Put The Two Hottest Italian Brands Together And Get… 59% Off

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth
put the two hottest italian brands together and get 59 off

It seems like only yesterday… New Ferraris were in such demand that it was possible to make six-figure money in some markets merely by taking delivery of a new F430 or F599 and selling it later that day. Meanwhile, that unspeakably crass reanimated Italian psuedo-luxury watch brand, Panerai, had waiting lists chock-full of suckers waiting to pay five, ten, or fifteen grand for a watch with the same amount of technology and craftsmanship as an $899 ORIS.

Three or so years ago, Ferrari ditched staid old Girard-Perregaux for sexy new Panerai. The not-so-special editions flowed like sweet nouveau glacial milk and the “punters” lined up in droves. This was the marriage of true brands, to which no man may admit an unprofitable impediment.

As of today, the party’s officially over. Welcome… to the bargain bin.

I’m a bit of a watch guy and I have a few IWCs and Omegas sitting around the house, so I subscribe to something called JomaDeals. Every morning I wake up and am presented with another UNBEATABLE WATCH DEAL OMG. Normally it’s second-level trash like Baume&Mercier, Jacob&Co, or Invicta. Once they had a pretty nice IWC — the ridiculous but sexy Ingenieur Climate Action.

Today, they had the Ferrari/Panny tie-in: the Panerai Ferrari Granturismo FER001 “Limited Edition”. Retail price: a ridiculous, but hitherto non-negotiable, $7,100. Yours today for $2,900. If you’d rather deal with Amazon, they have it for $3,550. Half. Freaking. Price.

Does this mean that the boom times are really, really over? Have the first-generation stockbrokers and general practicioners come to their senses? Or was this simply a brand bridge too far? My opinion: The lipstick on the pig has finally worn off.

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6 of 29 comments
  • AlexD AlexD on Dec 22, 2010

    Funny enough, limited edition Panarais (meaning runs of 25) auction off in the high tens of thousands, making them an appreciable asset. Watch makers dump unsuccessful or overproduced models into the grey market to make them disappear in a hurry. Unsuccessful is the nicest descriptive one can assign to this tasteless watch. BTW, there was a massive dump of overproduced and overpriced watches into the grey market after the crash of 2008. In any case, these 44mm plus watches are way too large for most people. I cringe whenever i see wrist shots in watch forums - the majority of owners look like they've strapped a tuna can to their wrist. Might as well wear a clock around your neck. That's class.

  • Davekaybsc Davekaybsc on Dec 22, 2010

    I love the look of J-L Reversos, but I'd only buy one if I already had everything else I could literally ever want. There's just so many better uses for that kind of money than a watch.

  • Caljn Caljn on Dec 22, 2010

    Watches may have outlived their usefulness, as someone said earlier just look at your cellphone for the time. Ridiculous. A fine timepiece is a one of the very few ways men can display their individuality. (Shoes, ties, watches and cars are about it for us.) Interest in the Ferrari Panerai watch withered weeks from launch years ago. The best marriage of watch and cars are the Mille Miglia collection from Chopard, especially the GTXL 44mm with the Dunlop tire track strap.

  • Slow kills Slow kills on Dec 22, 2010

    My understanding is that Ferrari builds their own engines, but Panerai buys their movements. Amirite?

    • AlexD AlexD on Dec 22, 2010

      Many watchmakers use base ETA movements and then modify them. The dig at Oris is based on the fact that they won't even modify the base ETA movement, but they'll mark up their product regardless. The trend is swinging back to more in house movements though as it's necessary for watch houses to distinguish their brands. Panarai does both: http://www.paneristi.com/reference/vendome/mvmt/index.html