The dial features Panerai’s signature sandwich structure and is a small busy by the brand’s standards, with a date and magnifier at 3 o’clock, an “8 Days” print at 6 o’clock that proudly proclaims the motion’s outstandingly long power reserve, and a little sub seconds dial at 9 o’clock. The dial is a profound matte green and the mark and hands feature beige Super-LumiNova. The motion inside is the in-house-made, hand-wound Calibre P.2002. It’s a useful power book of 192 hours (8 days) and comes with a fast zero-reset system for simple and exact setting of the moment. The motion is visible via a display caseback and a neat thing about it’s the fact that it includes a discreet power reserve indicator on the back of the motion. Water resistance is 100m and the watch comes with a dark brown strap stamped using the OP logo of Panerai.Next upward, we’ve got exactly the PAM 736 Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days Acciaio, that is based upon the PAM 514. This comes from Panerai’s newer 47mm-wide Radiomir 1940s-style pillow instance, which includes more conventional incorporated lugs. The case is stainless steel. Such as the PAM 735, the PAM 736 includes a deep matte green sandwich dial with beige Super-LumiNova. If you ask me, I’d rather never have the date screen, however I know a lot of folks who’d enjoy its practicality.The PAM 736 is powered by Panerai’s Calibre P.3000, an in-house hand-wound movement that is also found in many other hand-wound Panerai models. It defeats at 3Hz and has a power reserve of 72 hours (3 times). The Calibre P.3000 also has the capability to progress its hour hand by one hour increments — very useful when traveling across time zones. Water resistance is 100m, which is fitting for a Panerai considering its dip watch roots.
When two of the longest serving chief executives in Richemont’s stable of brands (namely Vacheron Constantin and Piaget) were retired earlier this year, speculation intensified that Panerai boss Angelo Bonati would soon step down. Mr Bonati reached retirement age in 2016, and has led Panerai for a remarkable 17 years, being the first and only chief executive of the brand since Richemont bought it in 2000.
Now it is official, according to an internal Richemont announcement earlier this week: come April 1, 2018, Jean-Marc Pontroue will become the next chief executive of Panerai, the watchmaker best known for its military inspired Luminor and Radiomir watches. Credited with having grown sales at Panerai some 20-fold and turning it into a global luxury brand, the 66-year old Mr Bonati will stay on for a few months to help with the transition.
Chief executive of Roger Dubuis since 2012, Mr Pontroue’s move is a major promotion, given that Panerai is a significantly larger company, with annual sales of SFr450m, compared to just SFr80m at Roger Dubuis, according to estimates by Swiss bank Vontobel.
Well regarded by insiders at Richemont, Mr Pontroue will report to Emmanuel Perrin, recently appointed head of distribution for Richemont’s watchmaking brands. However, according to insiders, Mr Perrin, a Richemont lifer whose uncle was once the president of Cartier, will eventually become chief of the watchmaking division, taking over the post vacated by Georges Kern.
While still enjoying strong sales and one of the best margins amongst Richemont watch brands, Panerai has lost some of its allure amongst diehard collectors (the “Paneristi”) in recent years. Consequently Mr Pontroue’s direction for the brand will certainly be one worth keeping an eye on.
Correction December 22, 2017: Mr Pontroué’s last name was misspelled in an earlier version of the article. We regret the error.