Master of Time

Prestige Watches Guide, July-August 2015

Time is in his hands. He is one of the masters of the Lebanese watches market.
Prestige met him to evaluate the market and to understand the culture related to watchmaking.
Maria Nadim asked Elias Mrad, here’s what he said.

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Elias Mrad, Boutique Manager, Panerai. Photo: Archives Elias Mrad

Panerai has grown extremely fast over the years

How does the current political situation affect the market? The watches market has its own consumers. It is not a secret that purchasing power has decreased in Lebanon due to the security situation over the last years, but buying watches have a different mechanism. You don’t buy a watch just to wear it for a couple of days. Watches are worn for a long period of time, consumers think of them as an investment. During political turmoil, the sales decrease, however, as the watches market fluctuates exactly as the political and security situation, we tend to witness regular ups and downs. Logically speaking, the first expenses that get affected are the Luxury sector, and people look for other priorities. There are two sorts of clients, the foreigners and the locals, the foreigners are not coming to Lebanon as much as they used to, so our market has evolved into a local one, where we see more and more Lebanese clients. And despite that change, the market has more or less kept the same volume.

What does the Lebanese look for the most in a watch? Prestige, uniqueness, investment, and sophistication.

How do you explain the passion around Panerai? Does it also exist in Lebanon? The passion over this brand is enormous, because its design is related to all sea activities. The passion has increased over the years because of its history, its precision, and the «Artisan/Boutique» approach; From a small Italian family business to worldwide recognition, Panerai has grown over the years to become the famous brand it is today. Especially in Lebanon where Panerai has grown extremely fast over the years by safeguarding its values and luxurious brand identity. Also because that brand produces very small quantities of watches, and that it began targeting collectors and created a passion world around the Brand.

Your go-to watch for the day? Panerai Luminor 44mm mechanical movement is my partner for the day.

Your go-to watch for the night? During the nights I wear a more classical Panerai, the Radiomir 47mm 10 days automatic movement.

Feminine watches, with or without complications?
Definitely without complications, I suggest the 1940 Radiomir 42mm mechanical movement.

If you have to choose one complication which would it be? Why? Panerai is famous for its Tourbillon, the most complicated movement produced in the history of watches, and of course the most accurate. Panerai is famous for its two models: the Tourbillon «regular» and the Tourbillon «equation of time».