Brand Directory: Panerai

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In 1936 Panerai created the first prototypes of the model now known as "Radiomir" for the frogman commandos of the First Submarine Group Command of the Royal Italian Navy. The Navy's historical archives record that just ten prototypes were produced in 1936. It was during this time that a very unusual relationship between Rolex and Panerai was forged with the production of the Ref: 2533. The design comes from a 47mm Rolex Oyster pocket watch. That was turned on its side so that the crown would be now located at 3 o’clock. In 1949 Panerai introduced a new luminescence substance called Luminor that was not only safer than radium-based Radiomir but also much more luminous. In 1955 Panerai launched the Luminor, a watch created for the Royal Italian Navy with its characteristic crown guard designed in the 1950s, invented by brother and sister Giuseppe and Maria Giuseppe Panerai. It wasn’t until 1993 that Panerai finally released the Luminor and Luminor Marina to the public. Today Officine Panerai is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Richemont S.A Group that includes Cartier, IWC, Montblanc, and Vacheron Constantin.

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