New York, NY — While not entirely unique for the industry, Panerai is a brand that continues to challenge the loyalty of its followers with an approach that’s as controversial as it is troubling for the buyer—negotiate quality, then double-down with the resources saved toward its luxury image. “Last but not least,” confided our company insider, “Spit in their mouth and tell ‘em it tastes like strawberry.”
The relationship might be grotesque for some, however local dealer, [redacted], assures us he has the best interests at heart for his so called, “Paneristi”—a street term for the co-dependent cult fan base. “Look, it’s like this,” he began. “They don’t know what they really want. That’s why we take care o’em, see? They need to be managed. Sometimes they get a li’l fussy’n whatnot… steppin’ outta line… sayin’ we rippin’em off with stock movements…” He paused to retrieve a comb and tugged at the base of his sideburns. “So we gots to remind ‘em of what’s what, know wha’m sayin?”
Former Paneristi-turned-writer, Lance Kilmer, chronicled his experiences of the complicated relationship in his latest book, Survivor: A Panerai Love Story. “Honestly, it doesn’t matter what they throw at you… bottom shelf ETA movements lauded as “in-house,” or “dive watch heritage” despite three meters water resistance… it doesn’t matter ‘cause you always go back,” Kilmer stiffened as he lowered his vacant stare, “We always come back.”
Another Paneristi who chose to remain anonymous confided, “One time I tried to service my broken Luminor Marina, only to find out it was just some Miyota quartz movement with a dead battery. Somehow it didn’t feel right, what with it saying “automatic” on the dial and all… but my dealer, [redacted], just slapped me on the ear, accused me of betraying him, and that I should learn how to appreciate what’s ‘Limited Edition.'” He shrugged at the memory, “To be fair that’s probably what the Italian divers had to go through back in the day.”
However divisive as the treatment may appear, Paneristi everywhere seem quick to defend their brokers, with one exclaiming, “Mine told me if I buy just two more Radiomirs, I’ll earn a blue skull bead bracelet!”
Damon is based out of the Bay Area, where he’s a black sheep among Apple Watch loyalists. Having served as a Combat Engineer with the USMC, he believes a true field watch’s success is measured by how closely it compares to a “G-Shock.” Nonsensically, a background in design has guided his preference toward higher craft, as he struggles to become the lifestyle his watch tastes more closely reflect.