Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Angelo Bonati CEO of Panerai

...Profiles in Panerai Coolness...

Angelo Bonati
CEO of Panerai

Angelo Bonati is the CEO of Officine Panerai and the architect behind Panerai's unbelievable success. Angelo Bonati has been with Panerai since it was acquired by the Vendome Group in 1997, which later became the Richmont Group. Mr. Bonati is likely Panerai's biggest fan, and he is responsible for every single detail with the way he passionately runs the Panerai ship.

Angelo Bonati was born in Italy and has an extreme passion for classic design and is a huge sailing fan. Last week Angelo Bonati was interviewed by Blouin ArtInfo and shared much fascinating insight about Panerai.

He was asked if he was surprised by how well the Bleach Blonde Panerai Reference 6154 watch performed last September at Christie's Auction House when it set an all-time record for vintage Panerai watches, selling for over $325.000? He responded by saying he was surprised:

"Fifteen years ago, when I bought 50 watches around the world to create our museum, I paid the equivalent of 2,000 Euros ($2500) for the same watch. So even factoring in inflation, it's quite an achievement."

When asked about modern Panerai's success he responded:

"On one side, the quantities released remain quite small, and on the other, we’ve really worked on upgrading the brand, investing to make it a success. When we bought it in 1997, it was not a brand, it was just a watch. There was a history of values, a history linked to the heroes that fought the Second World War, but nothing related to the watch industry. We believed in the potential of the case design, which we felt was something different, but the content of the watch itself was poor. So we invested immediately in developing the movement. We also bet on keeping the design and the history of the watch, and not making changes all the time."

Another answer of Angelo Bonati's that really stood out in my mind, was his response to "When did you start issuing limited editions?" to which he responded:

Right from the beginning, that was the first thing we did. In the stock, I found 60 brand new Rolex movements, and immediately, I replicated the Radomir using that mechanism. We sold it for 20,000 euros, which in 1998 was a lot, but it was sold out in 2 weeks. So it gave us an indication. The concept of rarity was clear in my mind. It actually comes from the history of the watch because in 60 years the brand had only brought out 300 pieces in total: they were only produced for the military.

In the future, I plan to write more about Angelo Bonati's brilliant career achievements that make him the envy of the entire watch community.

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