Officine Panerai : Histoiry et know-how
In 1860, in Florence, Giovanni Panerai opened a shop and a clockmaking workshop which also housed the first clockmaking school of the city. The company prospered and after having moved around several times, it settled in the Archiepiscopal Palace of the San Giovanni Piazza where its headquarters remained to this day.
In 1907, Panerai Orologeria Svizzera becomes a retailer for Rolex, Vacheron Constantin, Longines, Angelus, Buren, Movado and Patek Philippe.
In 1914, Guido Panerai - grandson of the founder - partnered with Carlo Ronconi - Marine officer - and created the Radiomir: a luminescent, radium-based powder that would be used to make dials, altimeters, compasses and tachometers. This was the start of a close collaboration between Panerai and the Italian navy.
In 1936, a prototype of the Radiomir watch - designed for combat divers of the “Primo Gruppo Sommergibili” commando - was provided to the Italian navy. The corresponding serial production was launched two years later. It featured the same cushion case and loop strap attachments than the prototype but it also featured a new dial to improve readability underwater. The case evolved until 1940 to meet water-resistance requirements…