Revisting Panerai’s PAM OF Worms – Vintage Panerai and other iconic timepieces under the loupe at Perezcope

Two weeks have handed since my article on Panerai’s so-called “in-house” actions unfold like wildfire by means of the worldwide watch group. Except for Turkmenistan, Chad, Burkina Faso and the distant Norvegian archipelago Svalbard, the article was learn everywhere in the world. As a matter of reality, Panerai In-House Movements – A PAM Of Worms was my most-read article so far. Thank you a lot! Lots has transpired eversince so as a substitute of simply updating the unique article, I’ll revisit the problem right here.

As so typically with this sort of tales, the reality is worse than one thought. Some Panerai followers got here out in protection of their beloved model stating the “in-house” declare was simply an error made by an ill-informed worker on social media and that Panerai by no means claimed the P.9200 was an in-house motion. I hate to interrupt it to them however there are reviews that the Panerai boutiques themselves informed potential patrons the P.9200 was a “manufacture” caliber. According to a dependable model insider, the boutiques have been instructed to inform their prospects the P.9200 is an in-house motion, a directive that got here from the very prime. Here is a public instance from Italy:

“Devo confermarvi che anche a me è stato detto che il calibro P9200 è “di manifattura”, questo durante l’acquisto del chrono 1109…”

Translation: “I’ve to verify that I too was informed the P.9200 is “in-house”, this throughout the buy of the chrono 1109 (PAM01109)…”

Screenshot from the Italian Panerai discussion board

Visit discussion board: Panerai Richemont mente?!? (Passione Panerai Forum Italy)

Following my preliminary Instagram put up on July 24, Jory Goodman aka The Time Teller chatted through Panerai web site with gross sales associates within the United States and acquired the next reply on whether or not the P.9200 is an in-house motion:

“The motion throughout the PAM01111 is in actual fact in-house.”

Boutique personnel, gross sales associates, social media managers, all ill-informed you say? Right!

When the story first broke on July 24, 2021, a involved Panerai collector from the Middle East reached out to Panerai CEO Jean-Marc Pontroué to suggest technique on tips on how to cope with this case. As you’ll be able to see within the screenshot beneath from the collector’s Instagram story, Pontroué commited to make amendments to the web site.

Screenshot dialog with Jean-Marc Pontroué

Today, after nearly one month, no modifications have been “carried out”. There have been no official statements from the corporate. Panerai has merely burried their head within the sand and is ready for the storm to go. As I’ve been made conscious, a number of Panerai workers are extraordinarily upset with what has occured and are contemplating leaving the corporate for good.

The USD 27k PAM01111 Serial Watch

Just a few days in the past, a member of the Paneristi group visited a Panerai boutique in Italy the place he was introduced an precise instance of the ETA-powered PAM01111 Gold Chronograph with a price ticket of USD 27k. As you’ll be able to see within the image he shared, the “show” caseback is definitely opaque, which means there may be zero transparency. The motion can’t be seen.

Panerai PAM01111 serial watch with opaque “show” caseback

This is tremendous awkward. The watch introduced by Hodinkee in April 2021 had a show caseback the place the motion may very well be simply be seen. The image printed by Panerai on their very own web site has a closely tinted show caseback however the motion is however barely seen.

Panerai PAM01111 catalogue picture of the again

The subsequent image exhibits the precise PAM01111 from a distinct perspective. The caseback is certainly utterly opaque.

Panerai PAM01111 serial watch with opaque “show” caseback

Obviously Panerai doesn’t need their prospects to check the fantastic d-ETA-ils of their beautiful P.9200 “in-house” motion whereas on the identical time being too stingy to easily equip the watch with a stable caseback. My guess is the general price of a printed sapphire crystal is round 1/5 of the price of the saved quantity of gold. Do the mathematics.

Word on the road is, the image on the Panerai web site with the closely tinted crystal however barely seen motion could have been accomplished for authorized functions in case a purchaser would uncover the ETA motion and sue them. In such occasion, Panerai may consult with {the catalogue} image and say it was by no means a secret the motion was an ETA. Remember, photos are at all times a part of the outline.

high quality Of Panerai Movements

An skilled Swiss watchmaker who serviced a variety of “in-house” Panerai actions made by ValFleurier identified the industrially produced actions lack in high quality. A superb instance is the pallet fork bridge which is a punched and press-formed steel sheet (left) as a substitute of a correctly machined and adorned half (proper, Rolex 3135).

Pallet fork bridge Panerai P.9000 vs. Rolex 3135

Certain particulars of Panerai’s manufacture calibers reminded the watchmaker of mass produced calibers made within the Soviet Union, however even these had higher pallet fork bridges in accordance with him. Another instance is the P.5000 with its low-cost pillar development recognized from unrefined desk clock actions. The P.5000 has the exact same pallet fork bridge because the P.9000.

Panerai P.5000 pillar development motion (Photo: Panerai)

From what I perceive, most parts utilized in ValFleurier calibers are modular, which means they’re shared all through a lot of the actions made by the corporate.

Rolex Oyster Heritage

Following my final article during which I briefly talked about the Rolex previous, a variety of Panerai fanatics reached out to me as that they had by no means heard of this. It surprises me to at the present time how many individuals are nonetheless unaware of Panerai’s true historical past. For the previous 20 years, Richemont’s mighty advertising and marketing machine did an intensive job at obscuring the reality.

The watches Panerai has turn into well-known for have been initially designed by Rolex and have been in actual fact Rolex Oyster watches. As a matter of reality, Giuseppe Panerai himself referred to them as Rolex watches in service invoices, and many others.

Rolex Ref. 3646 from the Forties made for the Italian Navy

After the acquisition of the Officine Panerai identify in 1997, Richemont shortly created a intelligent smoke display to hide these info by claiming that previously, Rolex had equipped solely the actions and all the pieces else had been produced by Panerai in Florence. This was accomplished to deflect from the truth that Richemont Panerai was successfully producing replicas of classic Rolex watches. The collage beneath exhibits the caseback stamps of all references utilized by the Italian Navy between 1935 and 1955 (Ref. 2533 identical as early 3646).

Rolex caseback stamps on all references made for the Italian Navy between 1935 and 1955

The cushion instances, the large crowns, the screwed casebacks, these are typical Rolex options. Heck, Rolex even marked the instances with “Registered Design – Modèle Déposé”.

Rolex Ref. 6152 from 1953 made for the Italian Navy

Since 1997, Richemont Panerai has adorned itself with borrowed plumes. In a latest interview with Revolution, Panerai CEO Jean-Marc Pontroué mentioned:

“I like to think about Panerai as one of the genuine manufacturers round.”

Autosuggestion is usually a highly effective software. What about Panerai dials? Take the Error-Proof aka California dial as an example, a design patented by Rolex in 1941 (CH221643). What in regards to the intricate sandwich dial with open 6 and 9? Patented by Stern Frères in 1935 (CH182122), lengthy earlier than Panerai began making them. What in regards to the well-known Radiomir compound? Radiomir was nothing however common radium lume (radium + zinc sulfide) which was invented in 1903 by an American named Dr. George F. Kunz. The Italian patent from 1914 which the fashionable firm likes to wave round didn’t shield a selected radium compound as typically claimed, the patent referred to gun sights made seen at evening by an everyday radium/zinc sulfide combination. The identify Radiomir, which is a mix of the 2 Italian phrases Radio (radium) and Mire (sights), tells the entire story.

This invention pertains to sighting units of the type that are rendered luminous by means of radium … in order that these weapons may be fired at evening with a better diploma of accuracy than heretofore.

British “Radiomir” Patent No. 12,270, filed on August 25, 1915

The solely factor Panerai really contributed to “watchmaking” is the half-moon formed crown-protecting system from 1956. In essence, Panerai was a crown guard hooked up to a Rolex watch. That is all it ever was and out of this skinny air – this horological nothing – Richemont created a fantasy model which as we speak has boutiques everywhere in the world.

After having studied Panerai extensively for nearly a decade, I got here to the conclusion that – with so little substance in horology – the fashionable Panerai model has hardly any proper to exist. As a lot as I really like the true and completely fascinating story of Panerai and the underwater models of the Italian Navy however one needs to be practical.

Read extra: Rolex Panerai 3646 Service Invoive From 1955
Read extra: Secret French Marine Nationale Files about “Panerai” Watches
Read extra: Vintage Panerai 2533 “Frankenstein”


Following my exposé, some argued it was unfair to level the finger solely at Panerai when different manufacturers are doing the very same factor. Well, en passant, the article talked about different manufacturers as nicely however sure – it was focussed on Panerai however so is Perezcope. However, that is certainly a really attention-grabbing subject and value having a a lot nearer look. If you already know of comparable tales from different manufacturers please let me know.

Hodinkee simply printed an article during which they in contrast pilot watches from Hamilton and IWC. The IWC contains a 32110 caliber which, as was established in my final article, is undoubtedly a ValFleurier motion that can also be utilized by Cartier, Baume & Mercier and Panerai. Hodinkee, after all, continues to consult with this motion as “in-house” although they need to know higher by now. But we all know who they work for, can we not?

Speaking of IWC, have a look at this Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII. It contains a roughly uncooked Selitta SW-300. Except for the rotor, there isn’t a ending in any respect. According to IWC’s web site, the motion ought to have perlage end however that is what you get as a substitute, which in my view is solely disgraceful.

IWC Pilot Watch Mark XVIII that includes a roughly uncooked Sellita SW-300 motion

When manufacturers purchase these actions in bulk, the common worth is someplace round USD 75 per unit. IWC sells the Mark XVIII for round USD 5k.

This is it for now. Thank you in your curiosity.

Read extra: Panerai “In-House” Movements – A PAM Of Worms

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