Rome is a city on the move from the watchmaking point of view. In a few months, the capital of Italy has been the setting of the openings of a Rolex boutique, a Patek Philippe boutique (both operated by Hausmann, the famous Roman dealer), a Hublot boutique and therefore a Panerai boutique that I propose you to discover. This boutique is interesting from several points of view. It strengthens the presence of the brand in its mother country which is one of its important markets. It symbolizes the dynamic impetus given by the new CEO, Jean-Marc Pontroué. It also includes some aesthetic elements such as Calacatta marble which obviously refer to the city where it is located while respecting the latest architectural codes of Panerai. Finally, the opening of this boutique gave the opportunity to release a limited edition watch.
The Panerai boutique in Rome is located at 130 Via del Babuino, just a few meters from Piazza di Spagna, the heart of the luxury district, where all the boutiques of the most prestigious brands come together. This site was previously occupied by Kiton and I also knew very well this former boutique. Undoubtedly, the architects have worked well since despite a modest surface (50 m2), the boutique gives the impression to be much larger than before. And above all, everything has been done to welcome guests and clients with comfort. The front side of the boutique has a counter for presentations and quick talks while the back side, located behind a very pretty arch shaped structure brings together two tables of sale. The number of displays and showcases is important which gives an excellent view of the entire collection.
The entrance of the boutique at the 130 Via del Babuino:
The layout of the boutique has been cleverly designed, finally offering a beautiful space despite a modest surface:
There is no doubt that we are in Italy!
I took the opportunity of my visit to have a closer look on some pieces and discover the limited edition watch dedicated to the boutique.
I really like this Radiomir 3 days 47mm featuring a specific bezel (PAM0685, a special edition from 2017) even if I prefer the version with tropical dial:
We stay with the Radiomir, always in 47mm and still in the context of a special edition (but from 2018). And in this case too, I prefer the clear dial version. Anyway, this PAM0790 is a kind of UFO, having no luminescence and being inspired by the pendulum clock of the Firenze boutique:
The Luminor Tourbillon GMT is definitely a spectacular piece that takes advantage of its fast tourbillon (2 revolutions per minute). However, it offers a paradoxical rendering because in my opinion the Panerai style is better for simple watches than with complex aesthetic. Nevertheless, it is a very nice technical achievement.
I really like the Submersible Chrono Guillaume Néry Edition. The nuances of colors and the texture of the dial bring subtlety despite the size of the watch. This watch embodies one of the strategic orientations of the brand which has insisted a lot this year on the Submersible line and on the notion of experiences experienced by customers that could be made available during the acquisition of specific pieces.
Finally, here is the Luminor Marina 44mm dedicated to the Rome boutique. The engraved caseback obviously represents a famous location of the city, Piazza di Spagna and its famous stairs. I regret that this theme has been used again ... since IWC featured the very same Piazza di Spagna for its Portofino dedicated to Rome! Richemont should be a little more imaginative, especially since the famous monuments and symbols are not missing in the eternal city. That said, the caseback is here much better realized than on the IWC piece.
The watch also differs from the catalog version thanks to its very comfortable strap:
The number of watches available in this limited edition (130) refers to the address of the boutique. The watch is comfortable to wear and is aimed at a clientele that I would call more generalist (automatic movement, presence of the date window).
Anyway, if you go to Rome, take the Via del Babuino which is one of the nicest streets in Rome and just before turning right on the charming Via Margutta, visit this new boutique. The director of the boutique, Mauro Colombo and his team will be happy to welcome you.