My Pam 337 had a chip in the bezel and needed an overhaul. I was somewhat fearful due to some of the horror stories I've heard - ridiculous wait times, mysterious scratches, issue not fixed, hair on the dial, etc. I was also concerned about the cost of the bezel. Nonetheless, I decided to take the plunge. Here is the tale of my Pam 337's journey to repair.
On Thursday, February 8, I emailed the concierge to ask about the process of sending my watch in for service. They responded the same day with a form for me to fill out plus shipping instructions. I promptly shipped the watch out the following day and waited for the intake process and diagnosis.
The service center received my watch on Monday, February 12th at 10am. They emailed me the following Wednesday with a diagnosis, breakdown of anticipated work, and cost estimate. I was impressed by their turnaround time on this. They recommended a complete service, a bezel replacement, and optional (complimentary) polishing which was exactly what I expected. I was pleasantly surprised by their estimated turnaround time of four weeks. Furthermore, the bezel was quoted at $120. Not quite as bad as I had expected. So far so good.
I had to chuckle when the diagnosis email contained a form where I was to check the various services in order to approve them and then write in my credit card information. The instructions stated, "Please return the signed cost estimate by mail, fax or e-mail. Please provide your credit card information in the space provided. For your security and privacy, please do not include any credit card information in an e-mail." Huh. Well, email would be the quickest and most reliable way to get them the form. I don't have a fax machine, so I called the concierge. She was very friendly and offered to sort out the approval over the phone in order to get things rolling right away. This is the approval method I would recommend to anybody reading this.
Now the Pam 337 is a 42mm Radiomir that wasn't in production for too long and thus is very uncommon. I was nearly certain that there would be a delay as they would have to special order the bezel. Turns out I was wrong. Panerai finished ahead of schedule and completed the overhaul, bezel replacement, and polishing in under 3.5 weeks! They shipped the watch via FedEx on Thursday, March 8th and I received it today - Monday, March 12th.
The best part? I examined with a magnifying glass and saw that they did a wonderful job with the polishing (there weren't any deep scratches to begin with, mind you). They maintained the shape of the case. They also shipped with an added bezel protector as well as that famous black Panerai service case. There were no added scratches on the case/dial, no hairs, no grease, no odd play on the crown, etc. I haven't had it long enough to time the accuracy, but I'm predicting that it will be excellent too.
Maybe I got lucky or maybe Richemont/Panerai are stepping up to the challenge of improving their customer service and reputation in the realm of after sales service and repair. I hope this helps give confidence to the rest of you with in house movement Panerai watches who, like me, have seen so many negative reviews when it comes to service.