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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 

Officine Panerai

Officine Panerai watchesA deft blend of Italian styling and Swiss technology,

Panerai has been a consistent leader in the world of professional timing instruments for more than 140 years.

Indeed, when Guido Panerai founded his company in Florence in 1860, it was with the commitment to build professional timekeepers more so than pocket watches.

His early work led to many patents in the timekeeping and optics fields. In the early 1930s, Panerai established a close relationship with the Royal Italian Navy and began supplying the soldiers with precision pocket watches and aiming sights for torpedoes.

During World War II, Panerai supplied Radiomir watches to the Royal Italian Navy—firmly establishing itself as a leader in precision timing.
In 1993, after 50 years of creating watches exclusively for the commandos of the Royal Italian Navy, Panerai offered its timepieces to the world at large with limited editions of the Luminor.

The precision watches were recognized for their performances under extreme situations and were eagerly sought by collectors. In 1997, the Richemont Group purchased Panerai and evolved the brand, adding new products upholding Panerai’s tradition and increasing its worldwide presence.

Panerai’s successful oversized timepieces are based on the Luminor and Radiomir, and each exists in the three key Panerai collections: Historical, Contemporary and Special Editions.

In the Historical Collection, Panerai has unveiled the Luminor 44mm watch with its own new hand-wound mechanical movement. Guaranteed water resistant to 300 meters but tested to 400 meters, this exceptional watch is cased in either steel or titanium and has a transparent caseback to allow viewing of the engraved movement.

In its Contemporary Collection, Panerai has added some complexities. The Panerai Radiomir watch, pure and elegant in its simplicity, is now available in two sizes: 40mm and 42mm.

Fitted with an automatic mechanical GMT/Alarm movement, the watch is now available in polished stainless steel.

Also new to the Contemporary Collection is the Luminor Power Reserve watch. Available in two sizes in titanium or steel, this watch offers a power reserve of 42 hours. It houses the exclusive OP1X caliber movement from Panerai with 21 jewels, and is COSC certified.

Another new model is the Luminor Marina Gold watch—created in 18-karat gold with a slight pink tinge—the first Panerai Luminor to have a gold case. Formed from a single block of precious metal, the case is 44mm in diameter, is COSC certified and is produced in a limited edition of just 150 pieces.

In its Special Editions Collection, Panerai has added the Luminor Marina 1950 watch-a magnificent 47mm timepiece that pays tribute to the first of its type unveiled in 1950.

Perfectly legible under water, the watch conforms to its earlier counterpart with a dial consisting of two superimposed layers and a bridge device that is protected by trademarks.

The COSC-certified chronometer watch offers a power reserve of 56 hours and is crafted in steel. It will be produced in a symbolic 1,950 pieces over a two-year period.

Also in the Special Editions Collection is the exceptional Luminor Blackseal watch that links past, present and future.

The watch features a brushed steel cover that is engraved with two Italian frogmen in action on their human torpedo—an image that also appears on the dial of the watch. The engraving is executed entirely by hand by Panerai’s skilled craftsmen.

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