It is the interview with Mr. Jose Pereztroika, a knowledgeable Panerai lover who, in addition to being a skilled designer, is also a “forensic watch historian,” as mentioned in the title, that serves as the centerpiece of this piece. His investigation of Panerai has led him to some shocking discoveries, some of which are not necessarily flattering to the people who have been implicated. Among the findings are classic Panerai watches and the brand’s history, among other things. With the launch of his website Perezscope in 2011, he has been quietly recording his inquiry into specific ancient Panerai watches and the events that occurred around them.
The history of a major watch brand, particularly one that emphasizes its own history, can be challenging to research thoroughly without creating confusion. A specialist is required to sort out the “facts” because watch brands rarely retain proper records, and because of natural calamities (as well as frequent corporate ownership changes), it is acknowledged that this is a difficult task. This is particularly true, especially relevant in an era when so many luxury brands (watches and other products) rely on history and tradition to “legitimize” their positions in the market. In the nature of such concepts, they are readily manipulated, and they frequently have only tenuous to tangential connections with the current ownership and management of the brand’s modern analog and its economic structure.
Due to an increase in popularity in the late 1990s (which has been widely and correctly attributed to actor Sylvester Stallone), Panerai has emerged as a favorite among watch collectors, and the Richemont Group later acquired the brand in 2007. (then known as Vendome). In keeping with the spirit of the brand’s historical pieces, Panerai continues to create functional (practical) and visually pleasing clocks, a rare combination in the watchmaking industry. The convincing argument can be made that Panerai is also locked in an everlasting loop of design, forced to concentrate on the past while being unable to ultimately develop into the future, save for the employment of new materials and complications. Despite the foregoing, Panerai unquestionably manufactures clocks that are visually pleasing to the eye.
Jose continues to extensively investigate watches, photographs, documents, and other historical artifacts to find the truth about a brand that he admires in his role as a Panerai researcher, even if no single interview can represent the wealth of knowledge that he has gathered.
When the military no longer required them, numerous of these watches were made available on the open market in the late 1980s and 1990s. In some cases, the Ref. 3646 or movements did not have any Rolex stamp or engraving on them, known as “Rolex blanks.” However, some Rolex owners went to their watchmakers and requested Rolex inscriptions or coronets for their dials to indicate that they owned a Rolex timepiece, which was ironic in the extreme.
Historical precedent has established that this has been an inherent part of their society, and it can be accepted as a grey area in some circles. Heavy manipulation, as well as history falsification, began in earnest in the early nineties. There was essentially no information available on these timepieces on the internet during this time period. Consequently, this emptiness provided fertile ground for the formation of various kinds of legends and myths to fill in the gaps.
Mr. Jose: I’ve spent many hours investigating movements, dials, casings, and other components of timepieces. I gained knowledge about watch movements from companies such as Cortebert, Angelus, and Montpelier, all of which are well-known suppliers of movements to the Rolex watch company. I also took into account the history of Rolex pocket watches and the design of the timepieces themselves. I hope to continue to build on this foundation.
The vast bulk of current publications is nearly entirely devoted to antique Panerai watches. As a result, all of the information regarding the motions that have been made publicly available to date is poor and badly inadequate in every way. To do this, I want to extend people’s field of vision and present them with a new and refreshing point of view.
Mr. Jose: Panerai was the first watch brand I came across when I was in high school in 1998. A coworker and acquaintance at the advertising agency where I worked referred me to him when I was hunting for the Panerai Luminor Marina on the internet. He explained to me that these watches had been kept top secret for decades since the Italian military divers had utilized them during World War II and, as a result, had to be kept hidden from the public. Also highlighted was the fact that there was some connection between the case and the Rolex clock. Adventure, boldness, and potentially dangerous situations instantly flooded my head. I lived with an Italian immigrant family during my childhood, and I remember sitting on their window ledge and reading old comic books depicting Italian combat divers, which I thought were hilarious.
The majority of my Richemont Panerai timepieces were purchased over the course of the last fifteen years. Their design and construction are, in my opinion, a close approximation of the Vintage Panerai watches created by Rolex. When I initially started looking at these watches, I was doing so with the hope of one day owning one of them.
Each and every one of the mechanisms present in antique Panerai clocks may be traced back to the period between the years 1920 and 1930 in some way or another. Unfortunately, during the Quartz Crisis (Quartz Revolution) of the 1970s, the companies that produced them went out of business, and as a result, the vast bulk of the information was lost. In order to gather all of the necessary information, it is essentially an archaeological undertaking.
Mr. Jose: After conducting an extensive study, I was able to compile a comprehensive database of hundreds of pocket watches and alarm clocks manufactured by movement suppliers such as Cortebert, Angelus, and Montier. Obtaining the most critical pieces was also significant to me because it allowed me to disassemble them and compare them with one another thoroughly. To explain how these trends have grown over time.
The movements used in traditional Panerai watches may be more intricate and refined than their counterparts found in pocket watches, but they are fundamentally the same and have the same amount of Geneva stripes at the exact same angle on both sides. As a result, I came to assume that the Rolex 618 calibers were solely designed by Cortebert, with no input from Rolex Biel/Bienne or any other company (Ex Aegler).