So Paddy gets the call from Panerai inviting Paneristis finest to attend SIHH.
(Panerai) We would like to invite your best, brightest team to review our collection at SIHH - can Martin and Gary attend?
(Panerai) OK, how about Simon and Frank - they are great also?
(Paddy) Sorry, no
(Panerai) How about Dale and Eric???..
(Paddy) errrrrrrrrr, no - so sorry!
(Panerai) Well who do you have left that is not scraping the barrel? Please do not say Ade and Gush!!
(Paddy) Ade and Gush??
(Panerai) - (after much mumbling on the line) oh crapola, ok then, they will do! But can we at least have Asi there to bring some BFD action to the occasion??
(Paddy) OK, suppose so, as he is there already - what harm can it do!
One week later...
(Paddy) Ade and Gush - Panerai want you, and you alone to cover SIHH - they said no one else will do!
So Ade and I have the prestigious task of bringing you the highlights of Panerai at SIHH in our own (un)professional way! Well we figured you have already seen the glossy pics - so you will not mind our rough and ready ones, and you have seen the watches modelled by the beautiful and svelte - so you wont mind our ugly faces and robust frames trying to carry them off! And since you have already read the most eloquent and well structured reviews - you will not mind our shoddy and frankly quite basic English version : )))
Well then you lucky people let the show begin!!!
We landed in Geneva at around 6pm and check in to a very fancy travel lodge : ) wow theyve really upped their game!
Just time for a quick spruce up (and wrist shot from Ade)
We meet up with the BFD and head for dinner - he promises food of the gods - this translates to Pizza, and it was gurrrrd!!!
Asi ordered Truffle on everything : ))
Who would have thought Action Dan was in town to serve us pizza with truffle? nice to see you m8 : ))
Asi stop moving - we need a decent pic
Ok that works better - BFD in full effect
We head out to a boat party and on the way we are reminded of EP Funk - cannot think why we thought of you Eric m8 : 0
After crashing (and burning) at the boat party we head for some drinks in the hotel bar before the big day. Would love to show you pics of the BFD and his (ahem) BFD - but what goes on in SIHH stays in SIHH : 0
Next morning we are more excited than Jassies at a free Pizza Hut buffet lunch : ) and set off for the main show. We have an appointment with the great and the good of Panerai at 10am
After a quick hello and many kisses on cheeks - I wish Ade would restrict that to ladies only - we are ushered into a showroom where Alessandro takes us through the 2014 collection.
Straight into the thick of it
Titanium base 562 and LM 564 are the winners here, we are particularly taken with the 564.
Ade likes it a lot - Asi is smitten : ))
Wrist shot for the m8s
I know there is not much love for white dials but these two are Luke Tani - you dont want to like him but something tells you to hang in there : )))))))))))))
We hardly catch our breath when Alessandro hits us with the 511 Oro Rosso BOOOOOOOM.
Asi and I are BIG fans of the 140 and the 511 is the next level in the flesh - the colour is just stunning (alas my photo skills are not).
Trying to capture the beautiful colour
Ade wants to take a shot and says his photography is better than mine - OK Ade m8 go for it
Oh dear better let me take the next shot Ade. GMTs were next
We were just getting ready to shoot them in detail when Ade spots a box which magically appears on the desk via Sylvia
Silence in the room and a wry smile on Alessandros face
Still silence then smiles all round. These three kings look stunning, absolutely knock out in the flesh - and this is from Panerai base fans!!
Definitely not base from the back
There is something very classic about these dials in the flesh, especially with the plexi which gives each piece a real vintage aesthetic. Oro Bianco 520 was the favourite combination with us but the Oro Rosso 519 is a close second. The Platino 518 is the one which we all dismissed first, however we kept coming back to it again and again. The 518 has something very alluring and different from its siblings - perhaps its the yellowed markers which look very like tritium, perhaps its because one of my favourite modern Paneari is the 225 Slytech and this dial reminds me of that watch to some degree. Whatever it is, the watch is beautiful in the flesh. Look at it this way - the 519 and 520 are the lead singers, think Beyonce in DC - but the 518 is Kelly Rowland, overlooked to some degree in favour of the lead, but in time she is the one who shines just as bright!
Destros are next on the menu first up is the 557
I think it is fair to say that because of the 372 the 557 seems familiar and this does take some of the wind out of the 557s sail, however the fact is that this is one very special watch which just oozes classic cool. I have a soft spot for Destro Panerai (as I naturally wear my watches on the rhs wrist) and this one feels special even though I have owned a 372 for well over a year.
Although I love the base 557 the second Destro we see is the 579 and this is one in the flesh is a show stopper. The 579 has a dark titanium case which looks more like Tantalum, and this coupled with the soft brown dial and gold hands makes this a real winner. The weight of this watch (very light) makes it sit very flat on the wrist whilst having real presence.
Ade wants to rock the 579 also
At least wear it on the right wrist m8 - let me show you how, now thats a real wanker pose! I am very good at those : 0
Ade has recently bought a Stone Island 3 piece flannel suit and asks Alesandro if he has ever thought of a decent watch which he could rock with it - I have just the thing Alessandro replies.
Seriously the 447 Oro Rosso is a statement piece, we are not really sure who orders these pocket watches or how they would use them but the fact remains that they are a thing of wonderment. The size is 50mm but they look much bigger in the flesh and the weight is just out of this world. Movement is not too shabby either One for Nad me thinks : ))
Finally we see the star of the show - the Panerai which will no doubt be a firm favourite of every Paneristi from Hounslow to Honolulu, from New York City to New Zealand, from Singapore to (well you get the idea!)
The 590 is simply stunning
Wrist shot anyone?
How about a backside shot? NO ADE not of you - phew!.
The dial is really well balanced and 590 looks great on the wrist - even on Ade!
IF only we had the big brother to compare the dials. hmmmmmmmmmmm
Big brother is still the bomb but the 590 has a charm all of its own. The team at Panerai were bowled over with Ades 203 - it was great to see sooooo much passion from the Panerai HQ team.
We were told that the 590 is not a special edition and will be released in the US first - 1000 pcs to begin with. Then it will be available worldwide. Gentlemen (and ladies) start your engines!
Our conclusion to the collection is that Panerai is really progressing as a watch company and using its roots and heritage to create a niche within the market at a higher end - and I for one think they will be very successful in doing so. There are still many watches for us more die hard fans and hopefully many more to come over the years. From speaking to Alessandro and the team it is quite clear that they share the same passion for the watches and the history as we do - they are also factoring in the business and market dynamics required for any brand to be successful for the long term.
After an 1hr and 40mins with Alessandro, Sylvia, Philip and Amandine from Panerai reviewing the collection we explored the OP stand - I just wish I could capture the buzz at the stand for my Risti brothers and sisters - electric simply does not do it justice. We visited quite a few other stands including AP, Lange and IWC and where as they had beautiful spaces - nothing had the atmosphere and energy of OP - nothing!
Me checking my pulse electronically at another stand yep its pretty much flat going back to OP!
It is clear from entering the stand that Panerai firmly and proudly embraces its historic roots, as the stand was a living museum of their past achievements, each treasure carefully (but simply) displayed - no fuss, no bother. The materials used within the stand had a real tool like and nautical quality about them - reflecting the brands provenance and back to basics aesthetic. Fancy a quick tour? Of course you do.
Ade posing at stand (and looking like a dodgy security guard) smile m8
Ahhhh thats better : )))
A historic story depicted on a wall
Now defaced with these two
Will someone please be my friend : (((
Lets view some of the watches and tools that Asi remembers from when he was 23 : )))
3646 Cali in full effect...
Mare Nosturm original - speechless
6152 - no words
An instrument to measure the love for the brand?.
I always loved the 202a - one of the best machines ever made - NOTHING could put me off this watch
Oh dear, suddenly I feel sick at the sight of the 202a.
Quick break with Asi to review the books from his childhood
Then onto THE classic (with THE strap that we all know and love)
Finally my favourite Panerai of all time (for real) - did someone say Destro?
Just wanted to say a huge thank you to Panerai for allowing us to review the 2014 collection at SIHH and an extra special thanks goes out to Alessandro, Sylvia and Amandine for their time and hospitality.
So there you have it - a little review of OP at SIHH from the goon squad - hope you enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed it! Until next time