Officine Panerai was established by the Italian Giovanni Panerai in Florence. Painerai’s production is in Switzerland. Since 1997 the luxury watchmaking business is part of the Richemont Group. The naming of the business – Officine Panerai – was only distinguished and determined by Panerai’s great-grandson Guido Panerai. Several patents in the areas of watchmaking and optics followed. In a collaboration with Rolex, Panerai developed diving watches for the Italian navy, which met all requirements for combat divers.
This collaboration was kept confidential; however, it is assumed that about 2000 watches have been produced. In the mid-1990s 1000 pieces of this series were produced for the open market and became a most sought-after model for collectors. Officine Panerai used the luminous substance Radiomir for their watches numbers and hands up until the 1950s. Later this substance was rated as radioactive and thus critical and was replaced by Luminor.