Hey, are you a Paneristi?
Probably the first greeting was rather weird to you if you don`t know its meaning. Paneristi, in short, means Panerai fans or aficionados.
Today Panerai timepieces are among the most prestigious and most expensive watches in the world. Panerai was named after it`s Italian founder Giovanni Panerai. Currently, Panerai`s watches are produced in Switzerland although its headquarters is located in Italy where it was found. The Panerai watches were initially limited to the navy and other specified groups until the company`s acquisition by Rolex. Rolex changed the company`s gameplay by making Panerai a luxurious watch available to everyone and skyrocketing the prices.
Panerai represents a blend of Swiss technology and Italian design. The company still follows the inspirational trail of its home city Florence. Florence was a cradle for all the art and science and the Renaissance movement. The strength of Panerai has helped many everyday regular guys to become true connoisseurs.
Where there is a will, there is a way. Unlike many other innovative and revolutionary watchmakers, what has propagated Panerai to this day is simply its rich history. Panerai was and is one of the oldest watch brands with a history stretching back to the early 18th century.
The first shop was opened in1860 in Florence, Italy. After the death of Giovanni`s grandson, Guido Panerai expanded the watch business by merging it with his wife`s family business to form a new company with the name G. Panerai e Figlio. Guido Panerai relocated the business to the Piazza San Giovanni. The new business became an official supplier to the Royal Italian Navy (Regia Marina) and was responsible for the supply of all kinds of precision instruments and technical equipment.
Until 1936 Panerai was in collaboration with the Italian Navy, producing mechanical instruments such as compasses and depths gauges. In 1936, the family received a special order to manufacture professional diver`s watches for Marines.
The Italian Marine Military ordered the highest demand on Panerai watches with a special request that the watches should be waterproof but at the same time easily read in any situation. To achieve this sophisticated order, Panerai turned to the watch Guru Rolex which at the time was well known for its expertise in water-resistant watches. Panerai`s collaboration was quite successful resulting in the Panerai Radiomir, a waterproof watch with a 47 millimeters dial.
In the early 1930s not so many, if any, watches had a 47mm diameter and the Radiomir`s 47mm was considered rather immense but cool. A patented phosphor based on radium was used in the manufacture of the Radiomir dial. Little did anyone know that Radiomir was one of the most radioactive substances in the world. Fortunately, the Radiomir collection was not meant for the consumer market so it`s production was very limited to a few. In 1956, Panerai also made Egyptian Navy the GPF 2/56 (Egiziano Grosso).
Just targeting the navy was not that cost-effective for the company and they were not able to meet some of the Navy`s requirements so they discarded the limited business. In 1933 Panerai launched its products to the civilian market. After its acquisition by Richemont, Panerai was repositioned as a luxury watch brand and its prices skyrocketed.
The company`s watches are not limited to in-house calibers but they also have ETA calibers. To date, the Panerai watches made for the Italian Navy are among some of the most sought after vintage rarities that can cost an enormous price range of over 100,000-euro. However, there is some controversy that Panerai has forged some of its vintages but there is little evidence.
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