Low and behold they had opened that morning only one hour earlier. I live in Marco Island which is only 30 minutes away, with the next nearest boutique being across on the east coast in Boca Raton. Lauren answered the phone all bright eyed and bushy tailed presumably happy to talk to her 1st potential customer. I proceeded to congratulate her on the store opening and then inquired about a few Radiomir models I was interested in. I told her- 448, 449, 424, 425. My strongest interest was in the Cali models. After a several minute wait, while she checkes inventory, she came back on the phone very pleased to give me "good news". I'm expecting she was going to announce that they had the 424 & 425, but Nooooooooo- she said that they had the 448 & 425. After thinking about it for a millisecond I told her I'd take the 448 and would be over shortly to pick it up. Apparently they had just put it on display and I asked my new best friend Lauren to put it back in the box and then offered a credit card to hold it. She said that the credit card wasn't necessary and she looked forward to seeing me later that morning. I got to the store after, fighting the "seasonal" Naples traffic, and it turns out that I'm the 1st customer to set foot in their new store. I walk over to the case where the oversized box containing the 448 was sitting and immediately glanced at the outer cardboard box to confirm that this wasn't some cruel joke but no there it was 448 on the sticker!!
I unpacked the watch feeling like a 7 year old on Christmas morning and gazed upon the beauty of that Cali dial for the 1st time. Sorry for the puny pics, I just set up and used Photobucket for the 1st time. I tried to follow Micah's tutorial but must have missed something. Any further pointers would be welcome.
The watch has a stoic, casual beauty all it's own. Looking at it just makes you smile!! I toured the store and tried on a bunch of other watches, none of which tripped my trigger like the 448. Lauren and I were having a great time talking about Panerai when two gentlemen walk in who Lauren clearly knew. As it turns out it was Simon who is in charge of the Panerai Boutiques and his brother. It was a delight to meet them, talk all things Panerai and enjoy a fabulous expresso that Simon kindly prepared.
What a great day!! I look forward to many more in the future.