Panerai, a declining brand ?
It was more than 10 years ago when our daily routine was substantially different from today’s, we were doing a good fair bit of scuba diving, big game fishing and wake boarding. We were slacking off at the beaches ,and it was the time when we first met Panerai during one of our diving adventure in a calm clear water of Maldives.
What is that humongous watch he is wearing? why is it so darn big ? why would anyone wear a huge watch around his wrist ? Why does it look so different from other diving watches ? Where can I get one ? What is a Pan E rAi ?? The curiosity was overwhelming, the 44mm Panerai stood out like a sore thumb during the time when the norm was 39mm ! And yes, the watch did become the centre of attention among the many social gatherings, and people actually thought we were insane !
Is the compact watch making a come back among the sassy fashion industry? We don’t believe the devil would wear a big Panerai watch in the first place, and we think a 30mm wrist watch is more of a jewellery than a time piece. In our opinion the big watches are here to stay, together with the smaller ones, and the biggest trend setter would be the Apple Watch. The Apple watch is not exactly small, and so it is only reasonable to assume the daddies would continue to be big, all until Apple decides to do so otherwise. The horology sector is likely to decline, and the digital timepiece may return in a big boom especially with the integration of funky Apps into the watch.
We think Panerai has lost its market focus, (making a profit is not a focus !!) and its brand identity is very muddy. Panerai is a diving watch, and it is rich in history, so why not just simply reinforce them in that direction, it would be so much more effective than merely adding a SLC logo and claiming it to be a Limited Edition. We suspect the overall sale is declining, we see the 2nd shops are not taking in the Panerai as enthusiastically as they were earlier, and frankly, our after market straps are not performing too good either.
It would be nice if Panerai could work with other designers, in a manner of strengthening the tradition yet spicing up the existing designs. But is the mighty Goliath willing to work with the puny David?