Monday, January 3, 2011

Panerai in Europe

Panerai has made a big splash in both the United States and a greater part of Asia (especially Taiwan, China, and Hong Kong).

The watch is also very popular in Italy, the home country of this particular brand.

Sly Stallone wasn't the only promoter of this timepiece (although he lays claim to being the individual who brought the watch to the US), and most recently there has been a lot of demand for this product.  For the more exclusive Panerais, there is almost no way a layman can find the item unless they pay over MSRP or have some exclusive relationship with an Authorized Dealer.

There is a very different story in other parts of the world.  In Spain and Mexico, Panerai are considered a luxury brand, but no different than any other luxury watch brand.  Although Panerai does not allow any Authorized Dealer ("AD") to give discounts on their timepieces, you can often find very sought after watches for sale at retail.  In some stores in Spain, they would be more than willing to give discounts under the table, even for exclusive special run items they have available.  This could be that unemployment rate in Spain is close to 20%, so they are more desperate to sell, but who knows.

In the United States, and China, you will rarely see those exclusive timepieces or if you do they would be for sale at way above retail. I have had one AD in Palo Alto offer me a discount under retail, and this was mainly during the peak of the mortgage meltdown back in 2009.

In Spain, they are more than willing to show you all of the Panerai they have in stock.  This includes watches that sell at a $15K premium here in the states.

Funny thing about perceived values.

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