Panerai watches are an Italian, luxury watch brand founded by Giovanni Panerai. The company manufactures watches in Neuchatel, Switzerland, and is headquartered in Florence, Italy. Read on to learn three surprising facts about the Panerai watch brand you would never have guessed.
1.) The Brand’s History Intertwines with Rolex’s And Spans Decades
Rolex produced all Panerai watches from 1936 to 1956, meaning most vintage Panerai brand watches were actually Rolexes. In addition, the early Panerais were the first diving and tool watches ever produced. What this means is 18 years before the advent of the Rolex Submariner in 1953, a diving watch, made by Rolex was created under the brand name Panerai. These early Panerai watches are now incredibly valuable due to their rarity. There were likely less than 1,000 watches originally produced. This is because they were made by Rolex for the Italian Royal Navy, not for the general public.
All the original Panerai watches, produced by Rolex from the 1930s to the 1950s, were sized at 47mm. Though today this size seems normal, at the time, it was considered enormous. One has to consider the fact that human beings, in general, have grown in scale considerably since that time. The Panerai brand has transcended throughout time perhaps better than any other luxury watch brand. The brand of today was resurrected after being dormant since the mid-1950s. They found new life in Italy in 1993. The Vendome Group purchased the newly resurrected Panerai watch brand in 1996 and began producing Panerai brand watches. Any watches purchased between 1996-1993 are considered “Pre-Vendome.”
These “Pre-Vendome” watches were masculine in design. They all came with a bottle opener buckle, which mirrored how the previous watches, made by Rolex, came. After 1997, the Vendome group made changes to the previous case designs in which the watches came. They also added various fascinating options to the watches like chronographs. Today, the Richmond Ground, that owns and controls the Vendome Luxury Group, is in control of the Panerai brand.
2.) Sylvester Stallone Was a Big Fan And Inspired a Limited Edition
Sylvester Stallone, Academy Award-winning actor and all around tough guy had traditionally stuck to the Rolex brand. However, in 1995, while shooting the movie “Daylight” in Florence, Italy, he by chance made his way into a Panerai boutique. There he discovered the recently resurrected luxury brand and it was love at first sight. His affinity for the brand led to him work with Panerai to create a special edition of Panerai just for Stallone. Stallone ended up gifting these watches specifically made for him to various friends, including Arnold Schwarzenegger. All the Panerai watches that were created for Stallone featured the “Slytech” moniker. Stallone also proudly wore a Panerai watch in the movie “Daylight.”
3.) There Are Ferrari Brand Panerai Watches
Ferrari, an Italian owned company, has produced luxury sports cars since 1947. However, the roots of the company go all the way back to 1929, when Enzo Ferrari created the Scuderia Ferrari racing team. The company’s history in racing explains the Ferrari’s commitment to speed and excellence in engineering. It’s no wonder this car brand and the Panerai watch brand partnered. After all, the Panerai could be considered a Ferrari in the luxury watch world and both brands are committed to producing only the best in luxurious excellence. In 2005, these two companies officially entered into an agreement to distribute and manufacture Panerai watches with the Ferrari trademark under the slogan “Ferrari engineered by Panerai.” This five-year partnership produced two product lines, the “Scuderia” and “Granturismo.” The collection included 11 models that were priced from $5,000 to $30,000.
As you learned from the three points listed above, Panerai is one of the most storied and interesting luxury watch brands on the market today. Finding a vintage Panerai is an especially neat find due to the fact that there were limited quantities produced. It is truly a treasure hunt. Today’s Panerai watches feature a variety of options. This combined with their rich heritage and commitment to engineering excellence makes them an ideal purchase and still a valuable find. Visit DavidSW to learn more about this brand and see the available models.