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Panerai Watches: The Elusive Italian Watch Maker

Just in case you have never heard of Panerai Watches, this Italian watchmaker has been making some of the world’s finest timepieces since 1860. Their most famous models are the Luminor and Radiomir watches, which were used by the Royal Italian Navy’s commando frogmen during the sinking of Allied naval ships during World War II.

It wasn’t until Sylvester Stallone “discovered” Panerai Watches in 1995 while shooting a movie in Rome that the watches became more widely known in the United States. Stallone was so taken by Panerai watches that he soon started giving them as gifts to his friends, like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Panerai watches now come in four collections – the Contemporary, Manifattura, Historic and Special editions, but most of these collections are made in limited quantities, and each of them includes a number of issue on the caseback. Prices range from $6,250 to over $25,000.

It wasn’t until a new agreement was signed between Girard-Perregaux and Ferrari, that Panerai watches became the official timekeeper for the Ferrari brand. As a result, a new collection of watches known as “Panerai Ferrari” is available, but these watches are also produced in limited quantities.

The limited production runs for all Panerai watches make them a valuable commodity among luxury watch collectors, and often causes them to increase in value over time.