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Founded in Florence in 1860 as a workshop, shop and school of watch-making for many decades Panerai supplied the Italian Navy specialist diving corps with precision instruments.

Originally created to be used deep underwater, Panerai watches are known for their unparalleled legibility and luminosity in the dark. In 1997 the brand was acquired by the Richemont Group and launched on the international market. Today Panerai develops and crafts its movements and watches at its Neuchâtel manufacture, combining Italian design flair and history with Swiss horological expertise.

It all began in 1860 with Guido Panerai. He opened the first shop for watchmakers in Florence that also doubled as a school for burgeoning watchmakers.

Offering an instantly recognisable case design mirrored with an extremely focused brand DNA, Panerai is perhaps one of the few brands that has survived and prospered despite its very focused creations. Panerai has chosen not to attempt to market themselves to the entire market, rather creating one of the most loyal followings in modern horology, often known affectionally as Paneristi. The real beginning of the brand began in 1916 when Radiomir was developed, a Radium based powder that presented incredible luminous properties that proved useful for the Italian Navy, to whom Panerai had already been supplying precision instruments.

A few years later, the watches were created in a more regular production but most notably two discs were layered upon one another in a "sandwich" fashion that would allow the Radium to be even more visible. The now iconic bridged crown guard is patented in 1956, around the same time Radiomir is superseded by a newer luminous element; namely, Luminor, giving birth to Panerai's second family. This next generation of timepieces uses the stronger case structure requested by the Italian Navy but now also this new crown guard system thus laying the blueprint for the iconic design we are familiar with today. The Seventies saw the brand leave the family for the first time and officially rebranded as Officine Panerai. At this point, their main business still focused on supplying the army with precision instruments including