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For other uses, see Panerai (disambiguation).
Officine Panerai
Private (subsidiary of Compagnie Financière Richemont S.A.)
Industry Manufacturing
Founded 1860 (1860) Florence, Italy
Founder Giovanni Panerai
Headquarters Milan, Italy
Area served
Key people
Angelo Bonati CEO,
Giorgio Ferrazzi Finance Director
Products Luxury watches
Parent Compagnie Financière Richemont S.A.
Footnotes / references

Officine Panerai is a luxury Swiss watch manufacturer, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Compagnie Financière Richemont S.A.. Officine Panerai designs, manufactures, markets and sells watches through authorized dealers and company-owned boutiques worldwide.[1][3] Giovanni Panerai (1825–1897) founded Officine Panerai in Florence, Italy in 1860. Officine Panerai maintains its headquarters in Florence but manufactures watches in Neuchâtel, Switzerland using both movements manufactured in-house and movements manufactured by ETA S.A.[4]

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

Giovanni Panerai in front of his watch store in Florence in 1860


Giovanni Panerai (1825–1897) founded Officine Panerai in Florence, Italy in 1860.[5] By 1900, under the leadership of the founder's grandson Guido Panerai (1873–1934), Officine Panerai had become an official supplier to the Regia Marina (the Royal Italian Navy), supplying watches and precision instruments.[6] Panerai watches of this time consisted of cases designed and manufactured by Rolex SA and movements made by Swiss manufacturer Cortébert.

The Florence-based watchmaker produced wrist-worn diving instruments and, between 1938 and 1970, delivered around 1600 watches (~1000 3646, 24 6152, 36 6154, 500 6152/1, 60 GPF 2/56), most of them to the Italian Marina Militare.[7] Two models, today identified as the "small Egiziano" and the "big Egiziano", were also produced for the Egyptian Navy.[8] 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 to the civilian market. The actor Sylvester Stallone spotted and bought a Panerai Luminor at a jeweller's shop in Rome in 1995 to wear during shooting of the film Daylight.[7] Stallone ordered a small batch of such watches with his signature on the case back, called Slytech, offering some as gifts to friends. This hugely influenced the resurrection of the brand. The brand's rising popularity caught the attention of Richemont, which acquired Officine Panerai in 1997. Following the acquisition, Richemont rebranded Panerai as a luxury watch brand and increased prices accordingly. The core of the watches remain the same. At auction and in the collectors market, some of these older models, particularly those produced in the 1940s and '50s have sold for high prices.[9]


Panerai has four major lines of watches, Historic, Contemporary, Manifattura and Special Editions. Most watches are produced in a limited run (normally of 500, 1000, 2000 or 4000 units) and carry an issue number on the case back. Panerai issues Special Editions every year. In 2006 it issued the 1936 California Dial Radiomir special edition, a reissue of the first Panerai model ever presented to the Italian Marina Militare. This model was limited to a run of 1936 units. As of September 2008, the price variation within the Contemporary collection varies from $6,000 USD to $25,500 USD for the solid gold Marina.

Panerai makes many watches as either limited or special editions, intentionally producing fewer watches than the market demands in order to maintain an image of exclusivity, which allows it to command a high price. Retailers may only receive a few limited edition pieces each per year and there are long waiting lists for popular models.

Ferrari branded Panerai products[edit]

Sylvester Stallone pictured in 2009 wearing Panerai's largest model, the limited edition, 60mm Panerai Egiziano.

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 displaying the Ferrari trademark. The collection was branded Ferrari engineered by Panerai and consisted of two product lines: the sport/elegant "Granturismo" and the aggressively sporty "Scuderia". The collection consisted of 11 models priced between US$5,000 and US$30,000.[10]

Despite unique cases that were not shared with other Panerai watches and unique watch faces displaying the Ferrari brand, the Ferrari engineered by Panerai watches did not sell well, except for a brief time after their initial release, and were usually available for discounted prices. Panerai and Ferrari did not renew the agreement when it expired in 2010.[11][12]

See also[edit]



  • Annual Report and Accounts 2010. Compagnie Financière Richemont S.A. 2010. ISBN 978-2-9700709-0-0. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-12-19. Retrieved 2010-12-19. Officine Panerai operates through a network of authorized dealers as well as its own boutiques. 
  • "In-House Movements". Officine Panerai Marketing e Communicazioni Srl. 2010. Archived from the original on 2010-12-19. Retrieved 2010-12-19. 
  • "Lot 321 / Sale 1348". Christie's International Plc. 2007-11-12. Archived from the original on 2010-12-19. Retrieved 2010-12-19. Price Realized CHF97,000 ($86,490) 
  • "Timeline 1860". Officine Panerai Marketing e Communicazioni Srl. 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-01-24. 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 2011-01-24. 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. Archived from the original on 2014-03-16. 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. 

External links[edit]