Love Panerai? Here are a few surprising facts about Panerai watches
Panerai was founded in 1860 by Giovanni Panerai. The company was originally located in Florence, Italy. During its early years, it made watches solely for German and Italian Navy divers. Due to a lack of innovation, the brand became dormant after the 1950s for a period of almost 40 years.
In 1993, it was resurrected and in 1997 was bought by the Richmond Group. Richmond Group is a luxury goods holding company that owns and manages many famous luxury brands worldwide.
Panerai seems to be a recent name in the luxury watch business, but it has a long history of and experience in watchmaking. We have compiled some interesting facts about Panerai watches which will be a delight for Panerai enthusiasts. So read on.
The Original Panerai Watches Were Made by Rolex
- Between 1936 and 1956, all Panerai watches were manufactured by Rolex. This was because Panerai neither had the resources nor the expertise for making watches. Rolex was making Panerai watches even before the launch of their own watch – the Submariner in 1953.
Panerai watches were made exclusively for the Italian Navy divers, who used them during WWII sea missions. Today, less than 1000 such watches exist and therefore are a rare collector’s item.
Radioactive Watch Design
- One prominent feature of these watches was their luminance and readability in dark water conditions. This was achieved by using Radium on the watch face and hands. Special radium paint was developed that was painted on the watches using bare hands.
Radium was discovered by Marie and Pierre Curie in 1902. At that time, it wasn’t considered a harmful radioactive element. It was originally used as a treatment against cancer and other illnesses and as a beauty product such as nail polish by women. It wasn’t until 1976 when Radium was declared to be radioactive and a highly dangerous element.
- Radium has a half-life of 1600 years, therefore it means that anything having Radium will be radioactive for a very long time. All Panerai watches produced before 1976 are radioactive and pose a serious health risk.
Panerai watches that were produced by Rolex until 1956, and by Richmond Group from 1997 onwards incorporated a masculine design that was based on its original theme. These watches had a bottle opener, a rugged shape, and large dials (47mm). Richmond Group introduced some new features such as chronographs, case redesigns, and luxury leather options.
- These days, Panerai watches come in sizes as large as 60mm. Panerai offers a huge variety of luxury timepieces suitable for many occasions. They link their modern designs with their heritage while introducing improvements every year.
Ferrari and Panerai
One of the most known facts about Panerai watches is that in 2005, Ferrari and Panera joined hands to introduce a Ferrari branded watch. The slogan used was “Ferrari engineered by Panerai” and it had two product lines; Scuderia and Granturismo. About 11 watches were produced as a result of this agreement.
- These watches cost from $5,000 US to $30,000 US.
Sylvester Stallone Limited Edition Panerai
Sylvester Stallone was an avid Rolex fan. He would always prefer to wear a Rolex watch. However, while filming the movie Daylight in 1995, he visited a Panerai boutique in Florence, Italy.
- Stallone worked with Panerai to create a limited-edition watch series. He wore his watch in the movie Daylight while gifted some of the watches to his friends including Arnold Schwarzenegger.
If you are interested in owning a Panerai watch, we recommend that you look for a reliable watch trader offline or online. Lido Watch Club specializes in the sale of online pre-owned watches at affordable prices. We also offer warranty and authentication services.