Breaking: Panerai Opens E-Boutique for United States

Panerai e-boutique example

It is one of the most prominent high-end luxury watch brands yet to “go there.”  Yes, Officine Panerai has opened up online sales to the U.S. market.  And we see again that, rather than embrace a 3rd party seller, major watch brands are deciding that going direct to consumer with their own e-boutiques is the way to go for e-commerce.  Right now, Panerai has 33 watch references are on offer.  Also, a very large selection of straps and buckles, with a selector to help you pick a strap that will fit your particular watch model — smart move by Panerai.

On first pass, it looks to be very well done (unlike Breitling’s unequivocal disaster of an e-boutique (my review of that, right here)), with coherent product presentation and checkout flow.  You can either checkout as a guest or create your own account which gives you access to things like a “wish list” and more.  There is also a link to contact a “concierge” via email or telephone to answer any questions you may have.  Wisely, Panerai offers a 30-day return policy as well.  There is, as should be expected, a process to follow to do a return and get  a refund.  Shipping policy is also very favorable — FREE for purchase >$500, which would be everything except certain straps and buckles.

All in all, the Panerai e-boutique looks to be a very well executed and with a proper eye towards customer service and a good customer experience.  The way it should be.

Check it out for yourself at:

Panerai e-boutique



Congrats to Seiko Ambassador Novak Djokovic on Wimbeldon 2015 Win

Novak Djokovic Wimbeldon 2015 -  Photograph: Stefan Wermuth Reuters

Though he is the the all-time Grand Slam winner with 17 victories, Roger Federer did not have enough skill to overcome Novak Djokovic at Wimbeldon yesterday.   It was only about 18 months ago that Seiko signed Novak Djokovic as an ambassador (you can check that out right here), and that certainly is starting to look like a prescient move as it has and is likely to continue to pay off for Seiko in the years ahead.  Congrats to Novak and Seiko.

Seiko CEO and New Ambassador Novak Djokovic Novak Djokovic Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph

Novak Djokovic Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph caseback

Rolex Import Restrictions for U.S. Lifted

Rolex Daytona 6263 Paul Newman Coffee Dial

Thought this was interesting, in an email I received (in late May — yes I’m clearly late to this story!) from the folks over at Crown & Caliber:

…After speaking with two different U.S. Customs officials, we have received confirmation that Rolex watches, both new and pre-owned, can now be shipped into the United States and the company no longer possesses “Gray Market Patent Protections.” The lift of these Rolex importation restrictions can also be confirmed on the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol website. Notice that the page says “NO” to “Gray Market Importations Restricted.” While the officials offered no details and did not elaborate on the matter, it is clear that the restrictions are no longer in place, which means that Rolex watches can now be imported into the United States. We will continue to update this post as more information is presented to us.

You can read their entire article — “How Do You Import a Rolex Watch Into the United States?” — right here>>>

A Look at Govberg OnTime, a New App for Watch Enthusiasts

govberg jewelers logo 2015-04-18 12.35.57

With the massive proliferation of watch bloggers in recent years, along with the fragmentation of content distribution (i.e. in addition to a web URL, now we have Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, etc. etc.) it’s no surprise to see content aggregation apps making their way into the market to try and enhance the content consumption experience for watch enthusiasts.  You are all familiar with Watchville, an app I wrote about six months ago, but here’s another watch app you should try out:  Govberg OnTime.  And here’s why you should try it out:  Govberg OnTime is more than just a content aggregation app, so there are some additional features like a digital “watch box” and buy/sell functions built into that app might resonate with (or otherwise entertain) you.

If you are not familiar with the name, Govberg is among the larger and most prominent watch retailers in the United States (Philly area), but the parent company and its owner (Mr Danny Govberg) also has a strong media connection as well, namely it’s ownership of iW magazine.  And now of course this app.  So unlike Watchville, what I see here is a (very clever) effort to use this app to help grow awareness for the Govberg brand, and perhaps more importantly, generate incremental business across the spectrum.  Don’t worry, I’m not going to spend much more time on the business motivations behind the app, but I am going to take you through its features and give you — as a watch collector or enthusiast — a few good reasons to give OnTime a try.   And no, this is not a paid advertorial, just me doing what I do i.e. bringing new and interesting watches and related news to my audience.  So let’s take a closer look at Govberg OnTime, shall we?

[Read more…]