If you read elsewhere that all 50 pieces of the highly coveted Panerai Luminor Base 8 Days Oro Rosso PAM 717 for the Istanbul Boutique were sold out during the Panerai launch event at Les Ottoman's in Turkey at the end of 2016, please don't believe a dime of what that website said. We still can't believe that they were selected by Panerai as the only media partner to cover that event. Well, let's get back on the topic. Yesterday, we had the honor of documenting the unboxing of number 1 out of 50 of a PAM 717 purchased by a friend and Panerai collector in Dallas, Texas. For many watch collectors owning a highly exclusive Panerai limited edition is a very special thing, for others, buying their first solid gold watch is a huge milestone; however, when as a watch collector you get to purchase your first solid gold watch that happens to be a very exclusive Panerai limited edition of 50 pieces and you are offered number 1, you simply pull the trigger and make a big deal out of it as you should. After our friend shared the news with us last week, he also asked us if we wanted to document his unboxing and of course we simply couldn't refuse. Seeing true watch collecting happiness on his face was simply priceless.
Just as if we had been in Istanbul, Turkey where you can see three iconic bridges along the Bosphorus and the First Bridge a.k.a Bosphorus Bridge or 15 July Martyrs Bridge is the most prominent of them connecting Europe with Asia, we decided to do the unboxing with one of Dallas' iconic bridges in the background. While the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava might not be as important as the Bosphorus Bridge, this masterpiece of architecture connecting downtown Dallas with Trinity Groves served as the perfect backdrop for this special day in the life of a watchlifestyler.
With a recently purchased SIHH 2017 Panerai Luminor 1950 Regatta Oracle Team USA 3 Days Chrono Flyback Automatic Titanio PAM 726 on his wrist and with his favorite Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge vest on, this true Paneristi went through the unboxing, just like a little kid opens his Christmas or Chanukkah presents.
Right after he removed the brown exterior cardboard box and pulled the interior black box out as he lifted the top lid, the wooden navy blue presentation box was finally unveiled.
As he opened the box and contemplated the gorgeous sunburst blue dial on his number one out of 50 18K red gold Panerai Luminor Base PAM 717 we asked him to please pull out and unroll the parchment certificate that reads: Luminor Base 8 Days Oro Rosso 'Specimen No. 1 Belonging to a Limited Series of 50 Units'.
After putting the certificate back in place, we then decided that it was time to get his special watch out of the box and play with it. As he proceeded to pull the watch from its resting place and his hands shook nervously, it was now time to remove the rubber protector from the case. As he prepared to do so, he took a pause and showed us the case back of the watch bearing the engraving 'S 01/50'. Finally, a number one in his Panerai collection.
As soon as he pulled the watch from the box, he held it up high in the air as a sign of victory. He had dreamed of this moment his whole watch collecting life and now, the dream had turned into a reality. With the watch up in the air and the bridge in the background, we decided to snap a couple of pictures. Afterwards, he laid the PAM 717 on the the palm of his left hand and said to us: "What do you think? Isn't it beautiful?" Once the protective rubber cover came off the case and we both stared at the watch admiring its dial with its many hues of blue, we both said at the same time: "It's just so gorgeous, look at that dial."
However, the real beauty of the Panerai Luminor Base 8 Days Oro Rosso PAM 717 Istanbul Boutique had yet to be seen. As he stepped away from the shaded area we were standing and into the bright sunlight, that's when the sunburst dial on this watch finally wowed us with its unique texture, charm and magic. As he turned the watch around multiple times and overlooked at the Dallas skyline and its iconic 'Calatrava' bridge, he sighed and said: "I can't believe I was able to get No. 1. I bet you've seen many number ones doing this for a living, but how many times have you done an unboxing of one with a watch collector. Gosh, I am so lucky. Just look at the skyline, the bridge and this dial. What a perfect afternoon."
Finally, it was time to capture that very first wrist shot that will forever remain ingrained in his memory. As we removed the hangtag from the strap with the sharp grooves of a key —as we had no scissors or knife around—, it was time for him to finally put the watch on. With a big smile on his face, he just stared at the watch in awe for a good 15 seconds. Then, we finally took a few candid shots that will forever remind him of this milestone as a watch collector. Big congrats on your first gold watch and on owning number one out of 50 of a very special Panerai limited edition. Full hands-on review of this special Panerai Luminor Base 8 Days Oro Rosso PAM 717 Istanbul Boutique to follow.
Sticker Price $23,500 USD. For more info on Officine Panerai click here.