Through technological advancements, some people now consider wristwatches irrelevant. You now have a lot of devices that can’t only provide the time of the day but can also perform other functions, such as playing games and communicating with people from other parts of the world. But despite these changes, there is still a large population of watch enthusiasts. For them, timepieces made by giant corporations are more than just a time-telling tool.
They have a rich history, impressive complications, and movements, as well as excellent craftsmanship. If you see luxury watches the same way, then you are probably planning to start your watch collection journey. There are many brands in the market that you can choose from, but Panerai is a great option because it isn’t as high priced as Rolex and Omega. Let’s find out how the brand started, as well as its most popular timepieces.
The history of Panerai
Owning one of the most popular Panerai watches, such as Luminor and Radiomir, means enjoying functional and attractive timepieces on your wrist. They are highly durable and can withstand conditions on both land and sea. This brand is one leader in the industry, hence people often hear it alongside Rolex and Omega. Are you wondering how the company started producing wristwatches? Do you want to find out how it turned from a small and simple manufacturer into one of Italy’s most favorite? If you answered yes to both questions, then keep on reading to discover the answers.
The opening of the first Panerai shop
It was in 1860 that Giovannie Panerai opened his first shop at Ponte Alle Grazie in Florence. The shop had several purposes, namely a watch shop, a workshop, and the city’s first watchmaking school. After a century of operation, it produced one of the most high-quality watches in Florence. When Giovannie reconstructed it, he then moved his shop in the Archbishop’s palace, under the name Orologeria Svizzera.
Patenting its Radiomir wristwatch
Radiomir became a significant part of the history of Panerai as it highly represented its commitment to innovation and expertise in crafting timepieces. It was on March 23, 1916, that the name Radiomir became patented in France. The primary purpose of the watch is to meet the military requirement of the Italian Royal Navy. To supply timepieces for them, the company collaborated with Lieutenant Commander Carlo Onconi to produce brighter dials and sights. Two decades after patenting Radiomir, the Italian Royal Navy needed again more useful technical tools for its underwater activities. To produce watches meant to withstand extreme conditions at sea, Panerai tested high diving timepieces. The one recognized to have the best result was Ref 2533, with a base from Rolex-Geneva.
The company’s manufactured timepieces were of great help to the Royal Italian Navy during World War II. They defeated their opponents through the use of Panerai watches and tools. Hence, the company became very influential not just in the country but also in Germany and Britain.
Panerai entered the civil watch market
After world war II, the country experienced a serious economic and political crisis. To serve the public, Panerai entered the civil watch market on September 10, 199r by presenting three collections in the Military harbor of La Spezia. These collections included limited-edition models, namely the Luminor Marina, Luminor, and Mare Nostrum. The company made its appearance almost the same as the watches it produced during the Second World War.
A few years after its release, it became one of the top picks of watch collectors. They consider their collection incomplete without any Panerai watches. In 1997, another notable event happened as it became part of the Vendome Group or Richemont Group today. This acquisition made the price tags of the company to go up and for people to see it as a luxury watch rather than a military one. Today, Panerai is still at the peak of its success in the watchmaking industry. If its rich history is enough to entice you into buying one, below are some of the models that you must know of.
The best Panerai watches today
Panerai Luminor Marina
If you ask people around about Panerai watches, the first thing that will come to mind is this Panerai Luminor Marina. It is easily recognizable with its 44mm case dimension, blue satin Soleil, shiny and silky appearance, and stainless steel case material making it durable and bulky. Its large size used to be very unusual in the market, but as years passed by, other luxury brands started joining the oversized watch trend. It has a 300m water resistance which makes it the perfect sports watch, while its elegant dial and dark blue strap will permit you to use it during formal occasions.
When you buy this. You don’t have any other choice in terms of the movement as it is only available in automatic Calibre P9010. This type of caliber can make the watch last up to three days after winding it.
Panerai Luminor Chronograph Yachts Challenge
The Panerai Luminor Chronograph Yachts Challenge is perfect for people who love classic and vintage design. The company released this watch in 2019 with polished titanium case material, 44 mm case dimension, and flyback chronograph complication. Its black color and light blue accents contribute to its sporty appearance. Just like the previous watch. It can survive up to three days after winding but instead of using the CalibreP9010, it uses Calibre P9100for more functions and components. Check this model out if you plan to buy a watch that is suitable for both sailing and casual events.
Panerai Radiomir California
The Panerai Radiomir California has the largest size compared to the two watches mentioned earlier. Having a 47 mm case dimension. It has a stainless steel case material, tropical brown dial, and a brown Tuscan leather strap perfect for a vintage lover the company named it California since its upper half uses hour markers in Roman numerals while the bottom uses Arabic ones. You can never go wrong with this model as it can stand the test of time because of its Incabloc anti-shock device. This device maintains its accuracy even if you accidentally drop it a few times already.
Panerai is one of the leading watches because of several reasons it reached the pinnacle of success not only because of its relationship with the Royal Italian Navy but also because of its high-quality timepieces with various designs. Throughout the years, watch enthusiasts continue to patronize it. It will surely be a great addition to your collection of watches.