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How Panerai Service Center in Switzerland created a Frankenstein (a true story)

November 29 2017 at 7:39 PM

Evan  (Login litvan)
from IP address 90.224.191.155

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 happy.gif

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 happy.gif

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AuthorReply
Michael Koch
(Login Micha-K-48)
Paneristi
217.7.222.66

Maybe it is because of the new case?...

November 30 2017, 11:03 AM 

Panerai maybe refers the crownguard to the new (reference of the) case? New case reference = new crownguard...

 
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Evan
(Login litvan)
83.223.9.44

No, this is not the problem

November 30 2017, 8:45 PM 

If you read my story one more time you'll see that Panerai did if fact confirm that PAM00055 should be supplied with crown bridge GD8 (look at their own drawings to see what it looks like). Instead they attached the newer Slytech crown bridge and refuse to accept that it is not the correct GD8. In the last email I received they wrote that my watch has the correct crown bridge and it is GD8. A perfect example of saying that the black is white happy.gif


 
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guillermo
(Login torromoto)
Paneristi
83.81.79.216

It's obvious,

November 30 2017, 8:55 PM 

the panerai centre has no clue about anything...It looks cool either way and with the interest shown nowadays for the older models only very few will notice it's not the correct crown guard...
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Cheers Guillermo

 
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Ferry
(Login ferry.monne)
Paneristi
188.203.76.166

What a story!

November 30 2017, 4:37 PM 

OP has a service that not many understand, being in denial is probably part of their in-house training. I hope one day they will learn and start listening to customers, you paid 3500 for a service, the watch should come back in an original condition, no Frankenstein is accepted!
Best regards,
Ferry

Dutchman, Panerista since 2014 and learning
PAM389 and PAM372 and a bunch of straps

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Evan
(Login litvan)
83.223.9.44

Exactly my point!

November 30 2017, 8:51 PM 

They seem to be too arrogant to accept that they had been wrong. Otherwise it's a case of complete miscommunication on the customer service part. I suspect that my emails to the Concierge are not forwarded to the service people as they are but are "translated" and sent as internal mail. In this case the person that I speak with may be the weak link that doesn't understand my problem and cannot explain it to the service center.

 
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Ferry
(Login ferry.monne)
Paneristi
188.203.76.166

and not even region based I am afraid

December 1 2017, 9:55 AM 

I had my experiences in Asia, India and UAE to be precise with OP. My first PAM329 was a Monday morning production, first it wasn't waterproof, second it started running way too fast and faster than the already higher bandwidth than other brands or COCS standards, the watch came back, still running too fast, 3 times in a row. It turned out that OP UAE starts measuring a watch after it has been fully wound and rest for 30 minutes. If the mainspring is the problem they will never see the problem and thereby there is no problem.

My second encounter with OP is here in The Netherlands, my PAM372 was re-banking sometimes after a full winding, this took between 20-45 seconds when it occurred, the Richemont Service Center has a slightly different benchmark, they start testing a watch after a full winding and after letting the watch rest for 10 minutes, again of course they could not find anything, but they offered me a full service on the watch. Of course I was happy and accepted the offer, at the same time I was not happy at all as they make it look that I see ghosts, not the way to go for a luxury watch brand IMHO...
Best regards,
Ferry

Dutchman, Panerista since 2014 and learning
PAM389 and PAM372 and a bunch of straps

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Laurent
(Login Pam009T)
Paneristi
90.6.146.9

Panerai concierges are not experts or enthusiasts

December 1 2017, 6:18 AM 

The problem with Panerai concierges is that only a few are passionate about the brand.
They don't have very extensive knowledge about the history of the brand, the old Panerai series, the differences between cases, dials, crownguard, straps and buckles. They aren't sensitive to our very specific requests from Paneristi. But rest assured it's exactly the same with brands like Omega, they have already reversed case back, dials during revisions. Watch manufacturers sell us dreams at high prices (calculate the price of manufacturing a historic PAM as a 111, if you arrive at $ 2,000 is the maximum) but not always the quality of service.
Laurent

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Evan
(Login litvan)
90.224.191.155

Re: Panerai concierges are not experts or enthusiasts

December 1 2017, 9:42 AM 

Dear Laurent,

You are quite right about the concierges, but wouldn't you think that the main Panerai service center in Neuchatel should have extensive knowledge? Not sure if you managed to read the whole of my initial post but it was them who installed the wrong crown guard and now they insist that the crown bridge I have is the correct one, the GD8. But everyone who has eyes can see that the crown bridge I have on my watch is the 2RJ4.

Am I really asking too much of Panerai Service center? It's not like I haven't tried to explain in all possible ways what the problem is. We all make mistakes, it's why refuse to accept it and fix the mistake - this is what I don't get in this whole story.

 
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Evan
(Login litvan)
90.224.191.155

Re: Panerai concierges are not experts or enthusiasts

December 1 2017, 9:44 AM 

Dear Laurent,

You are quite right about the concierges, but wouldn't you think that the main Panerai service center in Neuchatel should have extensive knowledge? Not sure if you managed to read the whole of my initial post but it was them who installed the wrong crown guard and now they insist that the crown bridge I have is the correct one, the GD8. But everyone who has eyes can see that the crown bridge I have on my watch is the 2RJ4.

Am I really asking too much of Panerai Service center?

 
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S H
(Login evertech)
Paneristi
58.185.10.34

I can only LOL

December 4 2017, 8:15 AM 

Sorry or happy to hear that. I really don't have an expression..
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