Singapore might be a small country but we import a lot of Swiss-made luxury timepieces. In fact, imports jumped 90 per cent in September from a year ago, placing us in third place behind Hong Kong and the United States. If there’s anyone to thank for creating such a booming market, it has to be Cortina Watch. The local watch retailer was founded by Anthony Lim in 1972, opening its first store at Colombo Court.
Engaging an audience back in those days was a different ball game and boutiques such as Cortina Watch took it in their stride to educate customers and patiently nurture the market. Through the years, the company has faced it all – the quartz crisis in the ’70s and ’80s, financial downturns and now, having to navigate the storm that is e-commerce.
Today, as part of its 45th anniversary celebrations, Cortina Watch has partnered with Panerai to produce two limited edition Luminor Due 3 Days Automatic (PAM00751 and PAM00752) timepieces – one in stainless steel and the other in red gold.
The case, sized at a coincidental 45mm, holds a gorgeous anthracite sun-brushed sandwich dial and is only overshadowed by the transparent case back that lets you admire the P.4000 calibre in all its glory. The finishing is amazing and the oscillating weight made out of 22-carat gold decorated with clous de Paris will keep you occupied should the dinner conversation reach a nadir. The back has also been engraved with the words “Cortina Watch 45th anniversary” as well as the serial number – there are only 45 pieces of the stainless steel variant while the red gold timepiece is limited to 10 pieces.
Compared to the Luminor 1950 model of the same size, the two limited edition watches are significantly thinner and lighter. The designers have managed to reduce the thickness of the case by almost 40 per cent, or 10.7mm, which means the timepiece fits perfectly under the cuff of the shirt, as we found out through first-hand experience.
This is the first time Panerai has ever collaborated with any retailer on a limited edition timepiece, and the fact that the watchmaker chose Cortina Watch speaks volumes of the latter’s influence within the industry.
The Cortina Watch x Panerai timepieces retail at S$21,800 for the stainless steel version and S$38,800 for the red gold variant.