Panerai is one of the more popular brands of watches nowadays. It has a very strong following that used to be more of a cult like following, but has since progressed into a worldwide phenomenon with the help of GTGs (GetToGethers) of these Panerai watch owners. GTGs are a perfect way for like minded watch collectors to meetup and talk watches, politics, business, raffle off watch related accessories such as Panerai straps and eat/drink top notch quality food. This type of passion has fueled meetings like this worldwide and with many of their models being hard to acquire due to extremely limited quantities being produced. This may be the current view of the brand, but it was not always like this. Panerai has humble roots that began in Italy as a very small watch company.
Panerai came in to the of public and celebrity view, when one fine day Sylvester Stallone entered their shop and bought his ever famous Panerai. It was him who set the trend in motion. He wore his watch in movies like “Daylight”. The Panerai basked in the new-found limelight and launched a limited edition dedicated solely to Stallone in 1995.
Soon after, Schwarzenegger also made Panerai his favorite brand as well. With the help of these iconic celebrities the Panerai watches became extremely popular.
Panerai are very unique in design overall, but their trademarked crown guard lever is one of the major reasons why watch collectors fell in love with them even more. Panerai watches have always been large compared to other watches but recently they have launched their smallest Panerai watches yet, at a 38mm size.
Panerai used to be associated with the Italian Royal Navy. The Navy needed watches that were made specially to cater to the needs of their servicemembers. Watches that could remain underwater for several hours as well as in extreme conditions. The watches were used in the dark by the divers and they needed a watch that was brighter and thicker than the ordinary watches, as it was needed to be seen underwater easily. The thick design was made so that the water could not penetrate the watch. Till the 70’s these watches were made only for the navy and were not available to civilians. This association and partnership with the navy has made the Panerai brand of watches very popular as well as very expensive, especially for the original 1950s Panerai watches that incorporated movements from Rolex. Panerai watches were made for deck officers of the royal army. In 1993 the Panerai launched a collection of limited-edition watches in three series to the public, the series were named the Luminor, the Luminor Marina and the Mare Nostrum, and they were designed keeping their roots in mind. It became a collector’s item because of its ties with the navy. Panerai has a colorful history with these militaristic ties, making it a legend among other watches.
Soon after, in 1995, movie star Sylvester Stallone was in Italy, and by mistake he walked into one of the retail shops of Panerai watches, but to his delight he found the most unique watches that he thought were perfect for his personality. With larger dials and a robust appearance, it suited the movie star to perfection, as if it were made for him.
What makes Panerai the opposite of cheap is also the fact that other than sly, actors like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham and Terry Crew also prefer Panerai over other watch brands. The Panerai craze became so hot at one point that when Stallone directed his movie, he made all the actors wear the watch on screen. Panerai has since become a mark of prestige and wealth.
People other than movie stars prefer Panerai over other watches and are willing to pay the high price because of the way the watches are designed, the rich militaristic history and the fact that movie stars love them too! The sleek yet robust look and all the technical features make the watch an absolute favorite among watch lovers, not to mention the limited nature of most releases as well. With a history as adventurous and as colorful as a Panerai watch, the prices are bound to be higher than normal.