From humble beginnings in nineteenth-century Florence, Italy, Panerai has evolved into a brand producing some of the most widely sought-after watches in the world. What originated in 1860 as a watch store, timepiece workshop, and the city’s first watchmaking school, has turned into a global watchmaking power known for their prized Radiomir and Luminor series. Watchmaker Giovanni Panerai opened his workshop in Ponte alle Grazie, just outside his hometown of Florence, and was known for his relationships with prestigious watchmakers. While not much else is known about Giovanni, his timepieces and clocks demonstrated a craftsmanship that accompanied their internal movements from Giovanni’s connections at Rolex. Now into their third century of watchmaking, Panerai produces watches esteemed by timepiece enthusiasts and celebrities alike for their distinctive cases and dials.
Panerai has made their name by releasing updates and new editions of their timeless classics. Modern movements paired with upgraded features packed into the historic appearance of a Panerai timepiece. This is the recipe that has vaulted Panerai into the elite of timepiece manufacturers. The Luminor, along with its predecessor the Radiomir, was a top Italian military secret until the 1990s. Accompanying Italian Navy frogmen on their underwater missions during the second World War, the Luminor was and still is the first true diver’s watch known to the timepiece industry. The basic design of the Radiomir and Luminor have not changed dramatically since those originally military models. This history, connection to origin, and craftsmanship are part of what make Panerai special.