It would seem impossible to summarize in just four words a venerable company like Florentine watchmaker Officine Panerai, an establishment whose roots date back to 1860 when Giovanni Panerai opened his watchmaker's shop on Ponte alle Grazie and whose timepieces, designed in Italy and hand-crafted in Switzerland, masterfully combine elegance and functionality with craftsmanship and precision. Yet that is exactly what Panerai Traits, the company's newest project - launched on February 5, has ingeniously accomplished.
Described by Panerai's CEO Angelo Bonati, as "a contemporary exploration of the identity of the brand", Panerai Traits identifies the four unique traits that lie at the core of the historic company, LIGHT, DESIGN, the SEA and INNOVATION, and presents them to the world in four consecutive chapters, each one helmed by an international personality whose passion for and interest in the specific area is unsurpassed. Centred on a beautifully crafted short film and enriched by additional digital content, each chapter will be showcased on the Panerai Traits website as well as on the brand’s official social media channels and the talents' Instagram accounts. And who better to star in the second chapter, DESIGN, than Yatzer's own Costas Voyatzis?
Costas' film, which debuted today (26 February 2018), is fittingly titled Revealing Design Purity, and was filmed, even more fittingly, in the design capital of the world Milan, Italy. On his wrist, a Radiomir 1940, a classic design re-engineered for the 21st century, both timeless and contemporary, worn not just as a design statement but also as a visual synecdoche, its history perfectly demonstrating the centrality of the four traits in Panerai's personality. Designed to meet the requirements of the Royal Italian Navy for a watch that could stay under water in extreme conditions (SEA), it featured a radium-based powder that gave luminosity to the dials (LIGHT), the first of many patents to come (INNOVATION), and a simple, quintessential form that has remained unchanged all these years (DESIGN).
Panerai Traits / Chapter II : DESIGN
Client: Officine Panerai
Agency: McGarryBowen / Carla Marcus, Camille Truffet, Louis Chereau.
Executive Producer: Davide Caselli
Producer: Tommaso Dall’Osso
Production Assistant: Emanuele Lombardini
Courage Film Director: Marco Miraglia
Assistant Director: Andrea Bertolotti
Director of Photography: Giacomo Frittelli
1st AC: Carlo Pastaccini, 2nd AC: Nicolò Ramella
MUA: Ginevra Pierin
Starring: Costas Voyatzis / founder of Yatzer.com
• coat by Sotiris Georgiou
• sunglasses by GUCCI Eyewear / Delux Hellas
• handbag by CEDARS-artisan Leather Lab.
The Botanical Club: Via Tortona, 33, 20144 Milano MI
Six Gallery: Via Scaldasole, 7, 20123 Milano MI
Making his way around Milan, from the bustle of stately Corso Venezia, to the tucked away Quadrilatero del Silenzio, a quiet residential neighbourhood of early-modernist edifices, Costas reminds us that while design is everywhere, it takes true talent and an eye for detail to discern, among the plethora of stimulants and distractions, that rare pearl, that perfectly designed object, unnoticed until now. This quest to uncover the best of the best is the essence of Costas’ professional endeavours. Whether sipping an espresso at The Botanical Club on Via Tortona, a distinguished cocktail bar of lush interiors and Italy's first gin distillery, or browsing the eclectic collections of Six Gallery, a design space of bohemian grandeur and exotic flair, every place he would like to go back to is reported on—an exclusive, fastidious selection that is both wish list and design guide.
Costas’ passion for all things design and his pursuit for excellence vividly reflects Panerai’s philosophy exemplified by the impeccable timepiece on his wrist. It may be a fact that “design knows no borders” and that “it speaks all languages”, as Costas succinctly says in the film, but if one wants to creatively engage with it, a special kind of design eloquence and elocution is required. Fortunately, these are distinguishing traits that both Costas and Panerai abundantly share.