Panerai and the Italian Special Forces

When you think special forces, what immediately comes to mind? If you thought of the United States Special Operation Forces, then you are most likely in the same mindset of anyone else reading this. Though, there are other countries out there that have some of the most powerful armed forces units in the world. From Israel’s “Sayeret Matkal,” to Russia’s “Alpha Group,” special forces around the world work tirelessly to protect its land and citizens. In special circumstances, some of the most elite forces even go out to help other countries in need, most of the time during periods of war.

For the Italian Navy Unit (COMSUBIN), Panerai plays a pivotal role for its members, by providing this elite forces team with special professional divers watches. If you think about their daily routine and circumstances, the watches must certainly be made to be most effective under extreme situations.

Quick History of Panerai

Officine Panerai, or affectionately called Panerai to most, was founded in 1860 in the city of Firenze, and ever since has been one of the world’s most leading and innovative watches out there.  Granted they are part of the Rolex family, this very unique watch holds a natural blend of sophisticated Italian design, Swiss technological details and a passion for being underwater.

Between 1938 and 1972, Panerai was made for the Royal Italian Navy. Designed for extreme conditions, the utility designed luxury style watch truly made its mark in Italian history.

A glimpse of one of our Sold Watches, the Panerai 6152-1 for the Italian Navy

Additionaly, Panera’s limited annual production makes this watch have a value that is quite expensive – coupled with the fact that it sits under the umbrella of Rolex. Between the start of World War II and the early 90’s, Panerai was really never a brand. According to ex CEO Angelo Bonati, Panerai was “nothing.” He goes on to further explain, “It had only one watch, an enormous big watch not in line with the trends at the time.”

The rise of the Paneristi

While in Rome, in 1995 to produce the action movie “Daylight,” Sylvester Stallone became, the lead aficionado of the Panerai’s transformation. Stallone had a chance to see the Panerai Luminor Marina. In fact Panerai was the leader and trendsetter in creating watches that were over-sized, which ultimately became popular with other brands. Slytech was then created for Stallone back in 1996, and they went for roughly $20,000 each. He ended up handing them to his cast and crew.

Since Stallone’s inception of the Slytech, there have been hundreds of aficionado’s all over the world that would consider themselves a Paneristi. This devoted fan group, created twenty years ago, even had a dedicated limited-edition timepiece designed to this groups’ specific liking, back in 2010. They created it to their specifications, and thus the Luminor for Paneristi fueled this special following.

Today, the Panerai continues to create some of the world’s most beautiful watches. Down to the details, even the straps undergo a series of tests to check their supreme quality. Tension and torsion, abrasion, sweat, humidity, UV rays, water resistance test, saltwater test and finally the wear resistance test.

For more information on the Panerai we have recently sold, please click here.

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