Behold the new limited edition Panerai Luminor Marina 福 (“Fu”) – aka PAM 366. I gotta say right up front that I am lukewarm on this watch and I find it to be a questionable choice by Panerai for a limited edition piece. The reason for this watch seems to be that, after five successful years in the market, Panerai wants to show that it respects and understands the Chinese culture. Or something like that. I fail to see the connection, but it is entirely possible that I in fact do not understand the Chinese culture like Panerai does.
Further adding to the oddity of the release is its price and its production. 1,500 pieces will be made — a pretty good size run for a LE – and priced at 29,900 Renminbi, or about $4,400. In other words, relatively high production / relatively low price. What?!?
To me, this watch unfortunately comes off as an over-eager kowtow to China.
The Fu according to Panerai
The concept of the time-honored Chinese character Fu (good fortune or happiness) is explained in ancient Chinese writings in five aspects: longevity, prosperity, health, virtue and a well-ended life. People in China have been posting decorations of Fu (usually written on red paper) on their door fronts since the time of Southern Sung Dynasty. To others, the character speaks of ones best wishes; to oneself, it is an expression of the pursuit of happiness. Numerous set phrases with positive meanings consist of which and they signify the Chinese peoples aspiration after good lives. As time goes by, the meaning of Fu is further extended and expanded; yet, the posting tradition persists as the term never ceases to implicate being blessed and protected and having good fortune. Officine Panerai has therefore infused the character into the dial to create a perfect fusion of Chinese tradition elements and Italian classic design. It is also the wish of the brand that every wearer will receive this valuable blessing and be grateful.