Jose Pereztroika is Panerai’s public enemy number one. Jose has done more to damage the Swiss-masquerading-as-Italian watch brand’s reputation than anyone – save Panerai itself. If Jose didn’t publicly pillory Panerai’s perfidy, no one would. The obsequious, profoundly corrupt horological press ignores Jose’s exposés. Here’s the latest on the ongoing contretemps . . .

In late 2020, a number of Panerai customers started lamenting the seconds hand on their P.9010-powered watches would not stop when they pulled the crown. Expecting it to be a manufacturing defect, the watches were sent back to Panerai. It was not a flaw though.

Panerai had quietly downgraded the P.9010 in June 2020, in the midst of the worst pandemic in a century. Neither was the website updated nor were the distributors, namely Panerai boutiques and ADs, informed.

In mid January 2021, news about the missing “hacking seconds” broke on TRF (The Rolex Forums) after an impacted Panerai customer shared the following reply from Panerai:

Please be advised that the P.9010 movement used in the PAM01313 has been updated as of 2020. This movement no longer features the hacking seconds or seconds reset function. The aesthetic of the movement has also been changed from horizontal brushing to a microblasted finishing.

perezscope.com

As Jose points out, “microblasting” is not a finishing – it’s a “mechanical necessity.” Apparently, Panerai considered it a financial necessity.

As in a cost-cutting measure, lowering labor costs to increase profit. What Jose calls downgrading. Have a look at the difference between new (left) and old (right):

courtesy perezscope.com

When customers noticed Panerai had deleted the hacking seconds function without notification, they were not well-pleased. Panerai said . . . nothing. To customers or dealers. That alone is a major FOAD moment for anyone considering a Panerai, whose prices range from $8k to $30k.

How do we know this was a sleight-of-hand, a cynical move on the part of Compagnie Financière Richemont S.A.’s maison Panerai?

The watchmaker switched from open/exhibition casebacks (above right) to closed casebacks, hiding the downgrade. What of watches built to have the movement on display?

PAM01111 Gold Chronograph new (left) previous (right)

courtesy perezscope.com

As you can see – or not – the PAM01111 Gold Chronograph (above) now hides its movement. Which is, get this, a modified ETA 2892-A2 with a Dubois Dépraz chronograph module.

Perrin Watch Parts sells the ETA movement for $323.12. Panerai sells the PAM01111 for twenty-eight-thousand dollars.

That brings us back to Pamgate.

In August 2021, Jose exposed Panerai’s lies about the source of its movements (covered by TTAW in Panerai Movement Scandal?). Panerai calls its movements “manufacture” when they’re anything but. (Difference explained in our post In-House Movement – What’s Up With That?). The brand still hasn’t addressed this issue. No surprise there.

We chronicled Panerai’s hidden Nazi connection in a previous post (Rolex, Panerai and The Nazis). It seems Richemont recreated the brand’s “whatever it takes to make a buck” culture when they “revived” the brand.

Just ask Sylvester Stallone, the actor who put the new old Panerai on the map, delivering billions to Richemont’s corporate coffers with only a handful of Panerais and a single co-production to show for his efforts (Bye Bye Panerai – How Stallone Got Sick of the Brand).

Luxury watch buyers buy watches on faith – especially when the movement is hidden behind a closed caseback. In the case of Panerai (so to speak), buyers’ faith is woefully misplaced. The company manufacturing – sorry, selling the timepieces – isn’t acting with integrity or transparency.

Same goes for HoDinkee and their ilk. If the truth about Panerai were more widely known, their sales would fall off a tall building. In fact, the brand’s current and ultimate fate (in this internet world) reminds me of my father’s reply when people asked “how are you?” His reply: “Like the man falling from the 52nd floor. So far so good.”