The Story of Panerai Watches
Panerai was established in Florence. In 1860, Giovanni Panerai opened a retail premises offering Swiss watches to the public alongside a watchmaking workshop. A Panerai store continues in the Piazza San Giovanni to this day. Soon after, Panerai began supplying the Italian military with specialist timepieces and diving instruments. Panerai’s expertise with diving watches saw them make watches for many other international militaries, some of which have survived to this day and gained both fame and notoriety.
Panerai’s signature detail was their experimentation with elements to help increase visibility in the murky depths of the open sea. The first Panerai series, the Radiomir, gained its name from the Radium based powder that was pasted on a plate beneath the dial that especially shone through in darker lighting. Another notable feature was Panerai’s use of a dial with cut out numerals so the element pasted beneath could shine through. This sandwich dial continues to remain a feature across the Panerai collections to this day. The second collection of Panerai watches, the Luminor, saw a new developed case and luminous material applied alongside the now famous crown locking system.
11th January, 1949, a patent was approved for use by Panerai with the name "Luminor" for the self-luminescent materials used to illuminate the dials. After more than a decade, the Luminor was recognised with a new luminescent tritium-based substance.
The Luminor Due collection was inspired by the lines of the classic Luminor of the 1950’s. Slimmed down but retaining the unique profile; Italian design and Swiss watchmaking expertise joined together to renew the history of the unique brand.
The first Luminor Submersible was perfect for a diver, with a water-resistant of 300 meters and a rotating bezel to calculate the duration of the dive. This artistic piece of work was ready to be taken deep into the ocean for a wondrous adventure.
The original Panerai design! In 1916 the Radiomir was patented and was developed by a radium-based powder which was used to make dials of instruments brighter, all to meet the military requirements of the Italian Royal Navy.