How to trash a Panerai within no time?

Last year at this time, I was the “lucky” owner of Three Panerai watches. PAM212 (Flyback), PAM141 (Radiomir with JLC Movement) and PAM311 – Luminor 1950 8 Days Chrono Monopulsante GMT in Titan with tobacco dial and a price tag of nearly 18.000 Euro. And today, PAM212 & PAM141 are sold while PAM311 is with Panerai Service still. Please read the whole story below.

31st January 2017

I went to the Panerai Boutique to treat my beloved PAM311 with a nice service. The Boutique Manager told me “No Problem” and it would take up to 7 weeks before the watch will come back in a good, working condition. Well, sounds promising and I could use the opportunity to wear my other PAM’s in the meantime a bit more. So I agreed to the terms and I told the Boutique Manager NOT to polish the watch. The watch has been in an excellent condition and fully functional, a nice Masterpiece without any flaws.

25th February 2017 

Email from the Boutique, my beloved PAM311 is ready to be picked up and the cost for Service would be 1,030 SGD.  So I jumped into the Taxi to get my watch asap.

25th February 2017 

The linear power reserve dial is showing 2 days of power reserve left but the watch stopped working.

10th April 2017 

Back to the Boutique and explained the problem. Manager told me “No Problem” and it will take around 4 weeks to get if fixed. Panerai will of course cover the cost and repair the watch under Repair Warranty. 

6th May 2017 

Great! Watch has been repaired and I can jump into the Taxi to pick it up again, what a nice day! Went in to the Boutique with a bright smile and asked for my beloved PAM311. The sales lady went to a room to pick up my watch and came back after a couple of minutes to handover the watch. But hold on, what’s that? A complete scratched bezel! I was shocked and my heart sank when I have seen the deep scary scratches on the bezel. I asked “how could that happen? Have you given the watch to a trainee?” The sales lady gave me a prompt answer “that can happen from time to time but a nice quick polish should solve the problem within no time”. I refused the offer to polish and asked to replace the whole bezel instead. The lady told me that cannot happen without approval and she would need to contact the Panerai Service Center first to ask for permissions, which could take a couple of days.  

9th May 2017 

Call from the Boutique, offer to polish the Bezel and the whole case! I did refuse the offer again and told them to replace the bezel only, since the case is in perfect condition still. They need to ask the Service Center again to get permissions to replace the bezel. (I was already wondering how “professional” Panerai work, and do they really care about customer?) The lady promised me to call me back by tomorrow, which was of course not the case.

13th May 2017 

No feedback from the Boutique, so I had no other choice than driving there to check the status, again. As soon as I entered the Boutique Miss “that can happen from time to time” came around the corner to shake hands. She apologized and told me she completely forgot to call me back. But I should not be worried anymore, the Bezel will be replaced and the case not polished. Okay, I cannot wait to see the result.

2nd June 2017 

Email from Miss “that can happen from time to time”.Back to the car and all the way to the Boutique, again. I did enter the Boutique and Miss “that can happen from time to time” did welcome me with a big, bright smile. Dear Mr. XXXXX we are so happy to inform you that your watch has been fixed and the bezel replaced. Yeah, and she was absolutely right, the bezel has been replaced and was super shiny. But Stop, what is that mark on the titanium case between 4 and 5 o’clock? A huge, deep, fat and super ugly scratch along the case! I asked them how this could happen again and if Panerai/Richemont has no proper Quality control in place. No answer. The Boutique Manager went to his room and came back with a small camera. He did start the cam and scrolled through some pictures until he found the pics that he would like to show me. Mr. XXXXX, please have a look on those pictures, can you see all the small scratches around the case? We have removed those and the watch looks now much better than before. I asked him “why did you polish my watch without any approval?” He became silent. But something was not right and felt super strange. So I asked him to show me the pics with the serial number of the watch on his cam. And here we go, he did show me pictures of a PAM311 but not MY PAM311! It was a watch from somebody else with a complete different serial number. So I told him that watch is not mine and he started to search his cam again to find my watch. And after a minute, he could find my watch, without any scratches on the case. He apologized again and did offer me to polish the whole watch. I asked him if I should leave my watch for the trainee program at the Panerai/Richemont Service Center. I refused to polish the watch otherwise it might come back with pink colored hands or plastic pusher button. I told him as well that I will leave not my watch for another terrible service and that I prefer to wear it with this ugly, from Panerai produced, scratch instead. A clean up of my collection will be made in addition and to sale any watches from Panerai asap. I left the Boutique and was very sad what Panerai/Richemont has done to my watch….but the story is not over, yet.

19th June 2017 

I did try to wind up the linear power reserve hand to 8 days but it did stop at 6 days instead. No other choice than going back to the Boutique again but this time I raised the request to send the watch to Switzerland for proper Service, since I have enough of the local Panerai/Richemont service. And as usual: no polishing!

27th July 2017 

Another email from Panerai Boutique:  Complete Service: •Movement diagnosis •Complete dismantling of the case and movement •If necessary, replacement of components •Cleaning of the movement •Complete reassembly and lubrication of the movement •Demagnetization •Movement regulation and timing specification values check •Complete reassembly of the dial and hands •Check of the parallelism between hands and dial •Case, bracelet and crystal condition analysis •Replacement of all the gaskets and recasing of the movement •Aesthetical and cleanliness check •Water resistance test •Braceletstrap fitting (where applicable) •Power reserve and movement functions tests (3 days minimum) •Overall aesthetical check of the product •Exchange hands •Exchange barrel •Exchange dial At this time the watch has received 3 full service within the last 6 months. Complete reassembled and put together again. How would you feel if your car garage is reassembling your car’s engine 3 times within the last 6 months? Would you plan big journeys with the same car still? Anyway, time for service: around 14 weeks. 

10th November 2017 

Email from Panerai, watch is ready for collection. Into the car and to the Boutique again. What will be wrong this time? Watch will fall apart as soon as I use the mono-pusher button? I arrived at the Boutique and entered the room. The Boutique Manager came upfront and told me “Sorry, but we have a problem to open our safe. A technical Expert has been informed to solve the problem and I should come in 90 Minutes again”. Oh well, what should I do in the next 90 minutes? Go to the Rolex store and buy a proper working watch instead? Back to the store to pick up the watch, no scratches at the Bezel and no scratches on the case either. But hold on, how could this be? The watch should have a lovely, fat, deep and for free Panerai Service Center scratch between 4 and 5 o’clock. What did happen? And yes, my nightmare become true – they polished my watch, even without my approval! I asked the Boutique Manager how this could happen and he told me that I approved the polish procedure. I told him that I did not and showed him all of my Panerai papers within the last couple of months. There was never ever any approval for polishing the case. Well, he did apologize again and I left the store with a “fucked up” Panerai Watch. Bezel replaced, Case polished and movement 3 times reassembled. Where is the joy to wear such a fake watch, assembled by replacement parts? At least I was feeling happy to have sold my PAM212 and PAM141 already.

30th November 2017 

I did try to wind up the power reserve linear hand and it stopped at 6 days, again! How could that be? It has been in holy holy holy Switzerland for 14 weeks to get repaired. Or maybe not? So I have sent an email to the Panerai Concierge Service in Europe to find out what is going on. A couple of days later I did receive the following feedback, in German. In other words: they can see that I have given the watch to my local Boutique for Service, but cannot confirm the watch has ever been in Switzerland, yet.

8th December 2017 

Another Email from the Concierge Service in Europe. They ask me if I live in Germany and if I would be able to share my address with them. They would like to pick up my watch for Service…. I did send another email to Panerai/Richemont to explain the whole topic, again.

9th December 2017 

Email from Concierge Service in Europe. They would like to talk with me over the phone to check status and possible solutions. In addition, they tell me repair of the watch has been done in Singapore and not in Germany or Switzerland! WTF - Singapore did keep my watch for 16 weeks but told me it has been sent to Switzerland!?

12th December 2017 

Another Email, this time from Richemont Customer Service, based in Munich, Germany. They called my local Boutique to get further details about the problem. In addition, they can confirm the watch has been in Switzerland for Service. (Than why the same problem still?) My local Boutique told Richemont Northern Europe that I have trouble with the click of the bezel (Lünettenklickringes) Oh well, I wonder if the Team leader of Customer Service has ever hold a PAM311 in his hands. Click of Bezel, so funny…. He asked me as well to explain all the problems, again.

14th December 2017 

Email from Richemont Customer Service, based in Munich, Germany. He is trying hard to solve the problem and he apologize for the not approved polishing of the case. He will try to get some replacement parts for my watch to guarantee a proper repair at my local Panerai Service Center.

21th December 2017 

They write no polishing has been done but gentle cleaning instead. (Which is not true, it has been polished) And, the watch needs to go back to Switzerland again, another Service is calling. To be continued…. I am not sure what I should say but such a bad service should not exist. If I would deliver such a shit service to any of my customers, I would be kicked out by my company by now. We don’t talk about a 100 Euro watch from China, we talk about an expensive 18.000 Euro time piece from holy Switzerland with highly paid managers and watchmakers. I did try to contact the local Panerai Brand Manager or even the Big Boss Lady from Richemont being in charge for Singapore. Unfortunately, without any luck. I assume they are too busy to buy proper watches during Xmas time. Like for example watches from Rolex or Patek, but for sure not from Panerai. I have given a perfect working watch without any damage or scratches to Panerai for a simple Service and got trash back. The PAM311 has received a new dial, new hands, new barrels, new bezel, a complete polish without my approval and got reassembled 5 times so far. And the funny thing, the watch is still not working and somewhere between Timbuktu and the Moon to wait for another Service. So far NO further news from Panerai and Richemont.  Thank you Panerai and Richemont….never again!

1st June 2018 

Yes, believe it or not but the same shit Watch is broken again!  It has been okay for the last 5 months and it was working fine. But then suddenly the power reserve could only be wind up to 4 days before the wonderful "click" noise can be heard, again. (Which should usually happen when the power reserve has been winded up to 7 or 8 days) So I went to my favorite Panerai Boutique at ION in Singapore, again.  I went in with a nice "Good Morning" but got nearly nothing back in return. The Italian guy gave me his most deadly look without saying a word. Ignored within seconds, what a great customer Service 😉 The other guy had no other choice and could not run away since I was standing in the middle of the Boutique already, showing my piece of crap (PAM311) with the comments: does not work, again!  So I explained the issue, again and Mr. Duke started with his standard procedure: Look at the watch, listen to my words, make some pics, ask some boring questions, fill-out a paper and to apologize 5 times within every minute.  I asked him when I could receive first feedback, since the watch is spending more time with "beloved" Panerai then being on my wrist. He could not tell, as usual. I left the Panerai Boutique, opened my bag and mantled my beloved Rolex Daytona on my arm. What a watch, perfect looking, perfect size and NEVER EVER any problems! I have sent an email to the Brand Manager on 7th answer, as usual. Today 11th of June, no response, as usual. Maybe they don't know in which country my watch is for the checkup, but that's normal for Panerai as well. It's really an amazing and sad record. Within 16 months of time, the watch has spent 11 months at the service! Now I understand as well why PAM311 and PAM275 model has been removed from the Panerai Webpage. They are NOT able to service or to repair the watch! In fact, this piece of junk is the most overpriced non-functional watch on this planet! Good to put in a showcase only, but don't dare to wear it. How must Jean-Marc Pontroué feel to lead such a mess? Well, he might wear his fancy Rolex after work to feel happy again. If you ever plan to buy a Panerai, go and buy the old model with ETA (Swatch Group) or Rolex movement.  And if you need a service, go to your local watchmaker, since Panerai is good for sales only, but not for Service or repair.  The Story will continue, stay tune..... Pointless Annoying Naive Embarrassing Rude Arrogant Idiots

4 Replies to “Panerai”

  1. Hi Alex, sorry to hear the ordeal that you have to go through. I have a 311 myself and it is running a little fast, and the second reset is not returning to 12 O’clock position. Was thinking to send my in but now I am not sure after reading these.

    I read somewhere that there is some happy ending to these after getting in touch with the MD… Question for you is that is there an alternate route from sending the watch via ION RSC?

  2. Hi Regit!
    Sorry for my late response, I did not check the page for a long time.

    There is no guarantee that Panerai will be able to fix your watch. I received feedback from colleagues in Germany, Italy, USA or even Africa. For some there will be a happy ending while for others not. It seems to look like the Panerai Service is very unstable and the level of Quality always varies.

    There is space for improvement. But the question is: When will it happen?


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