The story began when a PAM0055C was brought to Panerai Boutique in Munich for a complete service and case replacement. Don't ask me what was wrong with the original case - I simply don't know as I wasn't the owner then. I bought the watch when the service was complete and the beautiful watch received a new case and a new set of hands. All the service paperwork was in order and I was happy to be able to buy a PAM55 with a brand new titanium case. After getting the watch I noticed that the crown bridge (this is what the crown protection device is called by the Panerai Concierge people) was the wrong one. It was just like the newer ones on PAM176 and PAM177, i.e. curved when you look from the side. Besides, the new hands when glowing had a bluish tint that differed from the dial that was good old acid green. I was not happy about it but thought that this shouldn't be difficult to fix - the watch was under service warranty and I had all the paperwork.
So I contacted Panerai Concierge in Amsterdam - the RLG's hub for my region. I received a quick answer that I can't drop off my watch and paperwork at my local dealer and they would send it to the Netherlands for further analysis and eventual repair. So far, so good. A month or so later I received an email saying that Service Center in Amsterdam did not see any problem. Everything was as it should be, both the hands and the crown guard. Well, I picked up the phone, called my Concierge in Amsterdam and explained to her that I would like them to look again and this time to actually read what I had written and look at the pictures I had attached. I did provide photos of a PAM55 with the original crown guard and my own little franken. The Netherlands people gave up and sent the watch to the service center Switzerland. A few months later I received and email from Amsterdam - and no, you can't speak with people in Switzerland directly, you have to go through the Customer Service rep in you region - saying that the correct crown bridge for my model is MX000GD8 and not MX002RJ4. They even attached two drawings of the two crown bridges. I was happy, to say the least. At last I was heard and the problem was identified. Of course I asked for them to install the correct one and return the watch to me. The hands had also been examined and some "minor colour variations" were present. As per my request the service center installed a set of hands from the same year as the watch that they had in stock.
My watch flew to Amsterdam in May. Now it was the middle of November and my watch returned to me... with the same incorrect crown guard as before! My jaw dropped. I looked at the email with the drawings, re-read the text where the service people confirmed that the only correct crown bridge was the GD8 and couldn't believe my eyes. So I emailed the Concierge in Amsterdam again with some pictures of my watch and their own drawings asking her to tell me which crown bridge was installed on my PAM55. Today I received her answer. The crown bridge I have is the correct one, it's the GD8. Well, now I can only cry to you all here and ask you if I am indeed crazy. Please, look at the photos of my watch, the drawings I got from Panerai and come with your opinions as to what I shall do. My hope is that I am actually crazy and that I don't get something here... Otherwise it's Panerai who don't give **** about doing their job right. And yes, the original service was expensive. 3500 euro
A disclaimer for the sceptics: I do have 6 months worth of email regarding the problem and I am genuinly in love with watches in general and with Panerai in particular