From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Founded1860; 163 years ago (1860) in Florence, Italy
FounderGiovanni Panerai
HeadquartersGeneva, Switzerland
Area served
Key people
Jean Marc Pontroue CEO,
Olivier BertoinFinance Director
ProductsLuxury watches
Number of employees
Footnotes / references

Officine Panerai (also known simply as Panerai) is an Italian luxury watch manufacturer, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Compagnie Financière Richemont S.A.[3]

Officine Panerai designs, manufactures and markets watches through authorized dealers and company-owned stores worldwide.[1][2] Giovanni Panerai (1825–1897) founded Officine Panerai in Florence, Italy in 1860.

The company is headquartered in Geneva and manufactures watches in Neuchâtel, Switzerland using movements manufactured by Manufacture Horlogère ValFleurier.[4][5]

Panerai watches, designed and manufactured by Rolex SA, were worn by the frogmen of the Decima Flottiglia MAS in their operations during World War II. Notable products include the Luminor and Radiomir wristwatches.


Employee of Panerai in front of the watch store in Florence in 1860

Giovanni Panerai (1825–1897) opened up his first watch shop in Florence, Italy in 1860.[6] Giovanni's grandson Guido Panerai (1873–1934) expanded the watch shop "Orologeria Svizzera"[7] and took over his wife's family business, a mechanical workshop. In 1915, Guido Panerai invented gun sights that were illuminated by a radium-226/zinc sulfide powder enclosed in small, hermetically sealed vessels.[8] Radiomir, the name for the radium-based luminous mixture is derived from "radio mire", which is Italian for "radium sights". Panerai became an official supplier to the Regia Marina (the Royal Italian Navy), supplying a variety of technical equipment and precision instruments.[9] All Panerai watches, except for the GPF 2/56 were designed and manufactured by Rolex SA using pocket watch movements made by Swiss manufacturer Cortébert.[10] The main driving forces behind the production of the first professional diving watches were Hans Wilsdorf of Rolex and Giuseppe Panerai.[11]

The Florence-based workshop produced wrist-worn diving instruments and, between 1935 and 1970, delivered around 1,600 watches (c. 35 2533s, 1000 3646s, 24 6152s, 36 6154s, 500 6152/1s, and 60 GPF 2/56s), most of them to the Italian Marina Militare.[12] All watches, except for the GPF 2/56, were made by Rolex, and G. Panerai e Figlio produced only the dials for these watches. Panerai dials were rendered luminous with Radiomir, a highly radioactive radium-based self-luminous compound, and later in around 1965, with Luminor, a harmless compound activated by tritium.[13][14]

The GPF 2/56 (Egiziano Grosso) was produced for the Egyptian Navy in 1956.[15] By 1970, the company ceased to provide watches to the Marina Militare, as they were neither cost-effective nor met the naval specifications. In 1993, it then moved to launch its products in the civilian market.[15] Following its acquisition of Panerai, Richemont repositioned Panerai as a luxury watch brand and increased prices.[16][17]


Ref. 3646 from 1944 with Rolex "California" dial

Panerai offers watches across four marketing lines: Historic, Contemporary, Manifattura and Special Editions in runs of 500, 1000, 2,000 or 4,000 units; each with its issue number on the case back.[18] The company issues Special Editions by year. For example, in 2006 issued the 1936 California Dial Radiomir special edition, a reissue of the first Panerai model presented to the Italian Marina Militare with production limited to 1936 units.[19]

Ferrari branded Panerai products[edit]

When Ferrari's contract with rival watchmaker Girard-Perregaux expired in 2005, Ferrari and Panerai entered into a five-year agreement to design, manufacture and distribute Panerai watches carrying the Ferrari trademark.[20] The collection was branded Ferrari engineered by Panerai and consisted of two product lines marketed as "Granturismo" and "Scuderia". The collection consisted of 11 models priced between US$5,000 and US$30,000.[21] The Panerai-ferrari partnership ended in 2010.


  • Panerai Luminor
  • Panerai Luminor 1950
  • Panerai Radiomir
  • Panerai Radiomir 1940
  • Panerai Luminor Due
  • Panerai Ferrari
  • Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Richemont 2010, p. 13.
  2. ^ a b Richemont 2010, p. 106.
  3. ^ Swithinbank, Robin (2020-05-01). "Panerai Celebrates the Luminor at 70". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-07-11.
  4. ^ "FH - Officine Panerai - New Manufacture In Neuchâtel". Retrieved 2021-07-11.
  5. ^ "A Visit To The Officine Panerai Manufacture In Neuchâtel". Fratello Watches - the magazine dedicated to watches. 2016-10-14. Retrieved 2021-07-11.
  6. ^ Panerai 2011.
  7. ^ "Orologeria Svizzera – the Watch Shop". 22 February 2018.
  8. ^ "Espacenet – search results".
  9. ^ Panerai 2011a.
  10. ^ "A Historically Important Collection Of Vintage Panerai Watches". Phillips. Retrieved 2021-07-11.
  11. ^ Farago, Robert (2020-03-01). "Rolex, Panerai and The Nazis". The Truth About Watches. Retrieved 2021-07-11.
  12. ^ Prince 2003.
  13. ^ "Luminor 2020 – Debunking Panerai's Fictional History of Tritium-Based Lume". 30 November 2019.
  14. ^ "Solving the Panerai Dial Mystery". Watches of Switzerland. 2018-11-15. Retrieved 2021-07-11.
  15. ^ a b "History of Panerai | WatchBox". Retrieved 2021-07-11.
  16. ^ Christie's 2007.
  17. ^ Beghelli, Chiara (2019-01-15). "Panerai diventa sponsor di Luna Rossa". Il Sole 24 ORE (in Italian). Retrieved 2023-03-22.
  18. ^ "Panerai Historic, Contemporary, Manifattura, Special Edition, Ferrari and Pre-Vendome Models". Retrieved 2021-07-11.
  19. ^ "Panerai - A stainless steel limited edition cushion-shaped wristwatch with California dial, 2006 | Hong Kong Watch Auction: THREE Hong Kong Monday, November 28, 2016 Lot 890". Phillips. Retrieved 2021-07-11.
  20. ^ "Devil's Advocate: Panerai for Ferrari FER015 Perpetual | WatchBox". Retrieved 2021-07-11.
  21. ^ Strandberg 2006.


  • Adams, Ariel (2010-03-04). "Panerai And Ferrari Officially Break Up". AOL Inc. Archived from the original on 2011-01-04. Retrieved 2011-01-24. Almost from the beginning the watches could not sell. Consumers disapproved of them, and stores couldn't move them.
  • Pons, Grégory (2010-03-03). "Panerai-Ferrari: Divorce à l'italienne" [Panerai-Ferrari: Divorce Italian Style]. Business Montres & Joaillerie, la Lettre International des Marchés Horlogers (in French). Geneva, Switzerland: Grégory Pons. Archived from the original on 2011-01-03. Retrieved 2011-01-24. Ainsi donc, Panerai et Ferrari ne font plus écurie commune...
  • Strandberg, Keith W. (2006-03-27). "Panerai and Ferrari". Europa Star. Archived from the original on 2011-07-19. Retrieved 2010-12-19. Panerai unveiled its newest product, the Ferrari Engineered by Panerai watch collection...
  • "Lot 321 / Sale 1348". Christie's International Plc. 2007-11-12. Archived from the original on 2012-04-04. Retrieved 2010-12-19. Price Realized CHF97,000 ($86,490)
  • "Timeline 1860". Officine Panerai Marketing e Communicazioni Srl. 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-06-05. Retrieved 2011-01-24. Giovanni Panerai (1825–1897), founder of the family business, opens the first watchmaker's shop in Florence on the Ponte alle Grazie...
  • "Timeline 1890–1900". Officine Panerai Marketing e Communicazioni Srl. 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-08-30. Retrieved 2011-01-24. Guido Panerai (1873–1934), grandson of the founder, expands his grandfather's business and gives it new impetus, specializing in high precision mechanisms and becoming official supplier to the Royal Italian Navy.
  • Munchow, Joshua (2014-03-24). "Panerai Radiomir 1940 Chronograph: The Day Everything Changed". Quill & Pad. Retrieved 2014-03-16. It must be taken into consideration, however, that Panerai didn't build watches for the public; instead it only produced tool watches for the Italian Navy, which means that Panerai watches were always, first and foremost, tools to be used..
  • Pasetto, Loris (2013). "Panerai - Una storia italiana". Loris Pasetto & Luciano Cipullo. Rolex S.A. produced 24 of the 6152 reference number and 36 of the 6154's. Official sources tell us that the Italian Navy bought 30 patented underwater watches in 1954 so it is plausible to presume that this lot was made up of a mix of 6152's and 6154's, which had been acquired for testing purposes.
  • Pereztroika, Jose (2017). "The History of Panerai Watches at a Glance". Jose Pereztroika. Panerai is pure history! To visualize the amazing evolution of 'Panerai' watches, I created a comprehensive, contextual and highly visual timeline that displays every relevant watch and the events that had an effect on its production, looks and use.

External links[edit]