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Panerai - Italian Design and Swiss Craftsmanship

Nel 1860, Giovanni Panerai started a watchmaker’s shop in Ponte alle Grazie in Florence, Italy. This shop was a watchmaking school, defining the superior watchmaking skills Giovanni was imbibed with. 

The brand has been crafting time tellers that have exceptional craftsmanship skills yet are high in aesthetic appeal. With designs that are true to their Italian roots, each timepiece has been equipped with the latest cutting edge technology without compromising on its beauty. Their exclusive watches have made a mark in the watchmaking industry due to their high-quality designs and sophisticated machinery. The brand became a name to reckon with when it created the first underwater military watch. Even with such achievements under their belt, they continue to strive to create high performance and innovative time tellers. In 1916, Panerai discovered a radium-based powdered substance called Radiomir which gives luminosity to the dials and it was patented by the brand on 23rd March 1916. It was the first patent filed by Panerai to mark its history of innovation. Another self-luminous substance- Luminor was patented on 11th January 1949 which replaced the Radiomir. Panerai's vast collection includes Radiomir, Radiomir 1940, Luminor 1950 and Luminor. Named after the luminous substances used in the watches, the Radiomir and Luminor switched to non-radioactive, safer materials.

The case of the Radiomir collection carries an authentic classic aura with its curved and rounded appearance while the Luminor models sport a patented crown protecting device that protects the timepiece in robust conditions.

In 1992, while going through an economic downturn, Panerai made their military-spec watches available to the civilian population. This attracted a wave of collectors, enthusiasts, and ex-servicemen. With just three collections, mainly the 44mm Luminor, Luminor Marina, and the 42mm Mare Nostrum chronograph, Panerai became a sought-after product in the horology market.

In the spring of 1997, Panerai watches was acquired by the Richemont group, a conglomerate of luxury brands. This streamlined the distribution network of Panerai and made it an internationally renowned luxury sports brand. 

Panerai’s innovative personality is bolstered by the unique materials used in their watches. For example, the BMG-TECH, a metallic glass used in the production of watch cases. This material offers durability and strength. Defining its uniqueness, CARBOTECH is a composite material based on carbon fibre. With an uneven, matte black appearance, the pattern on this material is solely dependent on the cutting process which provides it with a unique pattern. 

Panerai has also started a few programs directed towards environmental conservation such as its ‘zero-impact manufacture’ in 2014 that will help reduce the brand’s carbon footprint. Apart from the carbon footprint, Panerai is also an ardent supporter of responsible sourcing. The leather for the straps is sourced from farms in Louisiana, USA and is tanned in Europe. Officine Panerai is also an RJC (Responsible Jewellery Council) certified brand promoting ethical sourcing of precious metals. All the papers used in the process of producing brochures, invitations, and leaflets are FSC certified.

Submersible

A part of the Luminor collection, Submersible became a stand-alone collection in 2019. Panerai and its love for the sea are known by many, especially by the Italian and the Egyptian Navy. Though Panerai’s collection is a cocktail of everything ranging from being elegant to practical. The Submersible is a collection of timepieces with a strict code being diving watches with its unidirectionally rotating bezel coupled with a cushion case and a Luminor-style crown guard. 

The Luminor

Another collection in the Panerai watches shelter is the Luminor, only available to the military—Luminor was made available to the general public in 1993. Since then, Luminor has been delegating the civilian population with utmost pomps and thrills. Taking most of its DNA from the famed Radiomir, the Luminor is perfect for a day out over the unending waves. 

Radiomir

Tracing back its roots to the 1930s, the Radiomir was first developed for the Frogmen of the Royal Italian Navy. A piece of art, Radiomir, contained a slice of radioactive material, the Radium. This was needed for all the deep-water activities necessary for the Frogmen. Now, the legacy carried by these timepieces is commendable and still admired by humans both under and over water. Though Radiomir stopped equipping its dials with Radium, it still lightens up its dials in the dark in a safer way.

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