Exclusive Interview: Mr Jean-Marc Pontroué, CEO of Panerai

Mr Jean-Marc Pontroué

CONTENT: Yiew Kai Jie

With a rich history that goes all the way back to the 19th century, Panerai has made a reputation for itself for producing high quality watches and began a symbiotic relationship with the Italian Navy since 1910 to create a stylish yet reslient watch for its divers that gave birth to the brand’s iconic Radiomir timepiece- named after its patented material.

Embarking on yet another collaboration, Panerai teamed up with Razer to create the Luminor Quaranta Razer Special Edition- a limited edition timepiece that seamlessly blends Panerai’s high-end watchmaking with Razor’s iconic cutting-edge gaming technology. This collaboration not only showcases the innovative spirit of the brands, but also highlights the importance of preserving and protecting the planet for future generations.

We had the chance to sit down and chat with the CEO of Panerai, Mr Jean-Marc Pontroué about the recent Panerai-Razer collaboration and where he will be directing the brand’s reputation in the future for Panerai to continue to be a respected and admired name in the world of luxury watches.

Luxe Society Asia: What led to the Panerai X Razer collaboration? As both brands are very different from each other.

Panerai & Razer recognized their mutual focus on sustainability and environmental conservation, which led to this collaboration to promote ocean literacy and raise awareness about the need for more sustainable practices in the watch and gaming industries.

Luxe Society Asia: What are Panerai’s plans moving forward with its innovation for future timepieces?

Panerai pushes the boundaries of contemporary watchmaking with innovative designs and materials. Panerai’s forward-thinking approach is evident in its commitment to sustainable and environmentally responsible practices, as demonstrated by the development of eSteel  , exploring new ways to reduce its environmental footprint. Panerai’s plans for future timepieces are to focus on a balance between innovation, sustainability, and the brand’s signature aesthetic.

Luxe Society Asia: What differentiates Panerai from other watch brands in the market?

Panerai’s unique DNA lies in its Italian heritage and Swiss watchmaking expertise, which sets it apart from other watch brands in the market. Panerai has distinct crown guard cases and minimalist dials, inspired by its history as a supplier of instruments to the Italian navy. Additionally, Panerai’s focus on innovation and use of cutting-edge materials, such as CarboTech and GoldTech, further distinguish it in the luxury watch industry.
Panerai’s commitment to the environment is also noteworthy, as seen in the use of eSteel  – made of recycled-based materials, which has the same characteristics as traditional steel but with a much lower environmental impact.

Luxe Society Asia: Watch aficionados were unhappy with using “eSteel” in Panerai’s timepieces, will you still be moving forward with those plans?

Sustainability is imperative, and we cannot just stand by and not do anything in the face of the climate crisis that we are facing. Panerai’s commitment to sustainability is evidenced by our use of eSteel in our timepieces. This is not a recent change, but rather a commitment we have made for years. We believe in reducing waste and promoting the reuse of materials to create a more sustainable future. Our focus on using recycled materials is an important aspect of our brand and our mission moving forward. We view it as an added value for consumers.Panerai timepieces

Collab

Luxe Society Asia: With new watch brands constantly popping up, how does Panerai plan to stay relevant in a competitive market?

Panerai has a rich Italian heritage and expert Swiss watchmaking experience, which gives it an edge over other watch brands. We are pioneers and vanguards in bringing innovations to the market, and our unparalleled heritage, and unique positioning puts us in a position with little, if any, competition. To stay relevant, Panerai continuously strives in its mission of empowering modern heroes and pursuing sustainability, incorporating recycled materials like eSteel in the Luminor Marina, Submersible Collection, and Luminor Quaranta Razer Special Edition. This initiative demonstrates its dedication to sustainable practices and reducing waste while also keeping up with the latest technological innovations in the industry.

Luxe Society Asia: In an increasingly saturated second-hand watch market, will Panerai launch its own programme to certify pre-owned watches?

Panerai, in collaboration with Watchfinder & Co., has launched a trade-in program that aims to make it simple for customers to upgrade to a new Panerai watch from one of its signature collections. This program ensures that pre-owned watches, which would otherwise go unused, return to the market and get a new lease on life.

The watchmakers at Watchfinder review each submission to ensure it is in optimal working order before offering it for sale among its collection of luxury watches on sale through its website and boutiques. The program maximizes the lifespan of resources that are already in use, conserves raw materials, and is in keeping with sustainability goals to which Panerai is committed. We do understand the importance of the second-hand market and as a group we address the topic of certification and its needs.

Luxe Society Asia: How would you describe the demand for Panerai watches right now in Singapore?

The demand for Panerai watches remains strong in Singapore, and that the brand continues to appeal to discerning watch enthusiasts who appreciate the quality, craftsmanship, and distinctive design of Panerai timepieces. Panerai’s popularity in Singapore provides a great platform to promote environmental awareness and sustainability in the luxury watch industry. We’re excited to share our ocean conservation commitment through our partnership with Razer and through the pop-up held at ION Orchard last February.

LUMINOR RAZER EDITION

Panerai Luminor Quaranta Razer Special Edition


Luxe Society Asia: As Panerai is known for its large watches, are there any plans to make a smaller timepiece to cater to ladies?

Panerai has introduced Luminor Due collection featuring a 38mm size case created expressly for women since 2016. The recent edition to the collection is Luminor Due Luna watches, featuring moon phase complication in four iterations. The quick-release strap system allows changing straps without tools and allows ladies to transform the watch appearance with endless possibilities.

Luxe Society Asia: Finally, what’s your favorite Panerai timepiece?

It’s difficult to pinpoint one particular model because every timepiece has its special meaning and function for different needs. Radiomir is steeped in a vintage spirit while Luminor is definitely my choice when I look for a casual-sporty watch, but my heart is very close to the Submersible collection as it’s the collection I launched when I joined Panerai.

The Luminor Quaranta Razer Special Edition Watch is limited to just 500 pieces worldwide and is only available exclusively through Panerai boutiques and Online 

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