Special Edition, Special Allure
There is one sure measure of the capacity for a brand to weather inclemency and rebound from even the sharpest downturn, and that is their secondary value. The one brand that has rebounded most assuredly from the doldrums of 2008 is Officine Panerai. From the onset, Panerai’s watches have demonstrated incredible residual value with most watches maintaining the better part of their retail cost, while some timepieces like the PAM 127 or “Fiddy”, the original 1950 watch, doubled in value since 2005, and watches like “Pre-Vendome, T Swiss Made T” dialled watches have quadrupled in value in less than five years.
In general, it is in its special-edition watches that Panerai has seen its greatest surge in value, in particular with its vintage Angelus-equipped PAM 203 and its original Rolex-equipped PAM 21 leading the way.
At the time of writing, the Panerai watch that has evinced the greatest demand and largest margin of increase is the PAM 339, a stunning 47mm Radiomir timepiece that is the first Panerai to use a new “Composite” case material — aluminium that has been treated so that a ceramic oxide is deposited on its exterior. The groundbreaking status of the case material is complemented by a dial that is rumoured to be the last from the brand to feature the words “Marina Militare”, though this seems rather far-fetched.
What is interesting about Panerai is that it creates these special editions with a combination of awareness of the market dynamics surrounding their watches and a kind of creative intensity fuelled by the brand’s brilliant CEO Angelo Bonati that is almost blissful in its obliviousness to the secondary-value quotient.