Brand Histories


1825 • Giovanni Panerai born in Florence, capital city of Tuscany (and briefly capital city of the new Kingdom of Italy).

1850 • Giovanni Panerai opened a small watchmaker’s: G.PANERAI & Co on le Ponte alle Grazie (Pont des Grâces).

1876 • Settled at 3, Place San Giovanni, in the Palais de l’Archevêché, after several changes of address (Rue Cavour, Rue Cimatori, Cours Volta, Rue Bixo, Rue Aminci, and Place Galiléo Ferraris)
Léon Francesco Panerai(1851-1918) succeeded his father, and wed Giustina Toricelli (1853-1916). Their marriage produced four children: Guido, Emma, Dario et Pilade.

1897 • Giovanni Panerai died.

1900 • The name OROLOGERIA SVIZZERA (Horlogerie Suisse) was added to the store.

1907 • The family business wasn’t just a watch sales outlet, it was also a large store of spare parts, accessories and tools for precision mechanisms.
An adjoining workshop dealt with repairs and the assembly of watch parts that arrived from Switzerland, and was also the first School of Horology in Florence.
The 1907 edition of the PANERAI catalogue, with a print run of 50,000 copies, was the biggest watchmaking catalogue in the world.
It presented every model the Swiss watch industry produced, from the most modestly priced to the most expensive.
PANERAI became a representative of ROLEX, VACHERON & CONSTANTIN, LONGINES, ANGELUS, BUREN, MOVADO and PATEK PHILIPPE.

1914 • Guido Panerai joined forces with Carlo Ronconi, a relative and naval officer, to work on RADIOMIR objectives.

1915 • PANERAI patented this innovation and it enabled them to deliver thousands of rifle, cannon and torpedo objectives.

1917 • Carlo Ronconi ceded his share to Guido Panerai who decided to use the RADIOMIR procedure to produce dials, altimeters, compasses and tachymeters. New patents were taken out in Italy, France, England and the United States.
A close collaboration then developed between PANERAI and the Italian Navy.

1918 • Death of Léon Francesco Panerai.
His son Guido (1873-1934) took over and further developed the business created by his grandfather Giovanni; he wed Guglielmina Fracei and they had two children Giuseppe et Maria.

1920 • Guido and Giuseppe Panerai designed a new model of chronograph: le MARE NOSTRUM.

1934 • On the death of his father, Giuseppe Panerai (1903-1972), devoted himself almost exclusively to the supply of equipment to the Italian National Navy, while his sister Maria (1897-1993) took care of the horology store at Piazza del Duomo.

1936 • The Florentine business delivered a top-secret prototype of the RADIOMIR WATCH for an ultra-confidential military project ordered by the 1st Italian submarine group.

1938 • Transition from prototype to production; 47mm diameter, caliber ROLEX 16-line and 15 rubies, with plexi-glass crystal.


1942 • Appearance of the exclusive winding crown lever system known as the Déclic, which enabled diving to a depth of 200M, an absolute record for the time.

1945 • TRANSLUX, ELUX and LUMINOR all patented (along with RADIOMIR.)

1950 • 50 special models supplied to Egyptian navy.

1980 • Maria Teresa Abetti Panerai, veuve de Giuseppe prend la direction de la marque avec compétence et passion.

1980 • Production of a prototype for a titanium watch, capable of resisting water pressure to a depth of 1000m.

1993 • Limited edition of the LUMINOR 44mm and a version of the MARE NOSTRUM, aimed at the civilian market.

1995 • 1995 • The SLYTECH, a special series on the initiative of the actor Sylvester Stallone, a great lover of these watches.
The SUBMERSIBLE was created, and appeared in the film DAYLIGHT.
The actor asked PANERAI for a limited edition (200 pieces) with a white dial, called DAYLIGHT, as well as a personalised series of the MARE NOSTRUM.
All of these watches have the actor’s signature on the back.

1997 • OFFICINE PANERAI taken over by GROUPE VENDOME LUXURY.
New models enrich the range of these mythical watches of Italian submarine commandos.

1998 • LUMINOR Base and LUMINOR Marina introduced at the Geneva Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie.

1999 • PANERAI launched the 40mm LUMINOR.

2002 • At Neuchâtel in Switzerland, the firm inaugurated the MANUFACTURE PANERAI and launched the LUMINOR automatic 44mm.

2003 • Launch of the 1950 (a limited edition of 1,950 examples), a replica of the original 47mm LUMINOR model; the TANTALIUM (limited edition of 300), with 44mm case produced in tantalum, a metal that is extremely resistant difficult to work with; the LUMINOR MARINA PVD 195 (limited edition of 200); and the 44mm CHRONO LUMINOR.

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