Officine Panerai dates back to 1860, when Giovanni Panerai opened his watchmaker’s shop on Ponte alle Grazie in Florence, Italy. In 1916, they filed a patent for Radiomir (a luminous radium-based powder) that was used on the dials and instruments for the Royal Italian Navy. Panerai eventually became known for creating reliable, high quality products that met the superior standards of military use. In 1938, Panerai Radiomir watches officially entered service in the Royal Italian Navy, and became the stuff of legends in many military missions.
Panerai watches experienced a renaissance back in the 90s when famous actors such as Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger started to wear them in films. This revival remains strong today, as many celebrities sport the brand. Following the success of the Radiomir, Panerai soon introduced the Luminor with much anticipated improvements, ranging from better water-resistance ratings and a new Angelus calibre movement.