Italian watchmaker eyes Qatar expansion

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Luxury watchmaker Officine Panerai is looking to open additional outlets in Qatar, a senior regional executive at the Milan-based firm told Arabian Business Qatar.

Officine Panerai, founded in 1860 in Florence, currently operates one store in the Gulf state's Villaggio Mall, which it opened in 2008. "Panerai is interested in growing with Doha," said Milvin George, regional managing director at Officine Panerai.

George said that it takes about eight months to open an Officine Panerai outlets, as the furniture has to be shipped from Italy. He added that finding adequate retail space in the Qatari capital was also proving tough.

"We would like to open another shop in Doha and there are the conditions to expand," said George.

The watchmaker has launched a Doha special edition engraved with the Qatari fort Zubara on the back for the Doha Jewelry and Watches Exhibition, which is currently taking place.

At the event, Officine Panerai launched its black Tuttonero watch, made of ceramic and sapphire crystal. The watch showcased in Doha was numbered 110 out of a total production of 1,000, with the one on display in Doha currently the only one available in the Middle East.

"We have a quota per region and only between 50 and 100 Tuttonero watches are going to released in the Middle East," said George.

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