SIHH 2007: Lars at Large 15th-18th April

April 19 2007 at 11:53 PM

Having to sit down and write up a report for Paneristi has proven more difficult than I first imagined. Not because I do not know what to do, but because the impressions from the last few days where so many.

First I would like to say what an honor it was to have represented Paneristi.com and all you 'Risti's out there across the globe. truely and honor for me. And I hope that this report that follows will be enjoyable reading for you all, that I will be able to give you and idea of what SIHH 2007 was like.

Enjoy!!


Well, got up real early on sunday 15th of April to pack and get ready for the show of the year, the Salon International De La Haute Horlogerie 2007, the SIHH in Geneva.

Packed the bags and off to the airport I went. Got on the plane......say what ??? Electrical failure? Good thing that didn't happen when we were airborn.
So SAS wisked us all off in buses to another aircraft.
With an hours delay I was finally off.

The 2 hour flight went by pretty quick and as I landed in Geneva I could feel my anticipation rise. Oh God, hopefully I would do a good job!! Well, I had been told to go to the SIHH booth at the airport once I had picked up my luggage so that's what I did. Show them my passport. The fellow at the booth looked at me and said "Mr. Milsten, Officine Panerai?"
"Yes"
"Here's you driver."

I remember thinking, say what??? Before I knew my bags were carried off and I followed into the parking lot. I sat down in the back seat and for the 20 minutes the ride to my hotel took the Maseratti Quartroporte was mine!!!

My hotel was located about 20 km from Geneva ,but no worries. A shuttle transport would come from 7 am and every 20 minutes onwards to take me and the other SIHH folks staying at the hotel to the SIHH.

Well, got my key for the room, went up and unpacked. Since I didn't have other plans other than meeting up with the American contingent of Panerai officials and dealers, I decided to go have an espresso and take a little walk.The weather was beautiful, as was the location of the hotel.

At 6 pm I got a sms from Belinda of the New York office (I think thats where she's at) saying that we all meet up at an italian restaurant in Geneva called De Paolo's.

Got dressed (turned out I kind of overdressed, but what the hell, I might as well leave a good impression) and took a cab downtown.

There, for the first time I met, for the first time, among others, Chad form Beverly Hills, Chris, Karl Poulson, Belinda, Hans Dekkers and a whole lot more new faces. Also I was nice to see Philipe Bonay again.

Well , we had a great little dinner, good food,good, wine, good company. Later we left and went for a few drinks.
Some of you will recognize the faces.......







Just in case you were wondering, I was in my bed before midnight!! Had a big day comin' up monday, remember?

I must admit that from about 5 am I would wake and fall back to sleep just to wake up 20 minutes later. So when I got up I new I had plenty of time to sit, slower and shave......


Well, you know how things go some times......


But by being snappy about it I finally got ready and took the 8.50 am shuttle to the SIHH. I wanted to be there in good time so that I could be ready once they started pullin' out all the new stuff for me to shoot.


Arriving at the SIHH I was registered and got my pass. Off I go to find the Panerai booth. When I got there, a smiling Philipe Bonay greeted me along with marketing and Product Development manager Alessandro Ficarelli.


Was told that we would start the private Paneristi showing soon so I sat down and had a double espresso. Had to be ready to go for you guys!!


The Panerai booth was pretty impressive making me think back to the exhibit in Florence....






Around 9.30 am Hans Dekkers came and took me into the press room and as I started to set up my gear he and Alessandro started to bring out the 2007 pieces!!

Here we go!!!

The Ceramic Black seal....











The Radiomir GMT 10 days......























Another beauty, the Radiomir GMT 10 days pink gold....

















The Luminor GMT 10 days...







The Luminor GMT Monopulsante......










And my absolute favorite of the whole lot, a stroke of genius in the looks department,
The pink gold,blue dialed Luminor GMT monopulsante SE...















The King of the collection, the Luminor Tourbillion......























The Luminor GMT 8 days pink gold, brown dial....













The Radiomir 8 days...















The monster of the 2007 collection
the Luminor Submersible with electronic depth gauge...















The Radiomir Black Seal w/ automatic movement....








And in the middle of the photoshoot a guy comes in and starts showing the new bracelet that Panerai has produced, where all the links on the bracelet are kept together WITHOUT any screws, so there are no holes in the side of the bracelet as on the one we know......





Well, back to the watches.....

The Radiomir chrono..







The 40mm luminor titanium w/ blue dial.....





The Luminor contemporary titanium bracelet w/brown dial..





The Luminor titanium w/ brown dial...




......so after three and half hours of shooting , 6 esperessos later the session was over. I was really impressed with the interest and friendliness of the people involved. Thanks to Alessandro for feeding me the info surrounding the watches...to Philip Bonay and Hans Dekkers for making sure that all was running smoothly and keeping me company during the session, and to Louise Van Loo.....



Lunchtime!!

Stretched my legs a little bit and when to the café just outside the Panerai booth, had some lunch a little desert a couple of glasses of red wine and an esppresso.( Was getting pretty wire by now)

Now all I had to do was wait for my interview with Sig. Bonati. I got my interview but of course
that everything had been running smoothly until now, something had to give and that was my voice recorder so I really messed that one up bad.

But I would like to Thank Sig. Bonati for the interview because I know and could see how busy he was.....I have his answers in my head but not enough that I dare try piece it together for you, but enough for me to answer some questions if you have any (maybe).


I did catch Mr. Philipe Bonay and had him clarify some things surrounding the new Tourbillion......


Lars: A lot has been said about Panerai making atourbillion and that this is a step way from being "A tool watch". I know that it has gone through the same test as the regular Panerai watches and passed with flying colours. Tell us a little more about the tourbillion

Mr. Bonay: The tourbillion movement was invented for pocket watches and it was compensating for the effect of gravity in a vertical position. But those were pocket watches. Today we are wearing our watches equally on a flat position and in a vertical position, thats the way you're wearing a wristwatch. And so a single plane tourbillion is useless. It does not compensate for gravity in a flat position, therefore the rates, when you look at the watches, the rate is not going to be as good in a flat position.
By having a tourbillion that turns on two acsis, the cage turns one way and the balance wheel turns another, it allows you , teoretically, to compensate for gravity in every position. We have tested the first few tourbillions that we produced in every position and the rate is incredibly stable. Therefore the theory works. So it is very simple. The gyro-tourbillions (JLC, Frank Muller) are complete but delicate and very difficult to make them work. They had a lot of trouble producing them.
So the Panerai tourbillion works extremely well. Panerai has tested the watch with shocks exactly the same way that we shock test the normal watches, and the tourbillion is doing great. Why? Because ingeneering wise Panerai ahs taken some options that are very reliable, options that make us feel that we can bring reliability to the watch making it a watch that you can wear with having to take extra care.

So there you have it. Even though its a tourbillion it is incredibly stable, reliable and risistant to shocks. In my eyes the tourbillion is incredibly tastfully done, keeping to the simplicity of Panerai on the dial, only a small disc with a blue dot, revolving under the small second hand once every 30 seconds. This is the only indication on the dial, other than the lettering that its a tourbillion. Of course the watch is in the 1950 case.

So even though the tourbillion is a leap towards higher watch-making, Panerai has made sure that it has the durability of the other Panerai watches.

So at least one of my interviews went as planed.

Now I was free to roam arround the halls of the SIHH. Of course I went right next door to check out what Audemars Piguet had to show, along with Jaeger Le Coultre, IWC and Roger Dubuis.

The SIHH didn't open offficially until 5.30 pm that day so it was all in all a quiet day at the fair.

In the meantime I had met up with our own Asshat Corkscrew champion, Kristian Haagen, who I know had a busy day and we agreed to meet up at the SIHH collectors afterparty at a place called The castle.

So I took of to the center of Geneva with all my kameras and bags. (No need to go back to the hotel, when you can spend the time eating a good meal a throwing back a few , is there?)

Arriving at the castle it wasn't hard to find Kristian.....



Where is he.....ah....



After a short talk and a couple of drinks, Kristian decides to shoot a little pool with some other danes......I scope out the place and throw back a couple....



Whats better than meeting a good friend and fellow watch nerd....in watch heaven......




Of course I had to sit down...had been on my feet all day......of course the drinks didn't help although they did take some of the pain.....



Well , had to get up and check out what Kristian was talking about,



and you know, when he gets started talkin about watches...if you didn't know it, you'd think he was getting into a fight.....








By now I was getting pretty tired and I knew that I had a long day ahead of me the next day. So I grabbed my bag and a driver and a Maserati and was of.

Slept a little better that night and again got up early. Wanted to get to the fair early just in case Panerai had outdone themselves and updated their website by morning. When I arrived at the SIHH I went straight to the press center and started to upload pics to photobucket,just to be in the forefront of things.

As you all now know I was, 'cause the official Panerai website wasn't updated until 3.30 pm that afternoon. So I did a lot of waiting at the Panerai booth, not the most exciting day but most of the Panerai people were very kind and made sure I was comfortable. Thanks to Karl Poulson for keeping me company for lunch.

After getting the go for uploading some pics to Paneristi, I did another short tour of the different booths before making my way , exhausted, back to the hotel. Comfortable, of courser in a Maserati.
Once at the hotel , I had a quick meal, a quick smoke and off to bed.....

At the airpor the next day, the last couple of days were starting to sink in. Also, my thoughts were drifting to all you out there in 'Risti world....would you enjoy the work I had done.
Well, if you enjoy this post just half as much as I had doing it then is was worth the time , effort and hard work.


Signing of from the 2007 SIHH,
Your humble servant,

Sincerely,


Lars (tired but still at large)