2019 means a brand new start for Panerai. In this year, Panerai officially launched the Submersible stealth series, separated from the previous Luminor 1950 series, and Propose to bring more different experiences to users. At the beginning of the new year, we were fortunate to meet Jean-Marc Pontroué, then the global CEO of Panerai, in Geneva, Switzerland, and talked to him about the development plan of the new year.
Panerai CEO Jean-Marc Pontroué
In April 2018, Jean-Marc Pontroué officially joined Panerai. This year, under his leadership, Panerai proposed to provide users with more experiences. These include a variety of outdoor extreme experiences for different projects, and better products. When it comes to ‘experience’, Jean-Marc Pontroué seems to have a lot to say.
Watch House: In your experience, there have been many cases of successful cross-border cooperation. What does Panerai’s collaboration with the Luna Rossa sailing team and the famous explorer Mike Horn this year mean?
Panerai Global CEO Jean-Marc Pontroué (hereinafter referred to as Jean-Marc Pontroué): First of all, Mike Horn is a very good explorer, and it is our pleasure to cooperate with him. At the same time, Luna Rossa is a very professional fleet and has achieved good results in world competitions. This year we are focusing more on bringing more meta-experiences to our users. And this is not only experienced on the watch, but also includes special adventures such as polar adventures and diving. This also means that the brand will establish deeper connections with users, and we will also open new stores worldwide, including Beijing, Shanghai, and more cities in China.
You know, Panerai, with a history of more than 150 years, has always been a symbol of tough men and men. People can always say its name at a glance through its iconic design (including the design of the case, bridge, dial, etc.). How to bring new blood into full play on the basis of classics?
Watch House: What is Panerai’s overall development plan this year? Could you briefly introduce us?
Jean-Marc Pontroué: We have extracted the Submersible stealth series from the Luminor 1950 series into a separate series, which means that this series will launch more models, and we will gradually expand this series of product teams. Panerai will adhere to the brand’s genes, no matter it is the style, design or content of the watch, but we will also make new attempts and innovation based on the original.
This year, one of Panerai’s big moves, the Submersible stealth series is independent from the original Luminor 1950 series, and the brand also took a Chinese name for this series-stealth.
Watch House: Why separate the Submersible stealth series?
Jean-Marc Pontroué: In fact, we can see that the Submersible stealth series is very different from the original Luminor 1950 series in appearance. The launch of the Submersible stealth series also means that it is a more professional and sporty product line.
Panerai Submersible Carbotech ™ Carbon Fiber Watch
Carbon fiber is also one of the main materials used in this year’s models. For Panerai, the flexible use of materials is also a major strength of Panerai. It first applied bronze to modern watches, after which the watch circle blew a ‘bronze wind’.
Watch House: In addition to the Submersible stealth series, are there any new changes in the models of the series?
Jean-Marc Pontroué: We have merged the original Radiomir and Radiomir 1940 series into a new Radiomir series. Continue to maintain the characteristics of this series; secondly, we will form the original Luminor and Luminor 1950 into the new Luminor series. This series will still be the main series of Panerai, after all, everyone is more familiar with this series. The Luminor Due series will still be retained. This series allows more female users or users with slender wrists to have the courage to try Panerai watches. This is also our choice for consumers. In general, including the Submersible stealth series, we are mainly these four series.
Watch House: Do you have any expectations or goals for the future development of Panerai?
Jean-Marc Pontroué: Adhering to the original genetic creativity of Panerai, strengthening the image of Panerai’s ‘creative workshop’. We will invest more energy in product development and sales. At the same time, we will implement a more reasonable sales plan. For example, in China, we will continue to increase the number of stores; adjust prices to prices similar to foreign countries, so that Chinese users can enjoy more reasonable and high-quality after-sales service.
Summary: Jean-Marc Pontroué has been active throughout the interview. He was energetic, willing to try, and found a harmonious balance between persistence and innovation. He dares to think, and is trying to implement his ideas. We believe that Panerai will become a better watchmaking brand under his leadership, and look forward to him bringing us more surprises.