Foundation of the company
Guido Panerai founds in 1860 in Florence the company Guido Panerai & Figlio. The family enterprise for precision engineering, later renamed to Officine Panerai, is initially concerned with the production of nautical precision instruments, but over the years also develops numerous patents in the area of optics and watches. From 1913 many kinds of equipment for the Royal Italian Navy are manufactured, including night aiming devices, time bombs, depth gauges and mechanical calculators. Due to an important invention of Guido Panerai, which is patented in 1915, the instruments can be read even in complete darkness. It is the luminous substance "Radiomir".
The legendary diver's watch "Radiomir"
1935 Officine Panerai extends the cooperation with the Italian Navy and supplies precision pocket stopwatches specifically designed for military use. In 1936 a prototype for the first diving watch is commissioned by the Italian Navy, which is designed to withstand even the toughest of tough. From 1938 the model is produced in series. The "Panerai Radiomir", equipped with a Rolex movement, thanks to the mentioned luminous material Radiomir (later Luminor) is easy to read under water and in low light conditions. It is exclusively worn by the Italian frogmen force "Gamma" and for a long time is subject to special maintenance of military secrecy. A total of only 350 pieces is produced.
With this functional dive watch Panerai writes watch history, when in 1993 as first re-edition of the legendary watch a total of 1,000 pieces of the models Luminor and Luminor Marina are produced for free sale and soon, to the amazement of many who had judged these watches as rather exotic exceptions, advance as highly regarded luxurious cult objects.
In 1956 a model of the Radiomir with oversized, full 60 mm case measure is developed for the Egyptian Navy, which in addition features a rotating diver bezel. Of this watch only a few dozen pieces are produced. The nickname "Egiziano" refers to "Egyptian". With the Radiomir Egiziano 60mm there is now a reissue of the earlier model, this time with current manufacture movement.
In 1980 Panerai developes a prototype of a diving watch with titanium case, which is waterproof to 1,000 m. In 1993 the brand first enters the public sale market with limited edition models of the Luminor Marina and Mare Nostrum. Its reputation is growing, when the Hollywood star Sylvester Stallone orders limited editions of both watches, which are provided with the nickname "Slytech" (according to "Sly", the nickname of the star). The autograph of the actor is engraved in the caseback of these pieces.
With Richemont Panerai becomes a trend brand
After Panerai had been taken over by the Vendôme Group in 1997, which later merged into the luxury goods group Richemont, the brand has become one of the leaders in the sporty luxury segment. With their oversized cases it is also one of the very first to push the trend toward oversized watches.
Noteworthy is the high degree of enthusiasm, with which the aficionados of the Panerai watches care for their timepieces and also maintain active exchange. For this group of enthusiasts, a separate term was coined: the Paneristi. Comparable to the aficionados of Harley-Davidson motorcycles, you can meet and maintain social interaction across multiple platforms and in Internet forums.
New in-house movements
- See Panerai calibres for a complete list
Panerai invests steadily in the development and manufacturing of in-house movements. First the calibre family P.2000 with manual winding movements and the high power reserve of eight days is presented: first in 2005 the P.2002 calibre as the base, followed in 2007 by the P.2003 with second timezone (GMT), the P.2004 with a chronograph movement with GMT function and power reserve indicator as well as the P.2005 with tourbillon. In 2009 the new self-winding calibre series P.9000 with a power reserve of three days is added: basic calibre P.9000, P.9001 with GMT function and P.9002 with GMT function and power reserve indicator.
- Mare Nostrum (1993), Mare Nostrum Slytech (1995)
- Luminor Base (1997), Luminor Base Logo (2004)
- Luminor Base Left-Handed, left-handed model
- Luminor Marina (1997), Luminor Marina Logo (2004)
- Radiomir (2005), Radiomir Black Seal (2004)
- Luminor Marina Automatic (1999)
- Luminor Submersible (1998)
- Luminor 1950 Submersible 1000M, professional dive watch (2001)
- Luminor GMT, with second time-zone (2000)
- Luminor Power Reserve, with power reserve indicator (2001)
- Luminor Chrono Daylight (2004), Luminor Chronograph (2008)
- Luminor 1950 Flyback, flyback chronograph
- Luminor 1950 Rattrapante, double chronograph
- Radiomir Black Seal Automatic
- Radiomir Chronograph
The series Manufattura
- Luminor 1950 3 Days GMT Automatic (2009), with second time-zone
- Luminor 1950 3 Days Power Reserve Automatic, with second time-zone and power reserve indicator
- Luminor 1950 8 Days GMT (2007), with second time-zone and power reserve indicator
- Luminor 1950 10 Days GMT, with second time-zone and power reserve indicator
- Luminor 1950 Chrono Monopulsante 8 Days GMT, Monodrücker chronograph with second time-zone and power reserve indicator
- Luminor 1950 Titanium 8 Days Chrono Monopulsante GMT, Monodrücker chronograph with second time-zone and power reserve indicator
- Luminor 1950 Ceramic 8 Days Chrono Monopulsante GMT, monopusher chronograph with second time-zone and power reserve indicator
Limited special editions
- Luminor Power Reserve 44mm , with DLC coating
- Radiomir Egiziano 60mm, oversized case
- Luminor 1950 regatta Rattrapante 44mm DLC, regatta-Doppelchronograph with DLC coating
- Radiomir Tourbillon GMT 48mm (2009), with tourbillon and second time-zone
Officine Panerai Branch of Richemont International SA
rue de la Balance 4
Tel. +41 (0) 32 723 28 00
Fax +41 (0) 32 723 28 40