopefully be a day where they will be able to service a watch within 3 weeks at most, and be in constant touch where
necessary. Until that is 100% the case, I'm going to make sure mine will be processed, serviced and returned in as timely
as fashion as their system can allow. It also shows that you obviously are involved, and from a human perspective, that can make a
difference. Ok, maybe I'm not a Psych major, but I've never had problems doing it this way


So how is Panerai service REALLY doing these days? Well, the only way to honestly see if there are improvments, and how
many, is to compare... here's a post of mine from a visit to the Richemont NYC service center a little over 2 years ago:

I've heard from a few folks that have had their watches serviced recently that the turnaround times aren't really improving; I'm
not sure why - but one reason that is part of this answer is that there are definitely a lot more Panerai's in the wild than 4-5
years ago. Add 40k watches each year, with older watches now needing repair (a young company, remember?),
and you can understand the math.

One good point is that they just upgraded their computer system to a high-tech SAP environment (a fancy-schmancy logistics
system for you non-techyies out there that is integrated to inventory, parts ordering, customer history, billing, etc) - this
will be a huge help for them. One downer is that they intentionally run low on parts (to keep P&L numbers looking good - remember,
Richemont is a public company) for certain models. Need a new bezel for a PAM29? A good chance you might have to wait 3-4 weeks
for it to come in from Switzerland... and that is added to the normal service timeframe(s).

I've suggested to mgmt about added an extra person responsible for solely "Q/C'ing" the watch before it leaves. A few watches - again,
on rare occasions, but it is still happening - come back with minor scratches. This person can make sure that not only was the
work properly done, but that your watch was cosmetically perfect before going out. Then this Q/C person would wrap up the
watch in plastic, nice and safe, with some Q/C code to show that it was fully checked out.

I know some of you might have had some 'horror stories', but those are more and more the exception vs. the rule. I'm sure
there are many GOOD stories that are out there, and Panerai - especially the hard-working service folks - would love to hear,
too. Maybe some of you have a few good suggestions? Hopefully Panerai mgmt would see this, and use it as motivation to
continue their efforts into making their after-service department one of the best ~

Hope this helps!

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