Panerai opens its enormous Singapore boutique


I’ve been to several Panerai boutiques around the world; they are typically cosy and covered in the same pearwood used for Panerai boxes. Panerai just opened its boutique in Singapore, sited on a prime, ground level space in ION Orchard mall, a few days ago.

Not only is it large, it is the first to be outfitted with the new boutique look that will eventually be rolled out to other stores. The wood panelling is darker with more obvious grain, made from teak like the deck of boats. And there are Le Corbusier LC2 chairs in pale suede all over (while I love the design I always find the LC2 way too narrow). Many of the seafaring elements are blatantly obvious, like the multiple mini-submarine models scattered around the boutique. Others are less so. Some of it is visible in the details – the porthole like display cases for instance. But most interesting are the patinated bronze frames, a la PAM382 Bronzo, that hold fascimiles of historic Panerai patents.


 And like all luxury stores the boutique has a private room – the inner sanctum to make buyers feel they are getting their money’s worth – with walls curved like the hull of a boat.

Every luxury store also needs lots of books

Notably the boutique will also have a watchmaker on hand to assist (with all that strap changing I assume). Officine Panerai ION Orchard #01-18 Orchard Turn Singapore 238801 This is a temple to the cult of the brand. Boutiques are about branding and Panerai is clearly going full steam ahead. – SJX

The watchmaker’s room

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Unique, pink dial Lange Pour le Merite tourbillon sells for CHF314,500


A unique Lange Pour le Merite tourbillon in platinum just hammered for an outstanding CHF314,500 (inclusive of premium) in Sotheby’s in Geneva. This particular watch, no. 22/50, has a pink dial ordered by the original owner. Based on the photos the condition doesn’t look great – oxidisation of hands and scratches on screw for example – but it is a beautiful watch. Visually this is a perfect match for the Patek 5101 Ten Day Tourbillon with copper dial.

Lange watches usually fetch respectable but not outstanding prices at auction so this is interesting. A Zeitwerk sold for a premium at a Christie’s sale recently too.


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Royal Oak 40th anniversary – here’s hoping for more


2012 is the 40th anniversary of the Royal Oak, penned by the late Gerald Genta. One of the models to mark the anniversary was recently unveiled as a SIHH 2012 preview. The Openworked Extra-Thin Royal Oak is just that – a slim, automatic watch with a skeletonised dial. The platinum case is the same 39 mm diameter as the 1972 original. Inside beats the in-house cal. 5122. This will be limited to 40 pieces.

For the anniversary of what AP calls a “spectacular non-conformist” watch I am hoping there will be more in store besides this skeletonised Royal Oak. A Royal Oak Starwheel which myself and others have long talked abou perhaps. Or a new Royal Oak Concept. This is just ho-hum.


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