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Panerai, the story of four generation !

1860 : The brand foundation, Giovanni Panerai


Panerai (pronounced Panéraï) it is a great story of several generation. The founder of the brand, Giovanni Panerai, was from Firenze, Italy. At 25 years old, he established himself as watchmaker at the Ponte Alle Grazie while creating the company G.Panerai & C. and then moved to a new place which was the Palais de l'Archevêché, 3 place San Giovanni.

1897: The succession, Léon Francesco


Giovanni Panerai died in 1897, his son Leon Francesco Panerai, born in 1851 was his successor, he created the company Orologeria Svizzera (Swiss watchmaking).
Indeed, Leon Francesco specialized in Swiss watches distribution, he was also the main supplier of watchmaking equipment, spare parts and watch components in Italy.
His workshop became the first watchmaking school of Firenze while servicing and conditioning watches from Switzerland.
Orologeria Svizzera became the first official distributor of Rolex, Longines, Angelus, Vacheron & Constantin, Movado, Patek Philippe and Buren.

Guido, the Grand son


Among his four children his son Guido decided to join Carlo Ronconi as associate, a Naval officer, for the Radiomir eye lenses.
This new patent allows to Panerai to achieve a lot of orders of eye lenses to any kind of weapons dedicated to the Italian army.
In 1917 Guido Panerai became the main and the unique shareholder of the company. Then he decided to use the Radiomir process to produce the compasses, altimeters, tachometers and several dials for the Italian navy.
Leon Francesco Panerai died in 1918, his son Guido (1873-1934), unique shareholder, developed the business of his grand father, Giovanni the founder of the Panerai company.

Giuseppe : The fourth generation


Guido worked with is son Giuseppe Panerai while launching a new chronograph model : The Mare Nostrum.
In1935 the Italian Navy asked to Panerai to manufacture waterproof watches and readable in the water.
1938: Panerai lauched its first diving watch equipped with a movement, a pusher and a back case from the Rolex brand.
The next models are step by step improved while having a better visibility, a better claps and the Radium which is radioactive is replaced by the Luminor which is less dangerous for the health.
Then the company entered a flat period till 1980 when Maria Teresa Abetti Panerai wife of Giuseppe decided to take over the business. She organized the launch of a new prototype model in Titan that able to reach the 100 ATM then in 1993 she re launched a Luminor model and the chronograph Mare Nostrum in limited edition.
 

The brand today

The Vendome luxury Group that became the Richemont Group, bought Officine Panerai in 1997.
In the strategy implementation to strengthen the watchmaking luxury brand in the Richemont Group, Panerai decided to be located at Neuchâtel, Switzerland, in 2002 during the official launch of the Luminor automatic model in 44 mm.