OFFICINE PANERAI watch brand

OFFICINE PANERAI

Founded in 1860 in Florence, city of arts and sciences and birthplace of the Renaissance, Officine Panerai endorsed these values of brilliance and creativity. Combined with the deep relationship the brand has with the sea, all these values give each Officine Panerai watch unparalleled design, manufacturing and authenticity qualities.

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…

In 1949, Radiomir was replaced by Luminor: a new luminescent substance based on tritium. Similarly, some time later, the Radiomir collection was replaced by the Luminor collection which featured a sliding bridge that protects the crown - one of the emblems of the brand today.

In 1972, when the grandson of the founder passed away, Dino Zei became the head of the brand which officially became “Officine Panerai S.r.L.”.

1993 marked the start of the era that made Panerai one of the major brands in the watchmaking industry. Indeed, that year, they presented three limited edition watches: the Luminor, the Luminor Marina and the Mare Nostrum - all inspired by historical models.

In 1997, Panerai has become an affiliate of the Richemont group - then called Vendôme.

In 2005, Panerai unveiled the first of a long series of “home-made” movements: the P.2002, produced in their newly opened - in 2002 - manufacture in Neuchâtel, Switzerland.

In 2014, Officine Panerai opened its new manufacture on the heights of Neuchâtel which gathers all the skills required for fine watchmaking production.