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  1. 1860 - the foundation of Panerai workshop Giovanni Panerai founded a watch shop in Florence: this watch shop was not only a shop, it also was a factory, moreover, it was the first watchmaking school in the city. The history of Panerai just began. This watch shop changed its name to Orologeria Svizzera(Swiss watch shop) in the early 20th century, and then it was moved to Palazzo Arcivescovile of Piazza San Giovanni, and there is still the Florence headquarters of Panerai so far. Giovanni Panerai 1916 - Panerai registered patent for Radiomir At that moment, Panerai had become a supplier for Italian Royal Navy and provided high-precision timing devices to them. According to the requirement of the military, Panerai produced Radiomir, and it was a luminescent material that was based on radium and it served as luminous coating of instruments and dial. Relevant document of the name "Radiomir" can be found in the appendix of patent file filled in France on 23 March 1916. This luminescent material which was based on radium became an indispensable material in the process of Panreai's production immediately for its high visibility and excellent adhesivity in the water. The patent of Radiomir became the first patented technology researched and developed by Panerai, and Panerai's long innovative history started from here. Brevet'd Invention 1936 - the first Radiomir prototype On the eve of World War II, Panerai developed the first Radiomir prototype and provided it to frogman army of Italian Royal Navy First Submarine Group Command. Many characteristics of this watch are remained up to now: large stainless steel pillow-shaped case(diameter of 47mm), luminescent digital and hour markers, wire lugs smoothly extending from the case, hand-wound mechanical movement, wide extended waterproof strap that could be worn on the outside of diving suit. According to the record of naval historical archives, Panerai produced only 10 prototypes in 1936. The first Radiomir 1938 - Radiomir, a watch with continuous evolution Radiomir that inherited the characteristics of prototype of 1936 was put into mass production until two years later. In order to make this prototype play its function better, Panerai made several improvements and established a brand new Radiomir. The brand new Radiomir had features as follows: two-layered dial, the upper dial possessed hands and hour markers to enhance readability and luminescent properties of radium coating, wire lugs became harder and more durable, both ends were equipped with metal bars that were welded in the middle of case. The underwater visibility of dial was also strengthened, and the four cardinal points had four striking Arabic numerals and other hour markers, hand indicators and minute hand, but without small second hand. Dials 1940 - Radiomir 1940 Case The requirements of Royal Navy became stricter: wrist watch must be able to withstand the prolonged test of worst condition underwater. Thus, it must have strong durability. In order to meet the requirements, lugs must be reinforced and integrally molded with case to improve waterproofness. Nowadays, some Radiomir 1940 were equipped with pillow-shaped case with more obvious edges on the sides, and the average size of individual parts were modified and cylindrical(but not conical) winding crown. Radiomir 1940 Special Edition that was released at SIHH 2012 drew inspiration from these features. Radiomir 1940 1943 - Mare Nostrum Panerai launched prototype that specially was designed for the orderly Naval civilian officer: Mare Nostrum two-counter chronograph. It is said that it was only produced two or three at that time, so now people just can see some photos of them, and only one of them was found in 2005. Penarai started researching and developing this watch preliminary in the 1940s. Semilunar steel crown protective device could prevent seawater from entering the case and also protect the crown seal from damage for the stress of winding. Mare Nostrum 1949 - Radiomir was replaced by Luminor Luminor could be self-luminous, and it replaced original radium coating. Tritium (isotope of hydrogen) based compound was registered patent on 11 January 1949, and its registered trademark was Luminor. Having inspired by this new patent, after the launch of Radiomir, Panerai developed and launched its another classic watch - Luminor. Luminor registered patent 1950 - Luminor 1950 Case The evolution from Radiomir to Luminor was finished. After the finish of World War II, Panerai continued its technical research that was started at the beginning of the war and perfected the development of Luminor. The new Luminor was unique for its crown-protecting bridge, and wire lugs were improved and integrally molded with case, and its case inherited pillow shaped case and flat, wide bezel of Radiomir 1940. Now Luminor 1950 is equipped with this case. Luminor 1950 1956 - Panerai developed Egiziano Panerai developed a Radiomir named Egiziano for Egyptian Navy. This watch had large size(case diameter of 60mm), it was firm and durable, it possessed excellent waterproofness, in the meanwhile, it was equipped with marked bezel to calculate diving time. The unique design of crown-protecting bridge that earliest appeared in Panerai prototype as well as was recorded in Italian naval archives in the same year became classic style of Luminor and symbolic feature of Panerai. Structure Chart of Crown-Protecting Bridge 1972 - the year of transition for Panerai Guido's son, Giuseppe Panerai died. Engineer Dino Zei took over the family business of Panerai, and renamed company's name from G.Panerai & Figlio to Officine Panerai S.r.L., and this name had appeared in the initial several watches. In the meantime, Panerai was still secret supplier of Italian navy. Panerai provided and developed relevant equipment for Italian navy for a long time, including compass with excellent water resistance, depth gauge that was worn on the wrist and pressure compensation underwater torches, etc, and this also opened a new historical chapter for Panerai. Compass watches 1993 - the first Panerai limited series Panerai launched three limited editions to public: Luminor, Luminor Marina and Mare Nostrum. The inspiration of them were derived from military watch that was produced in World War II, and many collectors and panerai fans eagerly bought these three watches. This series was formally represented in September 1993 on the Italian Navy cruiser "Durand De La Penne", and Duke Amedeo D'Aosta attended the ceremony. Maiale 1997 - Panerai played an important part in the high-class watchmaking market The Richemont group(then Vendôme Group) acquired Panerai and then opened distribution network in Italy. In the next few years, Panerai was budding in international high-end watch market. This series includes two kinds of watches: Luminor and three Luminor Marina. Mare Nostrum was previously presented in 1993, and it was re-launched in a new version with a narrower bezel, a screw-down case back and motion-work outside the hour circle. Luminor Marina 2001 - Panerai returned to the origins Panerai's boutique in Florence Piazza San Giovanni was reopened after meticulous renovation and decoration. This boutique is a meeting place for Panerai fans and collectors. In addition to providing general watch series, it also has collected rare special edition watches. Panerai's boutique 2002 - Panerai established watch factory in NEUCHÂTEL of Switzerland It was a milestone year for Panerai. Panerai integrated precise Swiss watchmaking technology and unique design with exquisite craftsmanship. Furthermore, with continuous technical research and development, Panerai constantly put new technology and a variety of functions into the product design. Panerai was also brave in opening up the Asian market, and it opened its first Asian specialty store in the prestigious Landmark Prince's Building in Hong Kong. Panerai's factory in NEUCHÂTEL 2005 - the first home-made movement of Panerai Panerai's first home-made movement P.2002 was launched in the international markets: this hand-wound movement possesses functions of dual timezone and power reserve to 8 days, and it was similar to Angelus movement of the 1940s. This movement was named after the year that Panerai set up its factory to pay homage to this wrist watch brand of Florence. P.2002 2007 - Panerai launched brand new home-made movements Panerai launched three brand-new in-house movements that were designed and developed by themselves: P.2003, P.2004 and innovative P.2005. P.2005 was installed specially-made and graceful tourbillon of Panerai, which was integrated with its precise and complicated watchmaking traditions perfectly as well as innovated its device. In fact, the frame of balance wheel and escapement that rotates around the axis are not parallel to balance wheel axis, but instead they are perpendicular to it. Unlike traditional tourbillon, Panerai tourbillon structure completes a rotation per 30 seconds, and tradition tourbillon structure completes a rotation per minute. P.2005 2008 - P.9000 and P.2006 Panerai launched P.9000 and P.2006 self-made movement. Both of these two movements were developed and produced by Panerai. Luminor 1950 and Radiomir were equipped with P.9000 movement with power reserve to 72 hours, and P.2006 was modified from P.2004 single push piece chronograph movement, and it was added function of split-seconds which was controlled by the second push piece at 10 o'clock position. P.2006 2009 - the infinite passion for the ocean In order to express its love for the sea, Panerai planned to rebuild Eilean, the 1936 Bermudian ketch that was built by the legendary Fife shipyard. Panerai spent 3 years in repairing Eilean. With the help of consummate skill of Francesco Del Carlo shipyard of Viareggio, Eilean regained its former glory. After the completion of more than 40000 hours of restoration, Eilean's launching ceremony was held at the Sailing Section of the Italian Navy in La Spezia on 22 October. The re-edition of Egiziano represents the love of Panerai for this watch. Egiziano was specially produced for the Egyptian Navy in 1956. Eilean 2010 - to pay tribute to Galileo In order to pay homage to the first great invention of Galileo 400 years ago, Panerai established three watches to commemorate this Tuscan genius: L'Astronomo, Lo Scienziato and the Jupiterium. Panerai's Jupiterium prototype is a planetary watch, according to the principle of gravity, its calendar shows the relationship between the sun, the moon, the Saturn, and the other Galilean moons, especially the four main satellites, now known as Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. Thanks to the invention of the telescope, Galileo found the Galileo satellite in 1610. Panerai launched its P.999 home-made movement and first Composite watch at SIHH. Luminor Panerai 2011 - Panerai launched bronze watch "Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic Bronzo" is a limited edition launched by Panerai, and Panerai applied retro element to it for the first time, especially marine element which has a profound origin with Panerai. P.3000 home-made movement that launched by Panerai in 2011 is the further representation of Panerai watchmaking technology. Panerai set up its thirtieth specialty store in Bal Harbour, Florida. Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic Bronzo 2012 - Radiomir 1940 Case Panerai relaunched its unique and classical case, and two special edition Radiomir 1940 watches. Unlike the prototype watches and watches produced in the late 1930s, some Radiomir watches produced in the 1940s possessed lugs which did not consist of traditional welded steel wire, but they were integrally molded with the case and therefore they were more solid and had better waterproof. The new Radiomir 1940 reused classical dial with diameter of 47mm, and its inspiration was derived from other features of historical watches: dial with Plexiglas® protection, rounded bezel, and the cylindrical crown. The Plexiglas trademark is not owned by Panerai. Radiomir Panerai 2013 - three brand new home-made movements symbolized sustainable development of Panerai Panerai launched three brand new home-made movements: Panerai's first P.9100 automatic winding movement with chronograph flyback function, the sophisticated P.9100/R movement with regatta countdown function, and P.5000 hand-wound movement with power reserve to 8 days. The brand new series also presented charming Radiomir1940 case and new model of Submersible. At SIHH, Panerai also presented the Pocket Watch Tourbillon GMT Ceramica, a remarkable pocket watch in ceramic. P.9100 automatic winding movement 2014 - the opening of brand new Panerai watch factory Panerai opened its brand new watch factory on the hill of Pierre-à-Bot in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. This new factory gathers all highly specialized skills that advanced watchmaking related to in one place, and it integrates excellent Italian design with Swiss traditional manufacturing technology. Since 2002, Panerai opened its first factory, and it successful developed a full range of in-house movements with watch functions at the highest levels: from the GMT to a complete range of Chronographs, from the extended Power Reserve to the unmistakable Panerai Tourbillon. In 2014, Panerai launched P.4000 movement. The characteristic of this home-made automatic winding movement is its eccentric rotor, it integrates exquisite design with highly sophisticated watchmaking technology perfectly. New factory on the hill of Pierre-à-Bot
  2. In 1936, four years before World War II, the war atmosphere was very fierce in Eurasia, arms race between Axis and Allies was fierce extraordinarily. As the Axis powers of Italy, Panerai faced a major test this year, If failed to get this off, the position of defense suppliers could be described as precarious seat. Since 1990, Panerai has supplied Italian Navy with optical and diving precision instruments, such as depth gauge, underwater compass, adjustable torpedo timing device, etc. But underwater military watch order was a big challenge for Panerai at that time. Although Panerai had the experience of watch repair and parts assembling, but to producing a strict military watch was difficult for Panerai regardless of movement, case, optical and structural strength. In response to war requirement, the Navy divers needed a very accurate, waterproof and big luminosity timer. 3646 California Dial Therefore, when the first special watch was sent to the Italian Navy submarine force headquarters in 1936, the history of Panerai was completely rewritten in the latter decades. This ancestor Panerai was known as the 3646 California Dial, it needed to deconstruct deeply, we must first understand its manufacturer, the Swiss senior watch making brand Rolex, when Panerai took over this task, it known that to complete the mission it must have a strong foreign aid. While the neutral state Switzerland was a required place, because Axis and Allies confronted each other and blocked the military resources of opponent, Panerai could only choose a neutral partner, Swiss happened to be the leader of watchmaking, it was a godsend. Rolex was already an experienced watchmaking giant in the 30s, it has produced the first Oyster watch across the English Channel. Around 1935, this special case with two-section fonts has been used in 31mm Rolex watch series. It was known as the California Dial. The upper with Rome, the latter with Arabic numerals. Took notice to the similarity of hours and minutes hand with 3646, 6152 series of Panerai. Rolex 31mm California Dial The design of Rolex dial, the crown and the convex glass in the same period. Rolex in 1935 The design patent of California Dial for Rolex in the early 40s. Rolex in the 40s The sister brand Tudor still produced California Dial until modern times. Rolex Tudor Came back to the question, when Rolex received the task which Panerai entrusted, it of course adopted the newest case design in the factory. Rolex The Italian Navy needed a large dial, so the diver could easily read, Rolex selected the 47mm diameter design of pocket watches. Rolex 47mm Dark depths needed a strong luminescence, Panerai successfully used phosphorescence of zinc sulfide and the mixture of radiumbromide and thorium to make the Radiomir strong glowing material in 1910, from the first 3646 California Dial, Radiomir has been continued until the late forties, and latter, the low-level radioactive and high-brightness Luminor that invented by Panerai replaced it. Rolex 47mm Rolex used blue steel as the hand material, now, Cartier, Frank Muller and other advanced watch brands still used blue steel. Rolex Blue Steel Hand This movement design of pocket watch naturally was used for the 47mm 3646 California Dial. Movement of 47mm 3646 California Dial The 17 jeweled 35mm large movement. Rolex 3646 Movement The case back was engraved with the Panerai Military ID 3646. Rolex 3646 Case Back Panerai 3646 California Dial passed through the Italian Navy stringent tests, it officially became a military watch in 1938, the second 3646 appeared in 1938, still with the 47mm dial, and the markers were the big font of 3, 6, 9, 12 (that is the current SE pam21 & 232 Panerai design) Panerai 3646 Cushion-Shaped This 47mm large watch used the dense welded design, the strap was processed by oil immersion, it was tensile and waterproof. Because it was the first military prototype, the production was small, if you can find a good one in the modern market, it would cost more than a million. Panerai 3646 Panerai re-edicted this antique design pam 249 in 2006, to commemorate this historic moment in 1936, pam 249 was with a limited production of 1936 pieces and 99 pieces of Platinum pam 262.
  3. November in 1941 was the crucial moment for European wars during the Word Wide War II, British Mediterranean Fleet was in Alexandria and they were under great pressure, because there were only two main fleets that could be dominated, they were H.M.S Valiant and H.M.S. Queen Elizabeth. Italian military that was hostile axis power of British certainly realized this weekness of British, if Italian military destroyed these two fleets, fleets of axis powers could get in Lybia which could provide a great help for African War. Actually, Italian Navy was put at a disadvantage in the war for its lack of aircraft carrier and sophisticated radar system. However, they developed Human Torpedo device to turn the tide of naval battle deliberately, and it was designed by legendary naval engineering lieutenant Teseo Tesei and nicknamed Il Maiale (The Pig or Hog or Blackseal), and it was also called SLC (Siluri a Lenta Corsa in Italian,it means Slow Run Torpedo). Italian specially set up a commando unit called X Flottiglia Mas to be responsible for this mission, and the trained commando was called Gamma Group. SLC that Gamma Group took: The Pig Human Torpedo invented by Italian Navy is not the true torpedo, and it also not pushed by manpower. Actually, Maiale is an underwater boat propelled by storage battery, and it can carry two diving soldiers(a driver and a navigator), and the front of boat was filled with high explosives. After diving soldiers drove the Maiale to the bottom of ill-defended target ship stealthily and fixed explosives to the keel, diver would set the explosive time, and then leave as soon as possible. Although allied forces had tried their best to keep watching and had deployed a lot of risky obstacles, Italian Navy still sank many allied warships with explosives during the World Wide War II by their well-trained naval commandos and excellent diving equipment-Maiale, and they indeed made excellent military exploits. Equipment of Gamma Group diver In December 1941, diving commando that was led by Junio Valerio Borghese consisted of 6 people, including jaygee Luigi Durand De La Penne and Bianchi, Martellotta, Marino, Marceglia and Schergat. After underwent lots of hardships and overcame numeral difficulties, they arrived Alexandria and deployed three Maiales. Luigi Durand De La Penne worked together with Bianchi, and their target was Valiant; Marceglia worked together with Schergat to attack Queen Elizabeth; Martellotta and Marino were responsible to attack a 16000 tonner tanker Sagona. According to the original plan, after completed the deployment of explosives and set the time, they should dive to leave the scene and gather in a safe place. Nevertheless, the British Navy deployed numeral sentries and checkpoints in military harbor of Alexandria, and they also arranged a great deal of mental fences and power grids. Therefore, leaving the scene safely was more difficult than sneaking into harbor to complete the mission for them. Luigi Durand de La Penne When Luigi Durand de La Penne and Bianchi came through obstacles and reached the bottom of Valiant eventually, their torpedo sank to the bottom of the ocean suddenly and Bianchi lost. Durand de La Penne struggled to finish the disassembly of explosives that were placed on the front of torpedo, and then he dragged the explosives up and fixed them to the bottom of Valiant, as well as set the explosive time. After completing all of that, Durand de La Penne was exhausted. He rose to the surface and found that his comrade Bianchi fainted on the sea. When he did his utmost to rescue his comrade and swam to the shore, they were found and captured by the British Navy. They were interrogated and forced to extort a confession by the British Navy of Valiant, but they told nothing except their names and ranks uncompromisingly. The British general of Valiant Cunningham certainly realized the risk, he immediately ordered marines to search the whole ship, as well as detained Durand de La Penne and Bianchi under the waterline of Valiant to frighten them so that they would tell the truth. Durand de La Penne told Bianchi (of course he said in Italian): "we are going to sacrifice ourselves for country, but we can tell ourselves that the mission has been completed, because I have deployed the explosives and set the explosive tome of three hours as planned". HMS Valiant had been destroyed by Luigi Durand de la Penne Soon after, in the distance there was a sound of tremendous explosion, Marceglia and Schergat destroyed Sagona and attacked Jervis greatly at the same time. Durand de La Penne looked at his watch and he knew that the explosives that he deployed was going to explode ten minutes later. He asked to talk with captain of Valiant Charles Morgan, and said to him: "captain, I recommend that you should immediately evacuate your crew to save their lives. Valiant is going to explode within few minutes". Morgan interrogated him where he placed the explosives in, Durand de La Penne still said nothing. At the moment when the British Navy abandoned Valiant and evacuated marines, Durand de La Penne was imprisoned to cage again. Soon afterwards, Valiant was destroyed with a sound of tremendous explosion. Miraculously, Durand de La Penne escaped, it was said that because the British Navy appreciated him so they did not put his cage well locked. When the British Navy were in the queue and looked at him walking over under arrestment, they heard the third loud sound of tremendous explosion from H.M.S Queen Elizebath. Although the missions were completed perfectly, all of the Italian diving commandos were captured by the British Navy eventually. Diver of Gamma worn heavy clothing and equipment under the sea In 1945, the British Navy awarded the gold medal to Durand de La Penne and Bianchi, and captain of Valiant, the deputy commander of British Mediterranean Fleet Charles Morgan awarded the decoration for this respectable enemy who was known as "The deliverer of the the Reverend greatest blow that a single man has ever inflicted on a fleet". British Prime Minister Winston Churchill also praised this respectable enemy as "an extraordinary example of courage and geniality". Durand de La Penne died in 1992, and in honor of him, the newest destroyer of Italian Navy was especially named after his name(it is the famous Durand de La Penne guided - missile destroyer). The present newest destroyer of Italian Navy was named after the name of Luigi Durand de la Penne Have you ever thought about that how did Durand de La Penne set the explosive time of torpedo according to the correct time with wearing rubber diving suit and carrying oxygen cylinder under the sea? Moreover, he asked the British Navy to evacuate at the precise moment, so that he offered opportunity to his enemy to keep crew's lives humanely as well as finished the impossible mission assigned by his own military to sink British warship. Their compasses, illuminators and aiming devices were produced by Officine Panerai founded by Guido Panerai in Florence in 1860. Moreover, they also worn Panerai Radiomir distributed by Italian Navy. To some extent, Panerai Radiomir really played an important role in the mission. Radiomir 1938 Luigi Durand De La Penne and his watch In 1860, Guido Panerai founded Officine Panerai in Florence of Italy. In the assistance of his son Guisseppe and daughter Maria, Officine Panerai manufactured and provided Italian Navy with sophisticated instruments and compass device. In his son's suggestion, Guido set up a small watch shop in Florence called l'Ologeria Svizzera, and this watch shop is still in business, in the meanwhile, it is the earliest dealer acquired entitlements from Rolex and Patek Philippe officially, and it sold the first watch to Italian Navy in 1867. In 1935, Italian military tested many folk watches, and they were not satisfied with the results, and then they decided to cooperate with Officina Panerai that had excellent reputation in designing and producing marine instruments, and they started a program about designing an extreme confidential specialized watch. The highly professional manufacturing standard of Officine Panerai has inseparable relation with the marine environment. High-quality and high-performance products that exceeded military standards included luminescent calculator which was used for launching torpedo, aiming device, depth measurement, compass, and land mine or timer fuse of underwater detonator. Because of the accumulation of technologies in these fields, Panerai could create an extraordinary professional diver's watch. Radiomir 1938 In 1936, Officina Panerai sent the first Panerai Radiomir to military for testing, and military were very satisfied with the result. However, the first batch of Panerai watches were delivered to Italian Navy officially until 1938, these watches were equipped with cushion-shaped case with diameter of 47 mm, and there were only digits on the dial. It is generally believed that commando divers of Italian Navy like Durand De La Penne worn this Panerai watch. Rolex watch company in Geneva exclusively provided the movements and cases of these watches on the basis of unique technical specifications of Officina Panerai contract, and Rolex was not allowed to provide other manufacturers with them. As an excellent military watch, Panerai Radiomir has solid and durable structure, extraordinary waterproof and the best readability which could work normally in all harsh conditions. The midsection of Panerai Radiomir's cushion-shaped case was welded with streamlined orbicular lugs, furthermore, it was equipped with screwed case back and hand-wound movement, its movement is 16 lignes(it is slightly larger than 36 mm) which is typical diameter of pocket watch. Its movement, case back and crown were carved with the logo of Rolex, which symbolized that Radiomir was cooperatively produced by Panerai and Rolex. As an expert of marine instruments, Panerai was also professional in other designs. Panerai selected high transparent Perspex made from innovative materials at that time as its crystal which could enhance the readability of Radiomir perfectly along with the luminescent Arabic and Roman digital hour markers. It is a matter of course that this watch was equipped with waterproof leather strap which was long enough to be worn on the diving suit of commando directly. Radiomir Ref.3646 Panerai Radiomir produced by Officina Panerai had great impact and significance on Italian Navy and watch industry: in the military, divers of Italian Navy took advantage of this watch and worked with German forces to attempt to turn the tide and defeat the allied forces. In the development of wristwatches, Panerai Radiomir become the first batch of diver's watch in watch industry which originally just had waterproof watches at that time. Later, Officine Panerai constantly improved and enhanced its design in small amount of production. The central part of case and lugs were improved greatly, the more important development was that the design of dial and winding crown were bettered and enhanced. Radiomir Panerai which was delivered in 1939 was restyled. Its lugs were enhanced and they were molded integrally with case. Otherwise, the test report of Panerai's prototype watch showed that: at the bottom of the sea where is almost no light, it is difficult for people to know the time. Accordingly, the new Radiomir selected the Sandwich Construction Dial, that was a sublayer which was carved with digits and hour markers flute as well as was filled with highly luminescent radioactive material called Radiomir invented by experts of Panerai(it contains Mesothorium, Radium Bromide and Zinc Sulphide) was installed beneath the black dial with hour markers and 3-6-9-12 Arabic numerals, and the name of Radiomir was derived from it. Luminor Ref.6251/1 Officine Panerai sought the advancement of watchmaking technology and industrial design continuously, and it launched Luminor(Ref. 6152 and Ref. 6152/1) in 1943. Luminor 6152/1 is the first one which possesses all the classical elements of Panerai Luminor in our present impression, such as unique waterproof crown level, large crystal, black luminous dial, Arabic numerals 3-6-9-12 hour markers and sub-dial at 9 o'clock position. Except the crown lever and protector which became the patent and classical symbol of Panerai later, its luminous coating Radiomir was replaced by Luminor(Patent of Panerai) which was made of Tritium, and the name of Panerai Luminor was derived from it. Luminor enjoys the same status as Radiomir, they are two pillars of Panerai. The size of Luminor 6152/1 is 47 mm(it is 57 mm with the crown), and stainless steel is equipped with Rolex or Angelus 240 hand-wound movement, it has power reserve to 8 days which could reduce frequency of loosening the crown for winding and further ensure its long-playing and reliable waterproof. Radiomir PAM021 Even though it was in the lead in waterproof and technological design for almost 60 years, Panerai was only appreciated and possessed by Italian Navy members and a small number of watch collectors all the way. Until 1993, Officine Panerai launched Luminor with limited quantities of one thousand and Mare Nostrum to the public for the first time and offered watch fans opportunities to view their elegant appearance, and soon Panerai became popular all over the world. Until 1997, Radiomir that inherited the modeling of watch in 1938 launched reissue version Radiomir PAM021 with 47 mm platinum case, it was almost perfect. This watch was equipped with 16 lignes Rolex movement and screwed crown which were as the same in those years, and it was the watch that was reported previously that it was bought at Antiquorum auction with 50,000 dollars by a panelist called Anthony Tsai in 2004. Radiomir Black Seal From 1999 to 2003, Panerai had launched a number of Radiomir Limited Editions with limited quantities of 5 to 160, including Radiomir Zerograph, Radiomir Independent, Radiomir Seconds Counter and Radiomir Tourbillon, and it also launched Radiomir PAM062, Radiomir GMT/Alarm PAM098 and Radiomir Automatic PAM103 in 2000. More than half of these watches are chronograph, and their cases are the small style of 40 to 42 mm. After Panerai launched well-received Luminor Marina 1950 memorial edition in the year before last, and it finally launched Radiomir Black Seal 45 mm and Radiomir 8 Days as is expected this year. These watches posses retro features, such as cushion-shaped case, perfectly round bezel, Panerai patented wire lugs, classical Sandwich Construction Dial and really large trapezoidal buckle. All these classical elements which are most similar to the original Radiomir of 1938 praise its incomparable brilliant history as well as provide fans of Panerai with the best opportunity to appreciate Durand De La Penne's heroic spirit and humanitarian demeanor at that time once again. Radiomir 8 Days
  4. The brief origin of Radiomir and Luminor: In 1915, Panerai was supplied "RADIOMIR RONCONI" for military. The "RADIOMIR", a kind of light-emitting material based on Radium, was used for the luminous coating of the instruments and watch dials. Because of its high radioactivity, the Radiomir coating was gradually replaced by self-luminous material "Luminor" during the WWII. In 1916, Panerai registered patent for "Radiomir". In 1936, the first Radiomir prototype watch was published. In 1949, the Radiomir was replaced by Luminor, which was registered patent in January 11, 1949 and the registered trademark is just "LUMINOR". In 1950, Panerai finished the watchcase design of LUMINOR, and that watchcase is used in contemporary LUMINOR 1950. The biggest difference between Radiomir and Luminor is that Radiomir is equipped with conical screw-down winding crown and screw back while the Luminor is complimented by the crown bridge(registered trademark), but they are both using the distinguished cushion shape watchcase which ensured a particularly high degree of water-resitance.
  5. Today we are going to talk about one iconic symbol of Panerai - the semi-circular Crown Bridge. Rolex was producing watches for Panerai from the 1930s to 50s, including 618 movement and case. The feature of vintage Pamerai is having Rolex waterproof Oyster crown and this design was still in use until 1955. The following picture is 47mm Panerai Radiomir 6152-1 that was released in 1955, it uses a standard 8mm screw-in Rolex Oyster crown. The working principle of this crown is you must counterclockwise rotate the crown till it is completely released. And then you can pull it out to wind or adjusting hours and minutes. Finally, you need to press and twist it back for locking. This simplest and practical design is always being used on Rolex watch. Till 1955, Panerai came up with a new idea. The sealed waterproof device: Crown Bridge. You can see this device in the 1955 Panerai Radiomir. But this is un unusual. It's the first watch of Panerai that is equipped with crown bridge in some sense, but there was only the name of "Radiomir" on the applying patent files rather than "Luminor". So the 6152-1 is only the prototype of the first watch with the crown bridge. It is the secret of Panerai. But where does the crown bridge come from? Who designed it? Why is designed into this shape? Besides, it is important that Rolex stopped producing watches for Panerai from 1956, which makes you suspect whether it is the reason why Panerai apply the patent of crown bridge. The photo below is the crown bridge device on which Panerai applied for patent on November 26, 1959. This picture shows the function of crown bridge. The crown bridge is a semicircular bridge with a removable protection lever. When the lever is closed, it will press the crown to make watch sealed and waterproofing. The #2954665 of the U.S Patent Office application is applied by Maria Panerai and Guiseppe Panerai. At the same time, they also applied for a patent on this device in Italy and claimed that they are the inventors of this patent. Panerai applied the patent on Nov. 30, 1955. According to the US patent law at that time, if you applied for a patent on a device, you must submit the patent application in the US within a year. But we can see that the time of American application submission is six days before the deadline. A part of the application: "The present invention relates to a tight seal device for the control knob of instruments, particularly for the setting and winding knob of watches. It is known that it is a problem to provide a tight seal for the case of an instrument which must be able to work when immersed in a fluid medium, the leakage of which medium into the said case would impair the mechanisms therein contained. A typical but not limitative example is that of an instrument which is to be used under water." What is the meaning of this application? Why is mentioned this? If I understand correctly, Panerai was claiming that their crown bridge can be opened to winding but operate normally even in the underwater. There is another funny story. All the watches of Panerai from 1936 to 1956 were originally manufactured by Rolex, so basically, the Radiomir is the first dive watch of Panerai. Rolex published the Submariner diving watch officially in 1954 and Panerai applied for a patent on their crown bridge in Italy in the same year. Maybe Rolex told Panerai that they will no longer continue to make watches for Panerai in 1953 or 1954. But there is a question, why only produced the watch with crown bridge for a year or two years and then suddenly stoped after designed the crown and applied for a patent on this device. Maybe the function of Rolex Submairner has already exceeded Panerai watch at that time. Anyway, this design of crown bridge is always the most prominent symbol of Panerai.
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