Giovanni Panerai is the founder of the very famous Italian luxury brand associated with the navy, diving and extreme performances. He opened his family business in 1860 and he started with a small workshop located on the Ponte alle Grazie in Florence. At that time he probably didn’t even dream that its passion would become one of the most famous watches companies in history. Even though it started as a small watchmaker, over the years it evolved to a much sought after International brand.
Officine Panerai was the name used by the company for identifying itself as a high end manufacturer of innovative and highly functional time keeping devices. The first prototype of a diver’s timepiece was constructed in 1936. These watches had a unique large case that was shaped as a cushion. Panerai wasn’t the one producing the inside movements for its watches. The brand preferred to use some of the best Rolex mechanisms for its watches. Panerai timepieces had many qualities, such as the easy to read dial, the durable and innovative components, the extreme accuracy and their outstanding water resistance. The Italian Navy was the first one that recognized the invaluable potential of Panerai watches and it decided to use these highly functional devices for equipping its frogmen. The preferred model of this elite unit was the Luminor.
With a better water resistance than the Radiomir, the Panerai Luminor had the same cushion-shaped case, the easy to read Radiomir dial. The main improvement was represented by the patented mechanism that was able to seal the watch perfectly. The locking lever that accompanied the winding crown could be pressed against the case to prevent water from going inside. In 1993 Officine Panerai presented the Luminor Marina which was especially designed for extreme diving. This timepiece is resistant to 300 meters.
The Panerai Luminor Marina was part of the company’s attempt of targeting the civilians market and it was a huge success. This splendid automatic mechanism time keeping device had a huge success which determined the brand to design numerous variations. This model is available with a 40 mm or 44 mm case diameter, with or without the date, with the 8 days function or without it. It is one of the best-selling Officine Panerai designs that feature an exclusive caliber.
The Luminor name derives from the unique luminescent material used for enhancing the readability of the dial. Panerai has patented its Luminor invention, which is a luminous tritium based substance which has been inserted into very small glass tubes that have a very increased resistance in time and under water. This technique is very useful for under water legibility and deep water diving. By applying the tiny Luminor tubes on the hour markers and hands, the Panerai Luminor Marina watches have a very easy to read dial even when diving at depths of 300 meters.
Officine Panerai is probably the only luxury watchmaker in the world that combines so beautifully the uniqueness of Italian design with the high performances of Swiss automatic movements. Out of its numerous models, the Luminor Marina distinguishes itself as a popular choice for professional divers who are constantly searching for the best diving instrument out there.