The Paneristi community is a global phenomenon and keeps on growing. There were Paneristi get-togethers (GTG) organized on a local level in the end 1990's as the brand was only a few years available for consumers. About 15 years ago the first global get-together (GTG) of Paneristi was organized in Germany, called PDay, where a small group from around the world came together and had a good time.
From that moment on every yearly PDay is getting bigger and more organized and the location is every year in another country or continent. When PDay2015 in Singapore was announced I just was introduced to the brand and did not really see a need to be part of it, until I met two fellow American Paneristi who live in Tokyo, Japan in the summer of 2015. They told me more about PDay and of course I regretted that I did not register myself as at that time all slots were "sold". Both gentlemen registered themselves on time and were supposed to going to the event, one of them just got a new job and was not sure if he could schedule himself to attend PDay. He offered me his spot and I gladly accepted. Lucky me!
You need to pay a participation fee to be part of PDay, in return you get a perfect program offered, dinners including drinks on the PDay evening and a something that reminds you of the event, in this case a T-shirt with the PDay2015 logo and a nice canvas bag made by Wotancraft.
The pictures in this review are my own images, some from Facebook and some from the paneristi.com forum. Pictures that have been made by fellow Paneristi who use their logo or name have not been edited.
PDay 2015 in SingaporeRight after the participation was confirmed, I was added to a secret group on Facebook where information was shared important for the participants. Practical advice on hotel was shared. You could choose what activities you could participate in:
Friday 9 October:
- City Tour
- Evening hosted by Officine Panerai at the Museum of Contemporary Art
- Dinner at Red Star Restaurant, an old-style Chinese restaurant
- PDay evening
As I reached on Friday late morning I had to skip the City Tour, a pity as it was a perfect opportunity to get to know the fellow Paneristi I never met in person before. This was my very first PDay and was still very new at this.
A hotel at a good locationSingapore is very efficient when it comes to public transport, still I had to get a hotel that would be both nearest to the venue and close to a metro station, I picked out the IBIS hotel at Bencoolen Street, an area that is full with restaurants and most important at walking distance to the PDay venue, Chymes. When checking in at the hotel I saw more people wearing a Panerai watch than I saw till date anywhere else. It turned out that I was not the only Panerista who shortlisted this hotel. Being a single traveler for me the most important thing is that the hotel is clean, has a good bed and easy to reach.
Selecting straps for the eventI was for 3 days in Singapore, still decided to take a few straps along that would fit the occasions perfect. To start with an OEM caoutchouc strap that is for me the most comfortable travel strap, A brand-new Adeeos ammo strap for the PDay evening, a Di Stefano DS143 for during the day, a Strap66 nubuck Ostrich leg and an OEM Alligator nubuck for the evening hosted by Officine Panerai. With these straps I was able to configure my Panerai PAM00329 from vintage to leisure to dress watch!
My strap selection for PDay
At the Museum of Contemporary ArtOfficine Panerai organized exclusively for the PDay participants an cocktail party at the Museum of Contemporary Art. After meeting the first fellow Paneristi at the hotel, we moved to the museum where we were called welcome by staff of Officine Panerai, the Officine Panerai Boutique and of course the hosting team of PDay2015. It was like coming home and at the same time like meeting old friend again, I was already connected with quite a few on Facebook, the ice was instantly broken. The evening was from my side mostly used to re-introduce myself in the flesh, admiring some very special Panerai watch models on display, admiring some very special Panerai watches worn by fellow Paneristi from around the world. At that moment I realized that indeed PDay is a very very special international event that should not be missed if possible.
At the venue
Displays with vintage and new editions
Meeting fellow Paneristi
6512/1, Egiziano GPF 2/56, PAM00629 & PAM00617 on display
PDay 2015 group
Red Star RestaurantThe organizers planned a dinner after the cocktail party at the museum at a traditional Chinese restaurant somewhere else in Singapore that you could join For those who were interested to join the group for dinner could hop on the bus that was standing ready. Another great opportunity to get to know your fellow Paneristi even better and it turned out a great evening!
Inside Red Star Restaurant
Radiomir California DialAlen from Israel wore his Radiomir California dial LE, the fist time I saw this model in person. I had to try it on!
PDay DayOn Saturday we had the morning and afternoon to ourselves, so time to go to Orchad Road and look around. A visit to the Office Panerai Boutique was of course a must-do. And it turned out I was not the only one planned to do that, it was a crowded place! For me an opportunity to have a look at a lot of very different models that would be in my budget as a new Panerai watch. As I tried on a few 47mm Luminor, Radiomir and Radiomir 1940 models, it would be my preferred size of my next watch to come in 2016.
The shortlistAfter looking at various models I wanted my next Panerai to be a different model altogether compared to the PAM00329 I had at that time. My first choice would have been the PAM00389 Submersible, followed by PAM00305 Submersible, PAM00424 Radiomir California Dial, PAM00610 Radiomir and last PAM00609 Radiomir.
Little did I know what I know now, as in December 2016 I finalized by choice on a PAM00372 and after I got my full-money refund on my PAM00329 I picked up indeed a PAM00389, the first choice I made in Singapore. I got some extra advice from a very well-known Panerista "Marc" and from Ryan, one of the sales consultants at the Officine Panerai Boutique in Singapore. Ryan has been very supportive till date and for most questions I still contact him first, a very knowledgeable person. This boutique gives you a feeling of exclusivity, there is no push to buy, they give you genuine advice and insights. This I miss till date in India, I have not been to the only Officine Panerai Boutique in Mumbai yet. My experience at the Officine Panerai Boutique actually gave me the confidence back in the brand that I lost a bit because of my experiences I had in India at that time.
PDay the evening
The PDay event organized by the Singporean Paneristi took place at Chijmes Hall, a Gothic styled 19th Century chapel and part of a Catholic convent complex that was turned into a complex with shops, restaurants. The Chijmes Hall is now a location for weddings and exhibitions and a perfect location for the PDay event.
Setup for PDay2015
Mood lights are on
First Paneristi arrive
Writing a personal message on the banner
My personal message on the banner
It's time, PDay2016 will be announced
PDay2016 goes to Berlin, Germany!
Singaporean entertainer Kumar on stage
Photographer team shooting Paneristi
Anthony Pang, me and Eng Tay
Alan C. Bloore AKA HammerAlan is one of the most famous Panerista from Australia and every year he creates a "Hammer watch" that goes on auction. The money collected with the auction is donated to a rehabilitation center for people with spinal injuries.
This time it was Daniel who was the highest generous bidder during the auction and took with him home a watch that was personally made by Alan.
For me it was definitely one of the highlights finally meeting Alan, he is such a positive spirit especially knowing what he has been going through and still everyday. Next his knowledge about watches is out of this world. Most important is that he is simply a great person!
The Stage ShotAs a normal routine at the end of most GTG's a table shot is made of all the watches present on that day or night. This time the organizers took the stage as the location for putting all the watches together, a nervous moment as most of us keep a very close eye on your own watch(es).
My conclusionWhenever you have the possibility to be part of a PDay, I say go for it! It is the biggest global GTG and much more than that! You will meet people you probably already know via social media and the paneristi.com forum, you are able to see and touch the greatest Panerai models available and if you are lucky you might see some very interesting real vintage Panerai watches brought by fellow Paneristi to the event. You hear and share you personal stories and just have a great time with each other.
Most important is that you realize that it doesn't matter if you are a big shot collector with the most expensive Limited Edition watches or you have just one PAM0000 base model, everyone is equal here, it is the friendship and mutual respect that makes this community so special!