The sea can be a hostile environment better suited to adventurers in search of leviathans and sunken treasure than idle sunseekers. That’s the essence of the sea from Panerai’s point of view, and the brand will replicate its labyrinthine depths at the “Survival Instruments for Modern Heroes” event at the Minsheng Art Wharf in Shanghai from 21 to 22 May.
Interactive and animated installations across an expanse of more than 800 m² will reveal a 360° view of the underwater abyss, where VIPs and journalists will tour the wrecks of 19th – and 20th – century vessels in the company of ravenous sharks.
“Once you have a clear understanding of the modern hero, thanks to Brand
Ambassadors like explorer Mike Horn and freediving champion Guillame Néry, our mission is to build a tailor-made universe around the concept” says Alvaro Maggini, who became the first Creative Director in the history of the Florentine watchmaker Maison in February. “I also want our guests, accustomed as they are to luxury and comforts, to experience something truly rare in the modern world: the epic. They’ll need to use our survival instruments if they want to overcome the challenges we’ve set for them.”
The hazards that await Panerai’s guests are manifold: a panorama of the sea floor shrouded in total darkness, with digital portholes as the only defense to predatory jaws packed with 300 teeth and other, unseen threats lurking deep within obscure chasms. In this aquatic realm of sand, coral, seaweed and the gaping maw of the terrible dogfish that swallowed Pinocchio, a bar built into a rocky crevice (a moray eel may spring from its recesses at any moment) and underwater probes operate.
Here too are the Submersible collection watches, which were introduced at the latest SIHH in Geneva, peering out like sunken treasures strewn among the rocks, shells, rays of light and sea currents.
“Along with the United States, China is our most important market. That’s
why we have decided to bring the brand’s new image to life for the first time at the Shanghai Hub,” says Jean-Marc Pontroué, Panerai CEO since April 2018.
“However, the essence of the company has remained unchanged over its more than 150-year history: the sea has always been our natural habitat.”
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