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The Panerai brand was founded in 1860 in the picturesque Florence, by Giovanni Panerai. Nearly 130 years after the establishment of the Italian watchmaking workshop, Officine Panerai achieved an outstanding public success. Originally the "Orologeria Svizzera", as the founder Giovanni Panerai called it, was a family business and a watch shop, where he repaired and sold Swiss watches. In the same house at Piazza San Giovanni No. 3, Giovanni Panerai also began to produce precision instruments. His grandson Guido ensured that Officine Panerai would soon supply the Italian railroad and Regia Marina, the Royal Navy. At the time of Italian fascism between the years 1938 and 1994 Panerai produced around 350 watches, which were all manufactured for Italy's Marina Militare. By comparison: nowadays the production is about 26,000 watches per year.

Panerai Radiomir

Guido Panerai, the grandson of the founder, knew how to use an invention from 1914 for his products: the special mixture of zinc sulfate and radium bromide he named it Radiomir and had it patented in 1916. This luminous substance enabled the reading of the dials even in the deep waters, in the dark and under the worst visibility conditions. The reward soon followed. Panerai was then charged with the production of wrist watches and this was the birth of Panerai Radiomir. Shortly after Panerai supplied the Royal Navy with diving watches, depth knives, signaling devices, and marine compasses worn on the wrist. In the first years, the Radiomir watches contained movements from the Cortébert company which were manufactured at Rolex. Thanks to its indestructibility and its unique appearance, the Radiomir became a cult watch. Officine Panerai responded and produced re-editions of the watch from 1993 onwards. The Panerai Radiomir reference 3646 with a hand-winding movement calibre Rolex 618 is a legendary military watch, which co-founded the reputation of the brand Panerai. It is also known under the name "3646 Combat Swimmer" or "Combat Swimmer Panerai". The Radiomir, developed as a prototype in 1936 and manufactured from 1938, was the first professional diving watch, ever. Shortly before the beginning of the Second World War Panerai developed ten prototypes of the "Radiomir" model with 47mm pillow-shaped housing for the special units of the Italian Marina Militare. A documentary film from the year 1944 and pictures according to the German combat swimmer group got some Panerai copies, which they used. The models on the engravings of the names in the floor cover of the watches, for collectors, are an important feature.

Panerai Luminor

On January 11, 1949 Panerai patented the trademark "Luminor". This is a self-luminous tritium-based light-emitting device. The Panerai Luminor, the successor of Radiomir, was born. The Panerai Luminor guarantees a complete water resistance up to 200 meters due to a lever closure. The Luminor range has been exclusively manufactured for the Navy and has the characteristic housing with the distinctive crown protection bridge. It was only years later, more precisely in 1955, that Panerai patented this principle. After the Second World War, Panerai watches were made only for the service use. Only in 1993 began to produce Radiomir and Luminor watches also in limited edition for the free market. The models Luminor, Luminor Marina and the Mare-Nostrum Chronograph quickly became bestsellers.

Panerais collaboration with Sylvester Stallone

In the 90s, the special "Slytech" was also created for the American actor Sylvester Stallone, which contributed significantly to the popularity of the brand. The Hollywood star had commissioned Officine Panerai to create the Submersible. In each of the films "Daylight", "Expendables" and "Rambo 4" the big watch lover Stallone was wearing a timepiece from the house Panerai. Since 2002, Panerai has been developing and manufacturing watches in the own manufacture company in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. The first "genuine" manufacture calibre was created here after four years of development, the P.2002 with manual winding, GMT function and 8 day power reserve. This movement was built exclusively in the Panerai Radiomir 8 Days GMT and in the Luminor 8 Days GMT. In 2005, the two highly regarded Italian brands, Ferrari SpA and Officine Panerai signed a five-year contract for the manufacture and sale of high-quality watches under the brand name "Ferrari Engineered by Officine Panerai".

Luminor 1950 Rattrapante 8 Days Titanio

 2012 Officine Panerai presented the new Luminor 1950 Rattrapante 8 Days Titanio. This drag pointer chronograph is an example of high watchmaking art and represents the perfect combination of classic design in the tradition of the house and the technical aspects of a high-quality sports watch. A drag pointer or Rattrapante is a popular complication. And is technically a so-called double or drag pointer of mechanical chronographs, with which time periods can be comfortably measured.

Panerai: From the diver watch supplier to the cult brand

Thanks to its distinctive technical features, high recognition, cooperation with Rolex in the previous years, and a skillful relaunch by the Richemont Luxury Group, Officine Panerai is now very successful and is experiencing a sustained sales boom. The former diving watch supplier of the Italian navy became a coveted trend mark.