Panerai was born in Florence in 1860 when Giovanni Panerai opened his watchmaker’s shop on the Ponte alle Grazie, serving as a shop, a workshop, and a watchmaking school.
During the First World War, Panerai supplied the Royal Navy with high-precision instruments enhanced with its patented Radiomir luminescent substance and later, during World War II, with its safer Luminor paint. The military theme has never left the brand’s designs. Panerai watches are instantly recognisable thanks to their cushion-shaped cases, large luminescent numerals, and iconic crown protector. Panerai has been owned by the Compagnie Financière Richemont S.A since 1997.
Five interesting facts about Panerai
- Panerai fans are called Paneristi.
- Radiomirs were not only used by the Italian navy, but also by German divers in World War II.
- Some of the early Panerais were equipped with Plexiglass as it was less likely to break.
- The original Radiomir timepieces contained radium, a rather nasty radioactive chemical. They are still considered dangerous today so watch out if you buy one at auction.
- Famous people spotted wearing Panerais include Heidi Klum, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Clinton, Mike Horn, Dwayne Johnson, Hugh Grant, and Dylan McDermott, among others.
Brand ID Card
Company status: Public limited company of the Richemont group
Senior Management: Jean-Marc Pontroué
Number of employees: Undisclosed
Flagship collections: Luminor
Bestseller: Luminor Marina – 44mm PAM01312
Retail prices in USD: From USD 4,300 to 189,000
Annual production: Undisclosed