Panerai watches are synonymous with unmistakable design and aesthetical beauty, and have been created using components that remain loyal to the history of their watchmaking success. Designed for the classic gentleman, these stylish timepieces make for the perfect completion of any established watch collection. With so many iconic designs to choose from, we highlight the history of the company so far and their influence over the future of the modern luxury watch industry.
Making a mark in the history of Panerai’s success in innovation with the launch of an entirely new concept, the Panerai Radiomir watch set new benchmarks in the visibility and legibility of luxury watches. The first of the company’s many patents featured a radium-based powder that gave unprecedented luminosity to the dial, thus meeting the needs of the Royal Italian Navy at the start of the Second World War. The distinct characteristics of the Panerai Radiomir watch has remained the same to date; the bold cushion-shaped case, wire lugs welded to the case, a hand wound mechanical movement and of course, the luminescent numerals and indices. That did not however, stop the Maison from continuing to evolve the model to better suit the needs of the wearer over the forthcoming years. Improvements in terms of enhancing readability under water were brought about by replacing the old dial layout with four large, simple Arabic numerals. The Radiomir 1940 watch answered the needs of the Royal Navy in the year of 1940, hence the name. The cushion shaped case with more pronounced edges and a cylindrical crown, helped to enhance better underwater resistance. To this day, many watches from this collection draw inspiration from these originals.
1949 marked the year of the introduction of another patented feature, Luminor, which superseded the radium-based paste. Over the next few years, Officine Panerai would refine the shape and quality of the case of the Luminor watch, with a crown-protecting bridge, reinforced wire lugs, and a striking cushion-shaped steel case which went on to differentiate the Luminor 1950 watches from other neighbouring timepieces within this family.
In 1993 Officine Panerai began launching collections of watches such as the Luminor, the Luminor 1950 and the Mare Nostrum, and by the year of 1997, the company found itself on the radar of the international fine watchmaking market. It was however, not until the year of 2002 that Panerai’s manufacturing nerve centre was relocated to Neuchatel in Switzerland. Here, exclusive design, expert skill and know-how came together to continue the development and research of these iconic timepieces. Three years later the Maison’s first ever movement was created. The P.2002 hand-wound calibre with an impressive 8 day power reserve and GMT function, took its name from the year of the watchmaking plant’s move to Switzerland, and the start of something new and exciting for the company.
From 2007 onwards, a number of further calibres were created including the P.2005 which featured a Florentine-tailored tourbillion, completing one rotation in thirty seconds. The P.2009 Calibre later offered a 72 hour power reserve mounted inside some of the Panerai Luminor 1950 watches and Panerai Radiomir models, and the exclusive P.2004 was a single-button chronograph integrated with split second function, facilitated by a button at 10 o’clock on the bezel. Following these groundbreaking creations, the company went on to produce the P.9100 calibre - the first automatic movement with flyback function, and another 8 day power reserve calibre – the P.5000. Now, much of Paneria’s fine watchmaking skills are combined with excellence in Italian design at the new Pierre-a-Bot, on the hills of Neuchâtel in Switzerland. The growth of the company is yet another example of Paneria’s growing existence within the world of luxury watch manufacture.
The latest innovation from these Italian masters in haute horlogerie, is that of the Luminor Due collection. The pieces feature a new case inspired by the faithful lines of the Luminor 1950 watches, yet with the integration of the powerful P.1000/10 and P.4000/10 – the thinnest automatic calibres created by Officine Panerai to date.
Radiomir 1940 3 Days Automatic Black Dial Automatic Watch
Available from £161.25 per month.
Luminor Marina Logo 44mm White Dial Manual-Wind Watch
Available from £78.75 per month.
Luminor Due 3 Days Oro Rosso Blue Leather Strap Watch
Available from £350.62 per month.