What do you get when you cross military precision with timeless elegance? A Panerai timepiece of course. Roll up back your cuff and flash a gilded piece of history that keeps you living in the present moment.
Giovanni Panerai set up shop on Ponte alle Grazie in Florence in 1860, coincidentally the first year of the Italian Unification. It was a prosperous and hopeful time in Northern Italy. Aside from being an atelier and shop, the location was the city’s first watchmaking school and bore the name Officine Panerai. Eventually, the business changed address to its current location in Piazza San Giovanni.
The company went on to supply precision instruments to meet the needs of the Royal Italian Navy. Officine Panerai had created Radiomir, a powder capable of giving off luminosity to the dial of a given device (like watches). This patent became the first of many in Panerai’s storied history. Radiomir went on to be used extensively in the Second World War.
So how did Panerai make the shift from tactical to tasteful? Eventually, The Richemont Group acquired the Officine Panerai and were able to expand its presence and distribution across Italy. This led to the capability of starting a fine watchmaking division. Before long, the precise and well-made watches found a home on the international luxury market.
Today the historic boutique and artisan’s workshop is a Mecca for brand enthusiasts and serious collectors. It is possible to browse the current collection, but also special edition watches that Panerai displays exclusively in its boutiques.
A wink to their military history, many Panerai models are currently submersible and have extra features that encourage adventure and exploration. These qualities serve as a reminder to the Panerai client that life only moves forward, and fast. The company’s slogan, “Own Your Time” encourages you to make the most of it with the help of a truly unique timepiece.