Panerai – Watches for the Adventurous
Gifted with ingenuity and inventiveness, around 1913 Panerai started to collaborate with the Royal Italian Navy on the development of watches that can be exposed to particularly demanding circumstances. The first patent of the company was for Radiomir, a substance which makes it possible to read instruments and watches in darkness and under water.
At the beginning of the Second World War, the Navy requested the Panerai family to create a diver’s watch which should be equipped with the best features available. Hand wound calibers were contributed by Rolex – the purposeful dials were made by Panerai. The navy divers used these extraordinary and large watches, with a diameter of 47 mm under the strictest secrecy. A prototype of a watch, which today is a classic.
Panerai focused on the continuous development of these purpose-driven features and implemented additional practical features to enhance readability, for instance the four large Arabic numerals that gives the Panerai watches their distinctive look.. As a matter of fact, the “Radiomir” inherits many of the features that dated back to its predescessors in the early 20th Century . Flourescent Arab numerals at 3, 6, 9, 12, the steel case and the long waterproof strap that can be worn over a diving suit. In the 1940s, the Panerai watchmakers developed the Crown protection bridge. It is shaped like a crescent (now a characteristic feature of Panerai watches) and prevents water from flowing into the watch. At the same time, it protects the crown to withstand the tension caused by winding. At the end of the Second World War, the Radiomir, which contains radioactive substance, was replaced by “Luminor” and the newer watch model is named after this new luminescent material.
Over time, Panerai evolved with much research, inventiveness and dedication to its niche into one of the most prominent brands in the category of sports luxury watched. Panerai stays true to its mission throughout the years and thus creating a distinctive appeal which garners the brand a dedicated following. Panerai’s many loyal and enthusiastic followers even have a name: the Paneristi. Among them, Sylvester Stallone, who wears Panerai Watches in numerous films and helps reviving the brand to its former prominence. In 1997 the Richemont group acquired the brand and continued to strengthen its image, as one of the most recognisable watch brands today.
In 1936 Officine Panerai successfully prototyped the precision pocket stopwatch in pillow form with a 47 mm diameter for the Italian Navy. It was named “Radiomir” after the substance, which is responsible for the luminous numerals and makes the watch ideal for dimly-lit conditions, like underwater.
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The collection Radiomir 1940 is characteristized by its sturdy case which has a revealing pincushion shape, as well as the model’s signature cylindrical crown. The Radiomir 1940 is structurally modified. When looking at a Radiomir 1940, one will notice the case of the watch has thickened, it is because the case and the lug are made with the same piece of steel. Such structural modifications also made the watches more resistant to accidental shock. This model series comes in different sizes, including case diameter that measured at 42 mm, 45 mm, 47 mm, and even in 48 mm.
DISCOVER RADIOMIR 1940 WATCHES
A coveted cult object, which is simply unmissablewith itsdistinctive crown protection bridge. What sets the Panerai Luminor 1950 apart from the Luminor is the lever on the crown protection bridge, which helps keeping water from entering the case of the watch. Like any other Panerai watches, the Luminor 1950 is defined by its unmistakable robustness with case diameters that measured at 42 mm, 44 mm, and 47 mm respectively. The bezel is noticeably flatter and wider than the one on the Radiomir. The large luminescent digits that are fixtures in older Panerai watches are still present in this model, the luminosity is attributed to the newer self-luminous substance – the Luminor. However, instead of serving in a military function, this iconic watch is now a reliable companion to great adventures, thanks to its high readability in darkness or poor visibility, such as the underwater conditions.
DISCOVER LUMINOR 1950 WATCHES
The new edition becomes the icon of Panerai. The Luminor is visibly robust, sporty and masculine, and their famous devotee Sylvester Stallone who frequently wears the brand and this model in particular publicly and proudly contributes to its global brand image. With its characteristic and distinctive crown protection bridge, the Luminor is without a doubt one of the watches with the highest recognition in the history of watchmaking.
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The Planetarium watch with perpetual calendar shows the positions of sun, moon and Jupiter from a geocentric point of view on a blue circle.
The newest and thinnest model of Panerai is available in four variants in steel or rose gold, automatic or hand-wound and is a refined alternative to the traditional Luminor. While this model is not suitable for a deep sea diver, it is reminiscent of the design aesthetics of the traditional Luminor.
Why Should You Get a Panerai Watch?
Easily recognizable from a distance, a Panerai is distinctive and striking . Panerai watches are for watch lovers who have a great sense of adventure. The robustness of a Panerai’s timepiece is built to withstand extreme environmental conditions, which has been deployed in military function. What’s more, Panerai has stayed true to its inventiness and heritage. As a brand, Panerai continues to evolve technically to this day. You are well-advised to get a Panerai, if you are bold, adventurous, or even if you simply love that signature lume dial of the watch.
Panerai in Numbers
4 arabic numerals characterize the Panerai dial as a diver’s watch
300 Meters is the Luminor’s water resistance thanks to their crown protection bridge
2 revolutions per minute are the speed of the tourbillon cage by Panerai while a traditional Tourbillon cage completes only one turn in the same timeframe
60 millimeter diameter defined the model that was developed for the Egyptian Navy in 1956
6 days of continuous running time were achieved by the model Radiomir Tourbillon GMT 48 mm
Panerai: a Chronology
1860: Opening of the watchmaker store by Giovanni Panerai in Florence
1890: Guido Panerai takes over at the helm of the business under the company name “Orologeria Svizzera”
1913: Panerai develops striking watches with purposefully designed dials for the Italian Navy
1936: Issue of a prototype for the first divers watch made to withstand toughest conditions on behalf of the Italian Navy
1938: The diver watch is produced in series
1950: Luminor replaces the radioactive Radiomir and the the distinctive crown protector becomes a characteristic Panerai feature
1956: The Egyptian Navy orders a model Radiomir with an oversized 60 mm housing that has a rotating divers bezel
1972: After the death of Giuseppe, son of Guido Panerai, Dino Zei takes the lead and changes the name to “Officine Panerai”
1993: Officine Panerai publicly presents three limited edition models: the Radiomir, Luminor Marina and the Mare Nostrum
1997: Panerai becomes part of the Richemont group of brands
2005: Panerai launched its first in-house movement: calibre P.2002, hand-wound with eight days power reserve
2014: The company opened its new factory in Pierre-à-bot, in the hills of Neuchâtel
In the eyes of many, Panerai Watches have triggered an actual boom in Hollywood. You often see Panerai Watches in movies, foremost in action packed films. The most famous Panerista is Sylvester Stallone, who presented a Panerai to Arnold Schwarzenegger in the film “Eraser” in 1996. He reveres the timepieces for their size and powerful statement of strength and stealth. In “Exit Wounds”, DMX wears a Panerai Marina and even Jason Stratham outs himself as a paneirista in the “Transporter” movies. The list of prominent paneristis is long and impressive, including Hugh Grant, Ryan Reynolds, Jason Momoa, the Rock (he was wearing the watch in the movie “San Andreas” by 2015) or Josh Hartnett – they all wear the brand proudly and frequently.