About Panerai Watches
Giovanni Panerai founded his namesake brand in Florence, Italy, in 1860. In the early days, the brand worked to establish connections in the Swiss watchmaking industry to ensure their watches featured the highest quality parts and designs. Around the turn of the twentieth century, Panerai began to specialize in precision mechanisms, such as depth gauges, mechanical calculators, and timing instruments. This ultimately led to their longstanding partnership with the Royal Italian Navy. The brand is perhaps best known for creating Radiomir, a radium-based powder that gave luminosity to the details of their precision mechanisms. The Radiomir collection features a signature luminous dial and cushion-shaped case.
After working with Rolex to develop professional dive watches for the Royal Italian Navy during WWII, Panerai patented a new and improved luminous substance that shares its name with the Luminor collection. By 1956, Panerai had filed the patent for the now iconic crown-protecting bridge that first appeared on the Luminor; this bridge has become a signature detail for both the Luminor model and the Panerai brand.
Panerai changed hands several times in the latter half of the 20th century, which ultimately gave the brand access to a larger network for development, production, and distribution. Since this expansion, the Panerai name has become synonymous with Italian luxury watches. Today, the brand continues to push the bounds of innovation by experimenting with new materials, like carbotech.
Video: Panerai | A Deep Dive into the Italian Watchmaker
Brush up on your Panerai history with the stories behind the brand you love.
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