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Giovanni Panerai (1825-1897), founder of the family business, opens the first watchmaker's shop in Florence in 1860 on the Ponte alle Grazie and establishes contact with the most prestigious and longest established Swiss watch manufacturers.
Following disappointing tests carried out on the watches available at that time, the Royal Italian Navy in 1936 asked Panerai to develop a watch able to withstand the extreme conditions it will be subjected to. A Radiomir prototype is submitted to the Command of the First Submarine Group and the watch passed all the tests with flying colors. Panerai watches today are still made by craftsmen to the same high standards, performing perfectly in demanding situations and able to withstand extreme conditions.
Panerai watches are produced in limited numbers because they must meet quality standards which are much higher than for most watches, typical of equipment designed for military use. The main requirement is reliability, which is vital. A user's life may depend on this, and it may be put at risk by a watch's failure or imperfect assembly.
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