The watch star from Florence also shines at HORANDO with the shooting stars Radiomir and Luminor. Mike Horn is an extreme sportsman, expedition leader, explorer and - Panerai wearer. Pure testosterone: the weather-hardened, storm-tested adventurer was the first to swim up the entire Amazon, run to the North Pole and circumnavigate the globe in a sailboat. His mission: to shake up humanity with the message of how beautiful, but also endangered the planet Earth is. The sponsor was Mercedes, and the timepiece was Panerai. The Italian producer of first-class luxury wristwatches is so closely connected to water, the sea and sailing that it also operates its own two-master, the 35-meter-long yacht Pangaea, the largest expedition sailing ship in the world. With Mike Horn at the helm, on the daring sailing trip from Sao Paulo to the southern tip of Africa, to Cape Town, for example. With him, his Panerai Lumidor sets sail in the waves. Mike Horn and Panerai belong together like the wind and the sea. Both highly attractive. Both inspired by a common idea.

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Switzerland embraces Italy: Panerai - A belle alliance in watchmaking history

A watch that combines Italianità with Swiss solidity and made watchmaking history - now that is very close to a legend. The Panerai Mare Nostrum or the Luminor are the flagship watches of the Florentine watch manufacturer, which introduced legendary military and diving watches to the market in 1860 and also the first watch with luminous hands in 1916. In 1860 Garibaldi formed the nation state of Italy - Giovanni Panerai opened his Orologeria Svizzera in historic Florence. The authentic place can still be visited today. The trade in Swiss watches was followed 30 years later when grandson Guido Panerai took over the company and renamed it Officine Panerai. For decades it excelled in the manufacture of precision mechanical products such as compasses, depth gauges, time fuses and calculators. From 1913, the main customer for nautical precision instruments was the Italian navy, a business relationship that was to continue like a thread throughout the company's history. Inventions and patents in the field of watches and optics paved the way for the production of the first Officine Panerai watches in 1936, but more than 60 years would pass before the first public model series were introduced. In the decades before, Panerai produced mainly for Italian Navy combat swimmers and officers. This explains the choice of the large dial, on which all features could be read optimally even under water. The invention of the luminous substance "Radiomir" (containing radium) led to the marine-grade diver's wristwatch of the same name, which was initially rigidly limited and produced under the strictest secrecy. Panerai added a rotating bezel to a further development of the legendary Radiomir and supplied it to the Egyptian Navy in the 1950s. In 1980, this was topped with the development of a titanium-cased diver's watch water-resistant to a depth of 1,000 meters.

Panerai goes civilian

Finally, in the 1990s, the watchmaker entered the development of watches and diving chronographs aimed at private customers with the presentation of the "Luminor Base", "Luminor Marina" and "Mare Nostrum" model series. Between 1938 and 1993, Panerei still incorporated Rolex movements into its models. After the takeover by the Richemont Group in 1997 and driven by the Panerai enthusiasm of its CEO Franco Cologni, Panerei's own movements were now ticking in model series that were modeled on Panerai classics. For example, in the Manufattura line, which amazed with technical finesse and sophistication. In the nineties, the design and appearance, the oversized dial and the typical crown protection bridge were still considered unusual by contemporary tastes, but Panerai watches soon gained cult status. Last but not least, the attention given to it by movie stars like Silvester Stallone boosted the brand's value and image. The Luminor Marine appeared in 1,000 copies for commercial sale and was proudly displayed on the wrist of Arnold Schwarzenegger in films such as "Eraser". Panerai style and statement could not be personified more authentically.

Buying luxury watches on the internet? Not without my Panerai!

As the company produced models largely unknown to the general public until the 1990s, rare examples from that era have multiplied their value today. Traded mainly through auctions, the potential for value appreciation is enormous, although this is also true of current Panerai models. Could it be because the sight of them brings a certain glow to the eyes? Even without a name on the dial, the Panerai is immediately recognizable, and not just to connoisseurs, thanks to its characterful face. This Panerai is a watch like a primary rock.

Ticking masculine beauties

Officine Panerai presented its novelty "Luminor 1950 3 Days Flyback Automatic Ceramica" at the Geneva watch fair Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in 2015. A chronograph, a masterpiece that succinctly embodied the brand's credo of "innovation, exclusivity, perfection". Its profile: synthetic ceramic and zinc-oxide case, size 44 mm. Light weight. Harder than steel. Corrosion-resistant, scratch-resistant, temperature-resistant, waterproof. The production of black ceramic undergoes a lot of complex molding and processing steps until the absolute consistency is achieved in a firing process up to one thousand degrees. The matte, pleasant and skin-friendly surface achieves efficient glass bead radiation. Tobacco to chocolate brown strong leather straps pick up the hand colors and emphasize the virile look of Panerai luxury wristwatch. The chronograph's "flyback function" achieves the "stop", "set to 0" and "start" functions in just one operation. The new caliber P.9100 with its 302 individual parts is manufactured by the in-house manufacture in Neuchatel. The dial is structured by a blue chronograph seconds hand, a central coated minutes hand and a date display positioned at 3. The industriously working movement is revealed through a viewing window in the screw-down case back. This Panerai Luminor, modeled after the flagship of the thirties, is a unique piece. The maritime elegant Mare Nostrum Titanio - the luxury watch of the Royal Italian Navy officers - made its sensational debut on the same occasion. Unlike its historic steel predecessor, it is made of titanium, its diameter is an impressive 53 mm, and its movement calls for manual winding. Like the Luminor, it appears in just 150 unique pieces.