Founded in Florence in 1860, Panerai’s expansion started in 1935 when it was given a contract to supply absolutely watertight watches with brilliantly luminous hands to the Italian Navy divers.
These watches developed by Panerai at that time, including the Luminor and Radiomir, were not made for civilians.
They were covered by the Military Secrets Act and were launched on the international market only after the brand was acquired by the Richemont Group in 1997.
Today Panerai develops its movements and watches at its Neuchâtel manufacture including the Laboratorio di Idee and has garnered a coterie of obsessive fans who call themselves Paneristi and who are well-versed in the brand’s somewhat intriguing history. At Panerai, sustainability is a key element with the introduction of sustainability pillars ensuring it has the framework to embrace eco-friendly practises across all aspects of the business – including using recycled packaging to help reduce the environmental footprint. In April 2020, Panerai unveiled a watch it claims is 98.6% recycled by weight – the EcoTitanium Submersible Elab-ID Limited Edition.
We have enjoyed a partnership spanning over 25 years with Panerai and continually work with the brand on immersive and interesting pop-ups and in-store events. Last year saw the introduction of Panerai into selected Goldsmiths Luxury showrooms. We have also collaborated on client opportunities, including sailing experiences on the brand’s classic vintage yacht – Eilean. The brand features regularly in our themed pop-up campaigns in our UK Watches of Switzerland showrooms – the last one being our ‘Divers Watch Collection’ theme that also ran across our online channels. We were also privileged to interview Jean-Marc Pontroué, CEO of Panerai, for our Calibre podcast series, where he and Brian Duffy, our CEO, discussed how the brand has adapted since the pandemic and the 70th anniversary of its beloved and iconic Panerai Luminor would be celebrated.