Since 2011, Panerai’s 145-square-metre space at ION Orchard has become more than just a boutique selling the brand’s coveted watches.
Instead, it became an assembly point for enthusiasts (or Paneristis, as they’re so lovingly nicknamed) to revel in the Italian watchmaker’s unmistakable blend of Italian design, Swiss technology and passion for the seas.
This year, the boutique re-emerges after extensive renovations, revealing not only a dynamic facade emblazoned with animated screens, but also an interactive haven within which will no doubt intrigue collectors new and old.
Step inside and you’ll notice a distinct nautical theme that immediately immerses guests into the brand’s Italian Navy provenance and diving heritage. A colossal wall clock sits proudly in the middle, inspired by none other than Panerai’s legendary Luminor Marina PAM01312, one of the brand’s — and horological world’s — most iconic timepieces. Its hour hand, minute hand, and numbers come illuminated in green Super-Luminova markings — a hallmark of the firm’s.
If you needed further proof of the brand’s technical prowess, the boutique sees a workshop window which, for the first time in Southeast Asia, allows guests to watch its coat-clad in-house watchmakers at work. Framed by an illuminated Luminor silhouette, the workshop offers an unprecedented insight into the inner workings of its famed timepieces, as well as its pursuit for mechanical perfection.
Beyond the public area, however, is an exclusive lounge that’s the first of its kind in the region. The experience — reserved only for the most valued clients — creates an intimate environment that celebrates la dolce vita over Italian aperitivo and coffee, with finishings such as oak wood, burnished brass and photographs of Italy to remind guests of the brand’s association with the seas.
But the store’s not the only thing worth celebrating. In conjunction with the reopening is the launch of a limited edition timepiece: The Panerai Luminor GMT ION Special Edition. A variation of the standard production PAM01033, the 44mm watch sees accents of red throughout — a hue rarely used in the history of Panerai. Look closely and you’ll find our national colour most notably on the crown, the hands indicating the seconds and home time, and Caoutchouc strap.
A “Singapore” engraving also appears on the lever of the crown-protecting bridge, as well as the caseback — the majority of which is taken up by a lion head, the national symbol of Singapore.
Available in only 100 pieces, the limited edition dual-time collectible is finished with an anthracite sandwich dial within its steel case and bezel, complete with a Satiné Soleil decoration that makes it equal parts smart and sporty for any occasion.
The 100-piece Panerai Luminor GMT ION Special Edition — 44mm (PAM01177) will retail exclusively at the new ION Orchard flagship boutique at a retail price of S$13,850.
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Singapore and is presented by Singapore Tourism Board