Jean-Marc Pontroué has been a fervent flag-bearer of Panerai’s ‘Laboratorio di Idee’ (Italian for ‘laboratory of ideas’) credo since he took over as the brand’s CEO in April 2018. Though the motto isn’t new – the company’s website states that it has been around since Panerai’s ‘debut on the international market’ – the phase has taken a more expansive meaning under Pontroué’s leadership.
Besides being an actual research and development lab that focuses on creating new technical innovations, ‘Laboratorio di Idee’ is also a rallying cry for the company to be resourceful and inventive in all areas of the horological space.
An example Pontroué gives is the “experiential campaign” that he introduced, where limited-edition Luminor Submersibles are sold as a package with exclusive client experiences. This year, deep-pocketed Paneristis can journey the Arctic with explorer and brand ambassador Mike Horn with the purchase of the Submersible EcoPangaea Tourbillon GMT 50mm Mike Horn Edition, which is limited to five pieces. In an earlier interview with the Financial Times, Pontroué floated the idea of someday making a watch with 100 per cent recycled materials.
While a zero-waste watch might take some time coming, Panerai’s new creations introduced at Watches & Wonders 2020 show that the brand is putting its money where its mouth is with material experimentation.
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June / July 2020