Panerai

There used to be a small watchmaker’s shop with the “Orologeria Svizzera” sign in the Palazzo Arcivescovile in the Florentine Piazza San Giovanni. Today, the palace houses a large Panerai boutique. The brand with Italian origins and a manufacture in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, interweaves its Italian history and Swiss present. Panerai watches exude unrestrained passion for the seas and oceans and can’t be mistaken for any other watch on the market. They say you’ll either love or hate Panerai. Yet decidedly, more numerous are those who fell in love with this unique brand offering both robust and unmistakably elegant watches.
 

Where to buy?

Boutique Carollinum
Pařížská 11, 110 11 Praha 1
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Diver’s watch
Diver’s watch
Panerai has always been intrigued by the underwater world and its first watch, Radiomir, designed exclusively for divers in the Royal Italian Navy, attests to this strong bond. Since then, Panerai has never given up its passion for the seas and oceans.
Panerai’s relentless search for innovation resulted in the Luminor watch. Panerai watches were worn by deep sea divers from the Royal Italian Navy, while the robust “Egiziano” model was developed for the Egyptian Navy. Panerai places enormous importance on the waterproofness of its watches and tests them rigorously in its Neuchâtel manufacture. All Panerai watches must resist a water column 25% higher than the value declared. Some of the current Panerai models are waterproof up to an incredible 2,500 metres
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Distinctive look
Distinctive look
A Panerai watch is easy to tell at a glance. This is due to its characteristic, stylish sandwich dial, crown-protecting bridge and cushion-shaped case.
The numerals, indexes and the hands of divers’ watches had to be perfectly legible underwater. Guido Panerai, the founder’s grandson, first used radium-based luminescent material for the Radiomir watches in 1949, a tritium based, self-luminous material replaced radium for the Luminor model. Excellent luminescence remains important for Panerai to this day: the brand now uses the modern non-radioactive Super-LumiNova material. To achieve excellent readability for all the indexes and numerals, Panerai uses a sandwich dial made of two parts. Luminescent material is applied onto the bottom dial and is then covered by the upper dial from which the shapes of the numerals and indexes are cut out.
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Robustness
Robustness
The first Radiomir model featured a 47 mm case and these robust dimensions remain Panerai’s emblem to this day. Panerai watches, especially models from the Submersible collection, are often nicknamed “survival instruments”.
Panerai certainly doesn’t like to experiment when it comes to its cases. The cushion-shaped case has remained unchanged throughout the decades. Inspired by the shape of the most popular Luminor watch, the Panerai pendulum clock is a tribute to Tuscan astronomer and physicist Galileo Galilei, while the Panerai table clock draws inspiration from the brand’s first watch, Radiomir.
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Lifestyle
Lifestyle
Since its beginning, Panerai is a brand for men who don’t lack adrenalin in their lives and are exposed to extreme conditions, and even danger.
Diving forms Panerai’s DNA, as attested to by the fact that one of the brand’s ambassadors is Guillaume Néry, World Master in freediving. In recent years, the brand has extended its reach beyond the world of diving: Panerai’s collaboration with extreme adventurer and explorer Mike Horn has lasted for fifteen years. Jimmy Chin, an adventurer, photographer and film maker, has become another of Panerai’s ambassadors.
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Durability
Durability
Panerai is synonymous with an adventurous lifestyle and the resistance and durability of its watches fully correspond to this concept. Panerai timepieces can accompany its wearer for a swim or a mountain trek, but they can also endure far more.
Excellent dial readability and the precision of the movement is an integral ingredient of any Panerai watch. Since 2005, the brand has manufactured its own calibres with a COSC accuracy certificate, meaning they meet the requirement of a rate variation of ̶ 4/+6 seconds per day. Furthermore, the watches undergo stringent tests in Panerai’s Neuchâtel manufacture where the brand has an entire laboratory dedicated to testing the watches’ resistance to a wide array of climatic conditions. Among the characteristics tested is the case’s waterproofness and its resistance to salt water and human sweat.
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Innovation
Innovation
Panerai and the desire for improvement have always gone hand in hand. Panerai is famous for its groundbreakingly innovative materials used for the luminescent elements, the bezel and the case. The brand also manufactures watches with a winding crown on the opposite side for its left-handed customers.
In recent years, Panerai has started using new materials that have significantly improved the characteristics of the case, such as its lightness, hardness and resistance to external influences. Panerai’s best known new material is the Carbotech used since 2015. Carbotech, a composite material based on carbon fibre, is much harder than steel and lighter than titanium. Cases made of Carbotech have a unique deep black appearance because the material absorbs light. Alongside Carbotech, the brand also uses Goldtech, a special gold alloy, BMG-Tech, a metallic glass, and a special kind of steel AISI 316L.
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More about Panerai

Panerai watches, whose cases hide the manufacture’s own automatic and mechanical movements, fall into four collections. The first two, slightly more basic ones, Radiomir and Luminor, were created in the mid-20th century. Among Panerai watches, it is the Luminor, both in its original version and in the elegant Luminor Due edition, that has remained one of the brand’s most popular timepieces. Since 2019 the warranty period has been extended to eight years.

Panerai gained in popularity in the 1990s thanks to the action film hero Sylvester Stallone, who would wear the brand’s robust timepieces. However, it doesn’t want to be a regular watch manufacturer, Panerai wants to be a lifestyle brand. For this reason, some of its limited editions come with a unique experience. The exclusivity of the brand is further enhanced by limited production and the fact that many Panerai watches become the object of desire of many collectors. Panerai is also one of the brands pioneering a sustainable approach to watchmaking.


 

The brand’s history 

In 1860 Giovanni Panerai opened his watch shop, Orologeria Svizzera, in Florence, Italy. This doubled as a workshop and watchmaking school for young watchmakers. Yet the real beginning of the brand, whose full name is Officine Panerai, starts in 1916: this is when Guido Panerai, the founder’s grandson, had a radium-based powder patented. Named Radiomir, this material made it easy to read numerals and markers in the dark. Panerai’s first collection, a series that has been manufactured for the Italian Navy since 1938, bears the same name.

The brand’s second collection, Luminor, with its emblematic crown-protecting bridge, was born in 1949 and has remained one of the Panerai icons.

Panerai’s solid foundations were laid during the first half of the 20th century, yet the brand’s true expansion came as late as the 1990s. In 1993, Panerai presented a collection of watches that was not designed for army use but for the general public. This was the first time the brand had forayed into this sector. Four years later, the Richemont Group acquired Panerai and the brand has remained part of the Group to this day. Panerai has since come a long way: in 2002 the brand opened its own manufacture in Neuchâtel, Switzerland and three years later presented its own in-house calibre. By doing so, Panerai made a clear demonstration that it belongs to the world of high horology and has never quit its place in it since.

At present, Officine Panerai manufactures some twenty-five calibres and its watchmakers aren’t afraid of such royal complications as a tourbillon or minute repeater. Panerai certainly doesn’t rest on its laurels when it comes to innovation, so deeply imbedded in the brand’s history and spirit, and develops new materials for cases, dials and even movement components.
 

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