In 1860, Giovanni Panerai opened his watchmaker’s shop on Ponte alle Grazie in Florence, serving as a shop, workshop and the city’s first watchmaking school. After operating in various Florentine locations, the shop moved to its current location in the 1920s, located in the Archbishop’s Palace in front of the Florence Cathedral, under “OROLOGERIA SVIZZERA,” a name that has meant high-quality watches in Florence for over a century.
Over 160 years later, the brand is now known as Panerai and offers four main collections: the Luminor, Luminor Due, Radiomir and Submersible. The Radiomir was one of the first to come to fruition in the 1900s. For years, Panerai supplied precision instruments, such as naval combat sights, to the Italian Royal Navy. To meet military requirements, Panerai collaborated with Lieutenant Commander Carlo Ranconi to develop a radium-based powder to make the dials of instruments and sights brighter, which is how the Radiomir was born. The Radiomir patent was the first of the many patents filed throughout Panerai’s history of innovation.
Panerai went on to create several high-strength diving timepieces to meet the demands of the Italian Navy. With the increasing involvement in underwater operations, the Navy’s military watches had to remain underwater in extreme conditions for long periods of time. Some of today’s models were inspired by these designs, incorporating new, cutting innovations developed in Panerai’s Laboratorio di Idee to make the construction even more solid and resistant.
Panerai quickly became a highly sought-after brand for collectors and enthusiasts after entering the civil watch market in 1992, even catching the eye of American actor Sylvester Stallone and producing a timepiece for his 1996 film “Daylight.”
Today, Panerai transitions into a new era filled with adrenaline experiences and inspiring partnerships that go beyond the timepiece and bring together modern-day heroes. One experience held in French Polynesia provided 15 Panerai heroes the chance to live a once-in-a-lifetime experience with brand ambassador Guillaume Néry, a famous French free diver. Staying true to Panerai’s passion for the sea, the brand has made a sustainability commitment by leading the way in the development of more circular practices in the watch industry, such as incorporating recycled materials into its products.
Visit the beautiful Panerai boutique, the only one in North Texas, located next to Bistro 31 and discover the brand’s latest collections.
Monday through Saturday, 10am to 6pm, and Sunday, noon to 5pm. Private appointments are available.
90 Highland Park Village, Dallas, TX 75205 | 214.206.9860