By NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK
Luxury Italian watchmaker Officine Panerai has launched its first boutique store in Malaysia, the fourth in the South-East Asian region, in an effort to strengthen its market in the region.
Panerai South-East Asia and Oceania MD Giacomo Cinelli said the boutique, in partnership with Valiram Group’s Swiss Watch Gallery, will boost its presence in the South-East Asian region while cementing Malaysia as an important market.
“Together with partner Swiss Watch Gallery, we look forward to providing an exceptional experience for our clients and conveying our values and Swiss know-how,” he told The Malaysian Reserve during the launch last Tuesday.
Cinelli said Malaysia is one of the most promising markets for the watch manufacturer, which prompted the local set up.
“It’s a little exhausting for the local watch collectors here to keep having to travel to a Panerai boutique, so we are here for our existing clients and we provide an entrance and platform for the new ones as well,” he said.
Valiram Group ED Ashvin Valiram said the local audiences are expected to be looking forward to the new watch collection from Panerai.
“As a local luxury retailer specialist, we are glad to be able to bring Panerai to Malaysia,” he said.
Among the watchmaker’s new collections are the collaboration with the free-diving world champion, a Submersible Chrono Guillaume Néry Limited Edition, and the Submersible Marina Militare Carbotech.
Timepieces from all its major collections are also on showcase, including one of the latest Submersible collections — BMG-TECH — the first mechanical watch case made of a metallic glass with extreme resistance, high strength and lightweight.
The Submersible watches are retailing between RM57,700 and RM168,470 on Panerai’s official website.
With the opening of its boutique store in Malaysia, the luxury brand currently has 81 shops worldwide.
Cinelli said the boutique was designed to depict Panerai’s deep-rooted heritage in the navy and war, whereby it utilised recurring elements in all of the watchmaker’s boutiques, like walnut wood and brass.
“The brass veining was made to simulate the waves of the ocean, and the watch displays were inspired by torpedoes, the underwater missiles,” he said.
The boutique was designed by a Spanish architect Patricia Urquiola, who also designs other Panerai shops.
The Florence-based luxury brand was founded in 1860, a supplier of precision instruments to the Italian Navy, equipping the commando frogmen.
Its military projects created at that time included the Luminor and Radiomir watches, and now the group develops watches combined with Italian designs and history with the Swiss craftsmanship.